Category Archives: music

From The Archives: K.Flay and Colin Munroe at Glasslands, 7/13/12

Here are some shots of K.Flay and Colin Munroe at Glasslands back in July. It was such a good time that blood was gushing out of my face for no reason before they even started playing. Full album here.

If you haven’t already, cop K.Flay’s Eyes Shut and Colin Munroe’s Unsung Hero. K.Flay plays tonight at Cameo Gallery.

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From the archives: Perfume Genius and Parenthetical Girls at Mercury Lounge, April 2012

Here are some pictures of the Perfume Genius/Parenthetical Girls tour back in April that ended up not getting posted. Enjoy them now!

Parenthetical Girls

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Perfume Genius

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Clips Post 9/3/12

BlackBook Tracks #8: Gift Raps

BlackBook Tracks #9: Summertime Sadness

BlackBook tracks #10: Just Chill

BlackBook Tracks #11: Summer Is Ending

Slow Jams and Summer Days: A Q&A With Poolside (BlackBook)

Interview: Carrie Wilds Makes Her Voice Heard (BlackBook)

Photos: !!! @ Damrosch Park, New York, 8/9/12 (QRO)

Photos: Tanlines @ Mercury Lounge, New York, 8/21/12 (QRO)

Clips post 8/9/12

BlackBook Tracks #7: Let’s All Care About Sports More Than We Normally Do (BlackBook)

Swooning With Washed Out at House Of Vans (BlackBook)

Interview: K.Flay Does Hip-Hop Her Own Way (BlackBook)

I think the best thing about the Bay Area, probably overall, is the attitude of acceptance that pervades everything. I guess I should say openness, because it’s openness to new ideas in whatever domain, whether it’s technological or scientific or it’s a cultural thing. There’s so much mixing of ideas and people and cultures and styles out there, it’s kind of unparalleled and there’s a genuine collaborative spirit. That’s the thing I like the best about the Bay, but the burritos are awesome, also. That’s another bonus.

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Alt-J Bring Their Melodic Tunes To Brooklyn (BlackBook)

Slam Donahue Rocks The Rooftop Of Soho House (BlackBook)

Outtakes: Drop The Lime

I recently interviewed Drop The Lime for BlackBook about his new album Enter The Night. The whole conversation ran a bit long, so I thought I’d post the end of it here. This is probably one of my favorite things I’ve ever done, it was interesting to see how someone who’s crafted this distinct persona ended up also being very warm and genuine in person.

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What are some other new artists you’re into right now?

There’s a lot of new UK house mixed with an old garage kind of vibe, like L-Vis 1990’s new stuff. Stuff like what Kingdom or Brenmar are doing. And then I love what’s basically like what Fever Ray had begun, like this goth-y, hip-hop-influenced pop. Artists like Purity Ring, I love what they’re doing. Artists like Trailer Trash Tracys, it’s really exciting to me.

Anything else you want to mention about the album?

The album comes out, but in October, I’m releasing a night versions, which is what we’ll be playing live. It’ll be clubbier, it’s me remixing myself.

It’s just interesting for you to do things different ways?

I don’t ever want to alienate my club fans. The album that I made now, I’m aware of the fact that it’s an album you listen to, not one that you necessarily DJ. But I gotta DJ my own songs, so the night versions are for that. It’s club versions and new songs. It’s the same thing that Soulwax did and Duran Duran did. A lot of artists have always done it, and it’s an old technique that’s exciting.

I didn’t make it, but I remember during CMJ, there was an event with you and Yuksek DJing together.

Yeah, at Le Bain.

That’s also someone who [shifted their direction like you have].

Yuksek is amazing, we have the same booking agent. He also does that, where it’s him DJing or him with a live band. It’s odd, but right now, there seem to be a lot of artists I can relate to who have taken the same approach as me. Like Matthew Dear has done the same approach, where he’ll have a live band and also DJ. Yuksek, Cubic Zirconia.

Yeah, Yuksek’s incredible. He should be huge, but somehow he’s not.

Here’s the thing. Nowadays, huge is not the answer. Timeless is the answer. Timeless. You can be huge, but you’ll be gone tomorrow. Be timeless. Yuksek? Timeless. Matthew Dear? Timeless. These are artists that will be around forever and forever be making music that’s emotionally impactful.

So it’s more like knowing your audience?

Know your audience! And cater, and stick to your guns. You keep that core audience, you’re good to go. But am I really going to try to compete with LMFAO right now? You know what I mean? No. Is Matthew Dear going to compete with LMFAO? No.

And as we say that, they’re playing dubstep at Roberta’s. (laughs) But actually it’s good dubstep, this is real dubstep. Not brostep. I brought Skream and Benga to New York for the first time ever, in 2004. I used to have a party called Bangers and Mash, and we did it at Rothko on the Lower East Side. I brought Skream and Benga, first party ever, they were 18 years old. I was just starting out, too. They weren’t even playing dubstep, they were playing grime instrumentals, and they were all vinyl dubplates. We did Dizzee Rascal’s first New York event. These vibes are forever. That’s real. But now even Benga, still a good friend of mine, we have the same manager, publicly he’s like “Do not call me dubstep. Do not tie me in.” There’s a lot of controversy over it.

And Skream’s really branched out, he did that Miles Kane song.

Skream has the same affection for disco as I have for rockabilly. I’ll do rockabilly sets, he’ll do disco sets, and he’ll kill it. And he’s a musician. He’s not a dubstep artist. Even though, technically I think “Midnight Request Line” is the first dubstep song ever in existence. He made that song, trying to sound like a hip-hop song, probably. He didn’t know what he was doing, but it created this footprint for a genre that now is playing [everywhere].

From the archives: MGMT at the Guggenheim, November 2011

I took these pictures last year when MGMT did a couple of special presentations to accompany the Maurizio Cattelan: All exhibit at the Guggenheim, which consisted of a 45-minute vibe-out session with no discrete songs and a lot of spaceship noises. (It was awesome.) These photos ended up not getting published, but I was reminded that I had them when I was interviewing Yuksek yesterday, and I figured it’s about time I did something besides just let them languish on Flickr.

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A very selective history of my introduction to dance music

Electronic music. Dance music. Electronic dance music.

2005:

Soulwax – “E-Talking”

LCD Soundsystem – “Daft Punk is Playing at My House”

Cut Copy – “Future”

2006:

Hot Chip – “Over and Over”

Metronomy – “You Could Easily Have Me”

Justice vs. Simian – “We Are Your Friends”

The Rapture – “Whoo! Alright — Yeah… Uh Huh”

2007:

Calvin Harris – “Acceptable In The 80s”

Yelle – “Je Veux Te Voir”

Clips post 3/7/12

Interview: Everything Sort Of Hits You: A Q&A With Los Campesinos! (American Songwriter)

Photos: Perfume Genius @ Zebulon – Brooklyn – 2/9/12 (QRO)

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Photos: Slow Club @ The Bell House – Brooklyn – 2/16/12 (QRO)

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Photos: Sharon Van Etten @ Music Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn – 2/24/12 (American Songwriter)

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2011 in lists

It’s that time of year. Here are various things I enjoyed on various levels, and I’m going ahead and posting this before I can agonize over the ordering any more.

Top albums
1. Yuksek – Living On the Edge of Time
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It’s been a weird year for me, considering that I’ve spent it living in three drastically different places. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to spend as much time with music as I would like to, and I know there’s a lot I still need to catch up on. Out of this year’s new releases that I have given proper attention to, nothing has really affected me the same way Vampire Weekend’s Contra did last year. Still, something has to be #1 on my list, and at this point, I think I am comfortable with putting Living On The Edge of Time by Yuksek in that position.

I was familiar with Yuksek only in name before this year, and stopping by his set at The Creators Project’s festival was more than a pleasant surprise. After that show, I went on to see Yuksek two more times that week during CMJ. (It would have been three, if one of his shows hadn’t been canceled because of technical difficulties.) The French electropop producer, aka Pierre-Alexandre Busson, has a quietly commanding stage presence that is magnetic in its own way. The way he focuses on the performance is cool and detached, but still feels intimate–just like the record.

Living On the Edge of Time comes across as a rather personal album, even though Busson is perhaps distancing himself a little by writing in English rather than his native language. It’s a record to get lost in, a much more cohesive effort than his debut Away From the Sea that still shows off his stylistic range. Awash in synths, the classically-trained Busson still hangs onto his dance sensibilities while also crafting a sound that’s softer and more mature. Songs like “Always On the Run” and “On a Train” see him dealing with the inevitability of change, backed with lush instrumentation; his lyrics speak to escapism, but are ultimately grounded. “White Keys” features Busson’s vocals at their rawest as he gets introspective, as well as a chorus repeating, “White keys or black keys, it’s not so funky/We are restless, just music junkies.” It’s not his most elegant lyric, but that last line sums it up, really–Living On the Edge of Time brings together a sophisticated, versatile album with a voice that’s not ready to settle down yet.

I’m going to acknowledge that I may have been subliminally influenced by the fact that Busson is pictured in a Uniqlo advertisement that I see on the subway pretty much every other day*, but Living On the Edge of Time is truly a lovely album to spend time with.

*By this logic, I should also be eating Momofuku pork buns at every opportunity, which I would totally do if it didn’t require significantly more time and money.

2. Metronomy – The English Riviera

3. Peter Bjorn and John – Gimme Some

4. Friendly Fires – Pala

5. Beirut – The Rip Tide

6. The Rapture – In the Grace of Your Love

7. The Weeknd – House of Balloons

8. Los Campesinos! – Hello Sadness

9. James Blake – James Blake

10. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l

11. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy

12. Eleanor Friedberger – Last Summer

13. Summer Camp – Welcome to Condale

14. Slow Club – Paradise

15. Cut Copy – Zonoscope

16. Smith Westerns – Dye it Blonde

17. The Kills – Blood Pressures

18. Jamie Woon – Mirrorwriting

19. Theophilus London – Timez Are Weird These Days

20. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

21. Coeur de Pirate – Blonde

22. Katy B – On a Mission

23. Wild Beasts – Smother

24. Destroyer – Kaputt

25. Sondre Lerche – Sondre Lerche

Top singles
1. Beyoncé – “Countdown”

2. The Rapture – “How Deep Is Your Love?”

3. tUnE-yArDs – “Gangsta”

4. Nicola Roberts – “Beat of My Drum”

5. Friendly Fires – “Live Those Days Tonight”

6. Fleet Foxes – “Helplessness Blues”

7. Metronomy – “The Bay”

8. Jay-Z and Kanye West – “N—-s In Paris”

9. Holy Ghost! – “Do It Again”

10. Los Campesinos! – “By Your Hand”

11. Beirut – “Santa Fe”

12. Girls – “Honey Bunny”

13. Azealia Banks – “212”

14. Yuksek – “Always on the Run”

15. Peter Bjorn and John – “Dig a Little Deeper”

16. James Blake – “The Wilhelm Scream”

17. Das Racist – “Michael Jackson”

18. Beastie Boys – “Make Some Noise”

19. Justice – “Civilization”

20. SBTRKT – “Wildfire”

21. Housse de Racket – “Château”

22. Katy B – “Easy Please Me”

23. Jessica 6 – “Prisoner of Love”

24. The Kills – “Satellite”

25. Cut Copy – “Need You Now”

26. Smith Westerns – “End of the Night”

27. Theophilus London – “Girls Girls $”

28. Washed Out – “Amor Fati”

29. Mayer Hawthorne – “The Walk”

30. Jai Paul – “BTSTU”

31. St. Vincent – “Cruel”

32. Foster the People – “Pumped Up Kicks”

33. Yelle – “Safari Disco Club”

34. Toro y Moi – “How I Know”

35. The Wombats – “Jump Into the Fog”

Miscellaneous non-single songs
Active Child – “Hanging On”
CANT – “Answer”

Live shows

A-Trak & Kid Sister @ Limelight, 4/23
Darwin Deez @ The End, 2/8
Fleet Foxes @ Ryman Auditorium, 5/13
Patrick Wolf @ Le Poisson Rouge, 9/18
Chromeo @ Terminal 5, 11/4
Sondre Lerche @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, 12/2
Yuksek @ Santos Party House, 10/20 (CMJ)
We Are Scientists @ The Studio at Webster Hall, 10/20 (CMJ)
Yelle @ Webster Hall, 12/8
Los Campesinos! @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, 11/17
Jens Lekman @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, 10/7

Movies
Beginners
Midnight In Paris
Shame
Submarine
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 2
Martha Marcy May Marlene
50/50
Paul
Bridesmaids
Weekend

Clips post 12/21/2011

Photos: Housse de Racket and Yelle at Webster Hall, 12/8 (QRO)

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Photos: Deer Tick and MNDR at Rolling Stone Fest, Openhouse Gallery, 12/12 (QRO)

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