Archive for March, 2011

It’s the last day of March, and the month is ending with a bang. City folks, head to Arlene’s Grocery tonight at 8pm to catch dynamite duo, decibel., and Blackbells’ residency finale! It’s $10 and 21+!

If you’re more of a Billyburg type, get yourself to Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn for a rock extravaganza starting at 7PM. You’ll get a lot of bang and band for your buck…five bands, including Penrose, The Walk Ons, Social Hero, Nature of City, and The Dead Exs for $5! 21+!

It’s a face-melting Thursday!

Are you Manhattan, Brooklyn or Jersey bound? Whatever way, there’s something to look forward to at each destination.

In the City, hit Arlene’s Grocery for Blackbells’ second residency show and their homecoming gig after returning from Austin/SXSW. Also on the bill are tourmates, The Wicked Tomorrow. Doors at 8pm, $10.

Down in Park Slope at Southpaw, Social Hero, The Bottom Dollars, The Spanish Channel, and Snowdroppers.  doors at 8pm, $12! Come rock for the rocks!

Finally, if you’ve found yourself off the PATH train in Hoboken, NJ, make sure you grab some delicious food and see The Shake play at 9pm, for the their penultimate “The Farmers Daughter Tour” show.

Yes, that’s right. Rocker Stalker was down in Austin, TX. Wednesday, March 16, technically the second day of SXSW 2011’s music week, was my first day, and I certainly made up for lost time.  My third SXSW and the festival’s 25th anniversary, I celebrated with eleven bands and a huge dose of venue hopping. After being rejected by NYC’s Shilpa Ray’s show at the Austin Convention Center (“Badges only!”), I meandered down 6th Street to the “British Embassy,” where a Welsh showcase was beginning, and I was privileged to see synth-rockers, We//Are//Animal, and dance-y electro-pop trio, Bright Light Bright Light. Only steps away at The Parish were Brooklyn’s quirky quartet, Black Taxi, Austin’s space rockers, The Frontier Brothers, and wacky dance-rockers, Bright Light Social Hour, also native Austinites.  A long walk to the Buzzbands LA Party and an extended sound check ended in a short sample of orchestral Other Lives. A coffee break and pedicab ride were followed by Washington D.C.’s indie-pop Jukebox the Ghost at the Empire Automotive Shop. Back to back, I explored LA’s alternative electro-pop/rock foursome, Hell and Lula, at Emo’s Annex, New York’s retro-rock outfit, Blackbells, at Fado’s, and my favorite new band, Oklahoma City’s hard rock showmen, The Pretty Black Chains, at the Oklahoma showcase at Friends. The day came full circle as I was denied entry to The Black Angels and Queens of the Stone Age at La Zona Rosa, but I closed my first Austin night right with the soulful sound’s of NY’s Kendra Morris at the Scoot Inn before heading home to prepare for an even bigger second day! Here’s a glimpse into fresh-faced, day 1!

St. Patrick’s Day at SXSW 2011 was unlike any March 17th I had ever experienced. The Deli Magazine teamed up with Brooklyn Lager, GAT5, and Black Knight Productions to showcase thirty bands, eight of which I was proud to present, on three stages at Hotel Vegas/Volstead Lounge in the heart of downtown Austin at the Brooklyn BBQ.  My day began with The Gay Blades, who are becoming a household name. Unfortunately, the set was cut short by a loss of diesel power. The crew quickly replenished the generator for the outdoor stage, but TGB unleashed some mega-phone free-styling, a resourceful and entertaining solution to the unexpected events. Fueled up, Fan Tan hit the stage, while speed metal, Goes Cube, shook the indoor “Dive” stage. Bouncing between stages, I encountered Butcher Bear Soundsystem with Charlie who included a man in a yellow bear suit, pretty painful for the 86 degree Texas temperature. Following the plush performer was reggae-tinged rock quartet, Deadbeat Darling, special guests, fashionable and punky The Vandelles, and ethereal Dream Diary.  As the sun set, the crowd  grew and feasted on BBQ , enjoying on-the-house beverages (during the last quarter of ever hour), and one of NYC’s top artists, soothing, bass-driven, The Dig, outside,  while piano accompanied poet, Emily Greene, played the acoustic “Volstead” stage, and  The Wicked Tomorrow’s sultry sound stopped attendees in their tracks. Continuing the rock duo them, The Courtesy Tier echoed throughout the “Dive” space, followed by guitar-heavy Blackbells, and simultaneously, in the backyard, Black Taxi drew the crowd into a dancing frenzy.  The ear-catching melodies  and moving vocals of Brooklyn trio, Apollo Run, pulled the audience indoors before the last, but not least, dynamic and rhythmically  complex decibel., closed the BK BBQ with a bang, literally, as the duet landed in a pile atop the drum kit.  All in all, the day was a memorable and proud twelve hours for New York music.

On my third day of SXSW, I was showing clear signs of slowing down.  Despite my zombie state, I sauntered over to Beso Cantina for the Moheak Radio party, a station for whom I DJ, to show support; there, Austin’s Tony Scalzo and the Familiar Strangers were crooning. Next, was the Baeblemusic Party at The Phoenix.  The Rural Alberta Advantage, Toronto’s indie trio,  soothed with  dreamy harmonies. The Boxer Rebellion, whose members are from Tennessee, England, and Australia, engaged with their rock with a twang, and warmed the crowd up for the Norwegian electro-rock band, Datarock, who pranced about in matching red sweat suits and sunglasses, promoting their new single, “Catcher in the Rye.” After a taco break at Chupacabra, I hailed a cab to the 21st Street Co-Op, a group of dorm-style quarters with rooms dedicated to live performances. I paid a visit to virtuosic Brooklynites, Apollo Run and hopped downtown again to Club De Ville for LA’s Gram Rabbit, whose twists on cowboy get-ups and interpretive dancer wearing a bunny suit, combined with their danceable and echoing electro-rock, consistently make them a band to note.  Another trip to the Co-Op landed me mid-set for NY’s duo, Hank and Cupcakes and  my night’s closers, Black Taxi.  An “early” 1am evening seemed like a good idea in anticipation  for the following day, the penultimate of SXSW. Take a looksy!

My final official day at the annual SXSW closed with what felt like a 5K. Arriving at the Filter Magazine Cultural Clash party in the Cedar Street Courtyard, I once again caught Norway’s jumpsuit-wearing dance crew, Datarock, who played until they were “thrown off” the stage, followed by New Zealand’s soft alternative quartet, The Naked and Famous.  An attempt to see Surfer Blood ended quickly at the first glance of the mile long line, but LA’s new wave-meets- psychedelic rock act, Superhumanoids, and Toronto’s solo electro-pop act, Diamond Rings provided a soundtrack for the ideal spring day. A trip across the Congress Bridge led to folksy sensation, Bright Eyes, at the Auditorium Shores, where thousands flocked to enjoy the mini-festival atmosphere fraught with food stands and light sabers. The trek back to downtown landed me at the Texas Rockfest’s “Roial” stage, a chic rooftop space where Black Taxi played amongst a roster of metal bands. Around the corner at the Speakeasy, Austin’s The Frontier Brothers’ energy radiated to the crowd and dragged people out of their exhausted state and had them jumping for joy.  One last hike to the “Roial” roof ended my evening with Austin’s very own hard rock trio, Chronolung. SXSW 2011 had officially come to a close. Fin.

The Brooklyn BBQ hits today with 30 bands, 3 stages, free BBQ and beer, art, photobooths, etc.   Come by today from 11am-2am at Hotel Vegas (1500 E. 6th St, Austin, TX)!



It’s the time of the  season for residencies, and I’m extremely thrilled that one of my favorite New York bands, Blackbells, has been allotted a month at Arlene’s Grocery. Although they’ll be out of town for March 17 (They’ll be in Austin, TX for the badassery of SXXSW.), this past Thursday’s show was a two-fold kick-off, for their residency and their tour down to TX and back. They hit the road with NYC buddies, The Wicked Tomorrow, who will be joining them on March 24 at Arlene’s.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A new NYC label dedicated to revival rock, Bang Bang Boogaloo, hosted a party at Bowery Electric on March 8th, and it was bangin’! When I arrived, The Fieros were setting up. After what felt like an eternity, the four  Brooklyinites heated up the the stage with their throwback-meets-indie groove.

The Dead Exs, fronted by the label’s mastermind, David Patillo, oozed with sultry blues and sassy rock,  filling the venue with slide guitar and heavy jams, a huge sound for a small band of two.

Rock, revived!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The first of four residency shows for The London Souls raised the bar pretty high for the next three. Fellow rockers from “Boston and kind of New York,” TAB the Band, hit the stage with some new material that explores a much more psychedelic side of the rock ‘n roll quartet. Make sure you stop by Brooklyn Bowl again on the 14th, 21st, and 28th of this month. Tomorrow, Raccoon Fighter and Ski Beatz join the line-up starting at 8pm. AND, it’s only five bucks!

Here’s what a Monday night in Williamsburg looks like…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


It’s #4 for the The Shakedown, NYC’s The Shake‘s monthly party at the Red Door. This time, rock ‘n rollers, The Living Kills and Penrose, hit the stage before the hosts, and to top it all off, there will be  late night dance party to LCD Soundsystem (a goodbye homage?). All this beginning at 8pm. Find out more here!

Busy bees and Blackbells have a lot in common this month.  Their Thursday night residencies at Arlene’s Grocery begin tonight to kick off their tour which peaks at SXSW in Austin, TX. The evening begins at 8pm, and the Brooklyn quartet will be joined by LA’s The Dance Party. 21+, $7.

Around the corner, Blackbells’ tourmates, The Wicked Tomorrow, will be debuting their music video for “Frenemy” at Pianos. Show starts at 7:30pm, $8, 21+.

Come get your good ol’ rock ‘n roll on tonight at Bowery Electric starting at 8pm. and celebrate the launch of BANG BANG BOOGALOO, which describes itself as an  “NYC label specializing in hand crafted digital compilations of amazing music. The first compilation will feature several NY revival rock bands like The London Souls, The Fieros, Boom Chick, The Compulsions, The Othermen, and The Dead Exs and will be completely free!”