Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Middle Distance Runner @ Mercury Lounge This Friday!

DC band Middle Distance Runner will be in the city this weekend. They'll be over at Mercury Lounge on Friday, July 3. You can kick off your holiday celebrations early ... go check them out if you're hanging about the LES.


Anna Ternheim Announces Tour & Set To Release New Album

Sweden's Anna Ternheim has announced a fall tour. She'll be making a stop in New York at The Bowery Ballroom on Friday, October 16. Check out her website for dates in other parts. Terheim also has a new record, Leaving On A Mayday, which is scheduled to drop on August 11. In the mean time, check out the video for an acoustic version of "What Have I Done."


Video: Ash - "Return Of White Rabbit"

Ash has put out a video for their song "Return of White Rabbit" which was directed by Nico Jones. Check it out. If you haven't already grabbed it, you can still download the song for free from Ash's website.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Around New York ... June 29 - July 5, 2009

Upcoming shows in the New York area ...

June 30 - Jul
y 5 -- Anat Cohen at The Village Vanguard
June 30 - July 5 -- Hiromi (pictured) at Blue Note
July 1 -- Harlem S
hakes at Bowery Ballroom
July 1 -- Scorpio Rising at Cake Shop

July 1 -- Gabrielle Wortman / Myra Flynn / Anna Rose at Pianos
July 2 -- Maria Ta
ylor at Union Hall

July 2 -- Jay
Reatard at Music Hall of Williamsburg
July 2 -- The Germs (pictured) at Mercury Lounge

July 3 -- Sonic Youth at United Palace
July 3 -- Dionne Farris at Joe's Pub

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Song From Brendan Benson

A few days ago, I mentioned that Brendan Benson has a new record coming out. The record, My Old, Familiar Friend is due to drop August 18. Now, you can check out "Feel Like Taking You Home," HERE, from the upcoming effort.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

8 Questions With Dala

Canadian duo Dala, Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine, released their fourth album Everyone Is Someone a couple of weeks ago. The album offers up a bevy of pristine harmonies. The lead single "Levi Blues" is one of those run barefoot in the grass, catchy songs that makes you smile when you listen to it. Curious to find out more about Dala, I sent over some questions and they were kind enough to answer.

Quirky NY Chick (QNYC): I know some basic facts about Dala. For instance, I know you met in high school, that your name comes from combining your names Amanda (da) and Sheila (la) and that you have a big buzz in your native Canada. For those of us here in the US, who may not be as familiar as our friends up North, how would you describe your music?

Dala: We like to describe our music as harmony-based acoustic pop. Think Joni Mitchell meets The Everly Brothers. We write all our own songs, and the writing is very personal. Our live show consists of two voices, two guitars and a piano. We like to travel as light as possible!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Phenomenal Handclap Band's Debut Release Out Now!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about New York's The Phenomenal Handclap Band. Their debut album The Phenomenal Handclap Band was officially unleashed upon the world today. For those who go the digital route you can find it HERE. For those who what a nice shiny CD to hold in their happy little hands, you can get one from HERE.

If you haven't had a chance to check out The Phenomenal Handclap Band yet, what are you waiting for? Anyway, this is a great summertime record. Actually, it's a great anytime record but it just happens to be perfectly timed for summer groovin'. This is one of the albums you'll hear pumping from all of the good rooftop parties and backyard bbq's.

This record has an old school vibe to it. You almost feel as if you've been transported back in time while at the same time it feels and sounds fresh. It's a great mix of spaced out disco, electro, trance, psychedelia and rock.

The highlights for me, "Give It A Rest," which features lead vocals from Jon Spencer. Whenever I hear this song, I think old school Deep Purple. Y'all should know by now that I'm always coming up with some oft times questionable comparisons! And, the other highlight is "15 to 20," which features vocals from Lady Tigra. I've already declared this song my summer jam. This song beckons me to pull out my jump rope.

Overall, The Phenomenal Handclap Band is a good record. This is another one of those records that you don't have the urge to hit the skip button on any songs while listening. But, having just seen the band live, the record seems a bit confined in comparison. Of course, why compare a record to a live show? At any rate, check out the record and if they're playing near you, go see them. They're all kinds of bad ass live. Speaking of live, if you're in the New York area, The Phenomenal Handclap Band are throwing a record release party this Thursday, June 25 at Santos Party House.

Check out their video for "You'll Disappear" from the just released The Phenomenal Handclap Band.

Track Listing
  • The Journey to Serra da Estrela
  • All of the Above
  • Testimony
  • Give It a Rest
  • You'll Disappear
  • 15 to 20
  • Dim the Lights
  • I Been Born Again
  • The Martyr
  • Tears
  • Baby
  • The Circle is Broken

Monday, June 22, 2009

Around New York ... June 22 - June 28, 2009

Upcoming shows in the New York area ...

June 22 -- New York Dolls at Music Hall of Williamsburg
June 22 -- Spinnerette / Band of Skulls / The Gay Blades at Bowery Ballroom
June 23 -- Patrick Wolf / Livign Things / Plastiscines (pictured) / Jaguar Love at Highline Ballroom
June 23 -- Patterson Hood and The Screwtopians at Music Hall of Williamsburg
June 23 - June 28
-- 3 Cohens Sextet at The Village Vanguard
June 24 -- Fatboy Slim at Terminal 5
June 24 -- Camera Obscura / Anni Rossi at Webster Hall
June 25 -- The Lemonheads at Bowery Ballroom
June 25 -- Voodoo Funk / Pirate Love / Vivian Darkbloom at Pianos
June 25 -- St. Vincent / Tim Fite at The Bell House
June 25 -- The Fray / Jack's Mannequin at Jones Beach
June 26 -- The Smithereens at The Bell House
June 26 -- Aerosmith / ZZ Top at Jones Beach
June 27 -- Ziggy Marley (pictured) at Blender Theatre at Gramercy

June 27 -- Pansy Division / Wormburner at Mercury Lounge
June 27 -- The XYZ Affair / Wheat at Mercury Lounge
June 27 -- Pearl & The Beard at Spike Hill
June 28 -- The Motels at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
June 28 -- Ledisi / Esperanza Spalding / Jonathan Batiste at Central Park SummerStage

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Vivian Darkbloom At Pianos This Thursday!

Boston band Vivian Darkbloom will be taking the stage on the LES at Pianos this Thursday, June 25.

For those unfamiliar with Vivian Darkbloom, they're an indie band made up of brainy guys. Founding members Rob Morris (vocals/guitar) and Brian Skerratt (bass/vocals) met at Princeton and are now doing the whole graduate degree thing at MIT and Harvard, respectively. They are joined by Cristiano Castellitto (drums) who's probably a brainy guy too. Anyway, I mention this not as a negative, but because it ties in with their music.

You see, Morris has used his braininess to created this crazy thing called the Wii Guitar. He's mounted a Wii remote onto a guitar and by pressing it's buttons and moving and gesturing with his guitar he's able to produce all kinds of insane sounds. You obviously can't get these sounds by just playing a guitar the old fashioned way. The guitar communicates with a computer running software Morris wrote and viola, you have on your hands, a mad scientist with a wicked cool guitar. Ok, Morris probably isn't mad but, I've always wanted to use that term. You can read a more detailed description of his invention in an article from The Boston Phoenix HERE.

Have a listen to Vivian Darkbloom's new single, "Cold War" from the EP of the same name.
The Wii guitar in action ...

So, if you're in the New York area on Thursday, drop by and check them out. I hear everyone who goes, gets a free "I Love VD" button. Well, look at that, good music, cool inventions and a sense of humor. These are all good things folks!


Brendan Benson Set To Release New Record

Well, it seems that singer/songwriter Brendan Benson has a album set to drop on August 18. This new effort is titled My Old, Familiar Friend and was produced by Gil Norton.

I became familiar with Benson back when someone gave me a promo copy of his debut album, 1996's One Mississippi. I listened to it, thought it was a nice enough record and tossed it on the pile of CD's I always say I'll get around to listening to again in the near future, but rarely do I. About five years ago, I was moving and came across that record I had long forgotten. I popped it in and thought to myself, this is a good record. But, it ended up back on the shelf collecting dust until I came across Benson's other gig, The Raconteurs and their album Broken Boy Soldiers. Benson is a talented songwriter. I'm interested to hear what My Old, Familiar Friend holds.

Track Listing
  • A Whole Lot Better
  • Eyes on The Horizon
  • Garbage Day
  • Gonowhere
  • Feel Like Taking You Home
  • You Make a Fool Out of Me
  • Poised and Ready
  • Don’t Want To Talk
  • Misery
  • Lesson Learned
  • Borrow

ResidentBand Features The Neon Tigers - "Femme Fatale"

The folks over at ResidentBand have a new episode out, Episode 20. This one features The Neon Tigers' "Femme Fatale." Check it out.



Friday, June 19, 2009

Bob Schneider Rocked At Bowery Ballroom

Bob Schneider: June 18 @ Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY

I went around to see Bob Schneider last night. I'm convinced that Schneider is the Rain God or at the very least, is a close personal friend of said God. Every time I go see him, it rains that day. Seriously, there's a connection; I'm sure of it.

Schneider is one of those guys you just have to see live, be it with his band or solo. Last night the band was all there. This was a full on electric show ... no acoustic guitar for Bob. He came to rock and he did just that.

The last time he was at the Bowery, he seemed a bit tired and I don't recall a lot of smiling. This time out he was smiling and more energetic. While all of Schneider's shows are fun, this one seemed to be overall the most fun I've seen in a while. Everyone, band and audience just seemed to be enjoying themselves a lot. There were plenty of sing-a-long moments; it wouldn't be a Bob Schneider show without those moments now would it? Are their people who don't know all of the sing-a-long bits? Unfortunately for the people around me, I did my fair share of off-key singing along.

The big highlight for me was "Bombananza." I think this was the first time I've heard it live. I may be wrong, I have my senile moments, but I'm fairly sure it is. Did I spell 'Bombananza' right? Anyway, it was somewhere around this point in the show where I became a hot sweaty mess. Thanks Bob! Another highlight was "Country Club" which at the moment is my favorite Schneider song.

I had a great time. You should go check Schneider out should he be playing near you. Once you see him, you'll keep going back for more. That folks is a good thing in my opinion.

Here are the photos from his set.The video ...
"Gold In The Sunset"

Set List
  • Hand Me Back My Life
  • Big Blue Sea
  • ?
  • Come With Me Tonight
  • The Hulk
  • Til Somebody Catches A Feeling
  • Gold In The Sunset
  • Trash
  • Bullets
  • Boombox
  • Blauu
  • Round And Round
  • Bombananza
  • Cheaper
  • ?
  • I'm Good Now
  • Supershit
  • Assknocker
  • Country Club
  • ?
  • Captain Kirk
  • Tarantula
  • Snakebucket
  • Slower Dear
  • Ready, Let's Roll
  • 40 Dogs (Like Romeo & Juliet)
  • Mudhouse
If anyone knows the names of the ?'s, drop me a line!


Photos: Jason Shannon

Jason Shannon: June 18 @ Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY

Jason Shannon and his band were the other openers for Bob Schneider. I wasn't sure what to expect from them. But, I'm an open minded gal and Bob's track record for opening acts has been stellar. They threw out some bluesy rock that just smacked you all up in the face and made you listen. It's old school, work up a sweat rock 'n' roll folks ... can't go wrong with that. The band was tight and Shannon just tore it up on guitar. Y'all know I like me some good guitar! They definitely put on a good set and are one of those bands that I'd suggest seeing live.

Shannon has a new record out simply titled Jason Shannon. I picked up a copy of it up after the show from the man himself. See how it works? Get there early, see a hot set. Stay late and say hey.

Here are some photos from their set.
The Set List
Jason Shannon
Track Listing
  • Mister Miracle Mile
  • Long Lost Friend
  • Sons & Daughters
  • All I Want Is You
  • Slip Away
  • Slow Down Love
  • Where Are You Tonight?
  • Maybe Mexico
  • Mighty Mighty River
  • Can't Erase Love
  • Woman On My Mind
  • Sleep Tonight

Photos: Charlie Mars

Charlie Mars: June 18 @ Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY

I went around to Bowery Ballroom to catch Bob Schneider last night. One of the openers was a gentleman from Mississippi with a good voice named Charlie Mars. He came out and did his thing solo and acoustic.

Mars has a new album, Like A Bird, Like A Plane, that came out last week. He was being wicked cool and hooking folks up with it for free after the show ... thank you kindly. Check him out live if you and he happen to be in the same vicinity.

Here are some photos from his set.
Like A Bird, Like A Plane
Track Listing

  • Like A Bird, Like A Plane
  • Meet Me By The Backdoor
  • Clocking Out
  • What Are You Looking For?
  • Listen To The Darkside
  • Banging On Your Door
  • Heart Of The Summertime
  • No Place Like Home
  • The Only One
  • Tell Me Twice
  • Oh Daddyo

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Photos: The Phenomenal Handclap Band

The Phenomenal Handclap Band: June 17 @ Stuyvesant Town Oval, New York, NY

I went over to check out The Phenomenal Handclap Band at Stuyvesant Town Oval. They're brilliant live. You really should check them out if they're playing near you. As luck would have it, those in the New York area get another chance to catch them if you missed them or want to see them again. They're doing a show at Santos Party House on June 25. It's their official record release party.

Their record, The Phenomenal Handclap Band, will be in stores on June 23 or you can get the physical album from Friendly Fire, HERE or you can pick up the digital release now, HERE. And, if you haven't grabbed it yet, you can download "15 To 20" from the album HERE. It's a terrific album ... definitely one to check out.

Here are some photos from their set.
The Set List
(they did another song after "I Been Born Again" that's not listed ... an Indian tinged song that I didn't catch the name of.)


Photos: Actions Painters

Action Painters: June 17 @ The Annex, New York, NY

I went over to check out the Action Painters at The Annex. They put on a great show. If you missed them this time out, they'll be at Mercury Lounge on July 10.

Here are some photos from their set.
The Set List

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Elvis Costello's Secret, Profane & Sugarcane

A couple of weeks ago, Elvis Costello released a new album, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane. I admit, this album wasn't on my radar. But, it's been getting quite a buzz and is now on said radar. The record marks Costello's highest chart debut in 30 years.

Secret, Profane & Sugarcane was recorded in Nashville and produced by T Bone Burnett, who also co-wrote "Sulphur to Sugarcane" and "The Crooked Line" from the album. Also, on the record is a song Costello co-wrote with country music legend Ms. Loretta Lynn, titled "I Felt The Chill Before The Winter Came." This song marks Costello's second recorded songwriting collaboration with Lynn.

After hearing the single, "Complicated Shadows," I think perhaps, that this is an album I should check out.

Listen to "Complicated Shadows" HERE.

Track Listing
  • Down Among the Wines and Spirits
  • Complicated Shadows
  • I Felt the Chill Before the Winter Came
  • My All Time Doll
  • Hidden Shame
  • She Handed Me a Mirror
  • I Dreamed of My Old Lover
  • How Deep Is the Red
  • She Was No Good
  • Sulphur to Sugarcane
  • Red Cotton
  • The Crooked Line
  • Changing Partners

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Caitlin Krisko - Over The Undercover Update

Last week, I wrote about Over The Undercover, the full length debut by Caitlin Krisko & The Broadcast. Now I can tell everyone where to pick up the album. Check out the handy little widget below. If you like laid back, acoustic based, folk infused soul, you should check it out.

<a href="http://caitlinkrisko.bandcamp.com/album/over-the-undercover">Glory by Caitlin Krisko &amp; The Broadcast</a>


Monday, June 15, 2009

Through My Eyes: Hot Seconds

I decided to do something a bit different for this post. For this outing, I’m going to give an overview, an essay of sorts on a band through my eyes. Yes, everything here is through my eyes; I know. Anyway, I decided to kick this little thing off with a band I’ve seen several times in recent months and whom I’ve listened to frequently since I came across their record. I don’t think I’ve watched a band with such curiosity since a then unknown band called The Black Crowes released their debut record, Shake Your Money Maker. At any rate, it seems fitting that I should write about Hot Seconds. They were the first CD I spoke about here when I started my blog and my first Q&A. Now, they’re taking on another first here in my little online world. This is what I see. This is my journey…

Through My Eyes: Hot Seconds

In July 2008, New York band Hot Seconds released their self-titled debut record. In the event you haven’t experienced it yet, Hot Seconds is ten songs of well crafted danceable indie rock with Brit-pop leanings. It’s fun, biting and mischief. It’s cocky, jeering and charming. And, at times it’s insecure and vulnerable. That’s a lot of adjectives for one record but, they all fit.

When I happened upon Hot Seconds, it was a month or so after its July release. I randomly sampled it starting with “Pieces of You” and was instantly taken. That was all it took to make me dive head first into the album and float along the deep end with this pristinely produced DIY effort washing over me. From that moment on, I decided they were a band I had to watch.

It wasn’t long after that, that Hot Seconds were scheduled to perform. Perfect I thought. This is my opportunity to see live what had become a regular part of my listening habits. I went to the show. As I was waiting for it to start, I stood there hoping that a good record wouldn’t be ruined for me by a bad live show. It’s always a huge disappointment when something you like on record stinks up the place live. Thankfully, I didn’t suffer any disappointment.

What I got that first show was a band that played their songs well. It’s always nice when a band doesn’t mangle its own songs. I stood at that first show trying to take in everything all at once, letting the overall performance be an experience. The band as a whole, were low key playing pretty much spot on. Front man, rhythm guitarist and lyricist, James Love was the more animated one mixing nice guy next door charm with a bit of bad boy cheekiness. The show cemented my earlier notion that they were a band to watch. That show seems so long ago but, it was less than a year ago.

Jump ahead a couple of months to the New Year, January 2009. Having had my appetite whetted, I was excited to see the band perform again. This show was a whole new level of Hot Seconds. It was as if the New Year had sparked something in them. They rolled out new songs one of which is the terrifically fun, dance yourself into a hot sweaty frenzy, “When I Go.”

This was the show that drummer Ian Hudgins drummed me into submission and made me re-think my neglect of drummers. The band was on fire and deliciously decadent. Prisoners were taken that night; they were taken for a roller coaster ride of unrepentant fun. This was a band that was tight and bordering on dangerous. They were, quiet simply, breathtaking.

A month later brought about the third Hot Seconds show I witnessed. Another new song was rolled out. This new dirty groove, “Pink Caesar,” has keyboardist and band video director, Marcel Simoneau strapping on a guitar and making a front line appearance. After mostly only seeing occasional bobs of his head from the positions I’d been standing in during shows, it was a bit odd for me seeing a full-bodied Simoneau up front doing his thing. I’ve since gotten used to seeing him with the guitar and the last couple of shows he has seemed more comfortable, more relaxed while playing.

It was a good show but something felt off. It seemed they had lost some of their energy. The fire they had displayed a month earlier seemed to have dimmed some. I have wondered if perhaps it was just me. Was the previous show still so fresh in my mind that this one couldn’t compete? Or perhaps, they just had an off night as everyone does at some point. If that is the case, I must say, their off night is better than many good nights by other bands.

After that show, there was a two month Hot Seconds drought. They came back in May with two shows. One I missed, one I witnessed. In their two month absence, it seems someone re-lit their fire. The two months, it seems, did them good. They came back refreshed and loose. They overall seemed to be a more relaxed group. Everyone smiled more.

Something happened over on stage right though. Guitarist and band producer, Eran Westwood, he of the quiet charm, somewhat broody stage persona and intense aura seemed more relaxed, contented, like grey clouds had lifted allowing the sun to shine down on that side of the stage. He was more animated. This was a whole new Westwood for me. This version appeared to be dipping his toe in the deity waters to see how it felt. Apparently, it felt good as it carried over to their next show where he outright and unapologetically channeled his inner guitar god and looked to be having a damn good time doing so.

Like Westwood, Love too seems more relaxed. Somewhere along the line, between that first show I experienced and one seven months later, Love has come into his own. While he never really seemed to lack confidence, he now seems to have found his comfort zone. It was at this show that I could see Love’s rock star wings start to flutter. If he were a rooster, I’d say the cock has found his strut. Just like the guitar god, the rock star carried over to their next show too. This version of Love took command of the stage, comfortable in his rock star skin and letting his wings flutter proudly.

Now some eight months after my first show, June rolled around and I took in another Hot Seconds show. There has been one thing that has remained unwavering and flawlessly consistent. That one thing, one person, is the quiet guy in the background, bassist Bob Toria. Toria seems to be a sort of rhythmic glue content in the background providing, along with Hudgins, a solid foundation for everything else to spring from.

Hot Seconds has jelled. This band has shown that even on an off night, they’re a more than capable band. I hope the stars align and light the way to great success for these guys. They have reached that place where they look and sound comfortable and fearless. They appear to be enjoying themselves as much, if not more, than when I first saw them.

The creative juices seem to be flowing strong for Hot Seconds. The new songs they’ve rolled out seem heavier, more rhythmic. My expectations are high for a new recorded effort. It has been interesting watching their journey from then to now. I am still married to the notion they are a band to watch. I look forward to more shows and seeing where the path they’re on leads.

L. R. Adams
June 2009

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