Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Mexico

While I've always wanted to see New Mexico; the landscapes, the skyline, the red rocks; i thought it would take getting on a plane and perhaps a little longer than it takes to ride the subway to the lower east side but alas, I was wrong! Last Week New Mexico, all the way from San Diego, made their way to me and the rest of NYC. Accompanying Lights On for a quick, yet fantastic, tour of Brooklyn (Union Hall), NYC (The Cake Shop) and the northern climes of CT (Larry's)., New Mexico, formerly known as Apes Of Wrath, came to the big apple a bit shy and wide eyed it being their first time in the big city. But taking the stage brought out their true boyish nature blowing us jaded NYR's away with their poppy, rhythmic, post punk brand of rock. Think APB, A Certain Ratio mixed with Dead Kennedys and a hint of Drive Like Jehu. Clever songwriting, great vocal harmonies and great hooks; once you hear them you'll have a hard time getting them out of your head, but then who'd want to!

New Mexico will be playing at Bar Pink on August 14th and at Whistle Stop on September 10th, both in San Diego. If you happen to be way out west I highly recommend you check them out.

New Mexico on Myspace

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Paper: An Object

There seems to be something in the water up north in Stockholm, Sweden, something good and nutritious. Not only does beauty come naturally to land and man but great talent oozes from their pores. Three such gifted Swedes Calle Olsson, Tobias Rask and Peter Backebo make up Paper, the power power power pop, punk (or as their label Imperial Records describes them as hypnotic kraut punk) new kids to the block. Somewhere between Joy Division and Wire but with a clever, quirky edge making this sound very much their own. Last March Paper played 3 blindsiding shows at the Cake Shop in NYC. 3 nights of the loudest, most intense, beautifully driven hard edge guitar sounds, sonic percussion and perfection in old 80's synths making the ringing in your ears a couple days later not a badge of courage but a constant, joyful reminder that you were there! J├Ątte bra!

Earlier this year Paper signed jointly with Imperial Recordings ( Novoton ( who on 2/10/10
re-released An Object on CD and vinyl boasting new artwork and as always,
incredible sounds, WOO HOO!

An Object is available, highly recommended and for sale here
Trust me, you'll be bouncing out of your chair in seconds, and then some.

Paper on Myspace

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Joy Formidable

My career as a music fan has been in good standing for some time now and as my taste, shall we say, has matured (though it could very well be my years catching up with me) i'm less tolerant of mediocrity, less wowed by the fanfare and don't make many bones about it. This comes into play with a recent show at Union Hall here in Brooklyn. 

Playing: The U.K.'s own The Joy Formidable. Though under good advisement this was a show not to be missed, i still needed to see for myself. Their name, a mouthful for sure, invoked some thought as to what is a Joy Formidable. I got my answer and then some. This 3 piece, on a tiny stage (shadowed by what looks like a painting of Robin Williams in drag) in a room jam packed full of fans, industry peeps and others curious, were a force to be reckoned with. Not only were they great, loud, heavy and well, great again but this trio showed us that if you've got it flaunt it, no need to clutter the stage with erroneous players, bells and whistles. Their joyous harmonies, heavy, sonic guitars, driving beats and amazing hooks made me take notice. With a 90's Indie Brit sound mixed with a vocal style bringing to mind The Duke Spirit's Leila Moss and Sweden's Love Is All maven Josephine Olausson I was well pleased I came out.

Their self released EP "A Balloon Called Moaning" is also something special musically as well as design-wise, in particular the fold out poster-style digipak with cd holder tab and cd as part of the poster itself. A really creative, and probably pretty inexpensive, way to create a cohesive, good looking package without all the plastic of a regular jewel case.

To find more about The Joy Formidable (and i suggest you do) click here:
The Joy Formidable   The Joy Formidable on MySpace

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lights On

From San Diego, CA emerges a band constantly on the move: 
Lights On are continually blowing minds with fantastic new material, We Live Underground being one of the new tracks forcing you to fall in love with them. Their self released EP: Waiting for the Heart to Beat is a fantastic start but the new stuff shows exactly what these guys are made of and they're coming on strong. Lights On are: Time Hines, Mike Kamoo, Andrew Bernhardt and Robert Netcoh. Do yourself a favor, click on the links below and check them out for yourself: