Archive for January, 2013


This past Saturday, January 26, Brooklyn’s Public Assembly heated up with a special, packed show headlined by Black Taxi.   The band’s consummate blend of rock heaviness, dancy beats, and Brooklyn quirkiness, has launched them into national notoriety.  Next week, the quartet will be relocating to Austin, Texas for the two months, performing each Wednesday at The Parish beginning February 6 on through March, as well as writing new material for a forthcoming record and playing SXSW.

Accompanying Black Taxi for their “farewell…for now” gig, were Yazan and Echosuite.  Starting off the evening with some powerful pipes and lovely guitar compositions, Yazan, who is also Ezra Huleatt (vocals/keys/ trumpet/”toys”) and Bill Mayo (guitar/vocals) of Black Taxi’s roommate, paused for a moment to joke about being left with “strangers from Craigslist,”  before blowing the crowd away with bluesy slide guitar jams backed by drums.  Check out his EP, Your Crooked Part here. Changing tunes, Echosuite, who also hail from New York, filled the room with bright synths, showcasing their refined sound and pop sensibilities.  Their record is streamable in full here.   After all the growing anticipation, the men of the hour finally hit the stage.  Appearing in signature warpaint, Huleatt donned zebra stripes and tribal prints mixed with Jack of Diamonds-inspired face paint, which eventually melted into smoky smears.  Drawing from their discography, Black Taxi played over an hour of crowd-pleasing tunes from their 2012 release, We Don’t Know Any Better, 2009 album, Things of That Nature, and a yet-to-be released newbie. Whipping the crowd into a frenzy from note one, Black Taxi mesmerized with Huleatt’s trumpet solos and Mayo’s exquisite guitar work, combined with Jason Holmes’ driving beats,  Krisana Soponpong’s groovable basslines,  and full-band electro-style breakdowns.  The shoulder-to-shoulder audience, infused by the band’s frenetic energy, bounced, swayed, and shimmied as one, particularly for “Shoeshine,” “We Don’t Know Any Better,” ”Be My Friend,”  “Pretty Mama,” and  “Up Here for Thinking (Down There For Dancing),” during which the ever-acrobatic Huleatt pulled himself upside down on a ceiling beam above the stage, grasping the microphone, and shaking a tambourine.  Even after the extended set, cheers for more coaxed the band back for a two-song encore, “Life During Wartime” by The Talking Heads and “Miss You” by The Rolling Stones.  The night was an unforgettably fun night and the perfect send off for the beloved Black Taxi.

Though New York will miss one of their pride and joys, Black Taxi’s friends and fans are proud to see an act of the band’s caliber gaining the attention and praise they deserve.  Austin is lucky to have them!

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Check out more photos here!


Brooklyn’s beloved Black Taxi will be performing a special “farewell for now” show, as Austin, Texas scoops them up for the next couple of months.  Though we’ll miss them dearly, NY is happy to share some of the best with TX.  The band will be performing every Wednesday  at The Parish in Austin for a FREE residency from February 6 through March   as well as composing some new material.

Tonight we say our temporary goodbye’s at Public Assembly with the help of Echosuite, Yazan, and a bounty of DJ’s to groove to.  The show is bound to sell out, so get there early to grab tickets! Doors at 8pm, $12, 21+.

Brooklyn’s The Gypsy West will officially welcome the release of their EP, “Accomplices III: No Barcodes,” the third installment of their album triology, at The Trash Bar in Williamsburg TONIGHT!

Narrating the path of a modern revolution over the course of the three EP’s, The Gypsy West create  groove-ridden, funky, genre-bending, fusion rock to accompany the chronicle.  “Changing” launches “No Barcodes,” modulating musically to match impassioned harmonies and the three album’s motifs.  “On the Watch (Part I-IV)” escalates from snare and guitar/bass rumblings into “On the Watch (Part V-XII)” with horns and waltzing beats. The grand horns introduce eerie interlude, “Accomplices,” which transitions into intricately dynamic “There Are Rules” (below).  The EP exhales into enchanting and haunting “The Witching Hour,” bringing the EP and its predecessors to a graceful close.  “No Barcodes” can be heard in full here, but you can here the real thing on the 25th along with King Cake, Jerseyband and Bangladeafy! Doors at 7pm, 21+, and don’t forget to “get your warpaint on!”

Tonight, Rocker Stalker hosts another line up at Arlene’s Grocery! This is the third installment, and given how much you all know I love three’s, I’m hoping this one is the best night yet! This evening includes NJ’s singer songwriter Superstar Runner, heavy and swaggering Coalition, the sassy sounds of The Tye Trybe, bluesy rock of The Dead Exs, and dancy and spacey Sterling Infinity and the Evolution.  Bottom line is, get your dancing shoes on and get yourselves to Arlene’s Grocery for music from 7pm on! 21+, $8.  See you tonight!




Boston-based two-piece, electro-outfit, Stereo Telescope, divided between Kurt Schneider (vocals, Ableton, live programming, Juno 6, Moog Taurus ii, Thingamagoop, Pocket Piano, glockenspiel, guitar, bass) and Nikki Dessingue (vocals, MicroKorg, Theremin, hand percussion), have been gathering force on the indie scene for the past three years.

Now, the duo is armed with a brand new, debut record,  On and Running, which drops officially on January 29.  The release is fraught with shoegaze sensations,  bright synths, and bubbly blips, beeps, and beats, showcasing Kurt and Nikki’s knack for  crafting contagious electro-pop tunes.    They will be celebrating their record release twofold on January 25  at Great Scott/The Pill  in Boston and February 2 at Pianos in New York.  Dancing shoes are recommended.

You can pre-order On and Running on 140 gram white vinyl as part of a limited first pressing of 500 copies (with digital download cards) here.   Check out the duo’s first video for single, “Fires,” below.

Rocker Stalker had a chance to catch up with Nikki and get the scoop on the album and all things Stereo Telescope, so read on!


Now,  some words from Nikki…

 How did the two of you meet? What drove you to start a band together?

Kurt and I were in bands that ran with the same crowd, so we’d met many times at local shows and played on bills together.  He was working on an electronic project on the side and asked me to add some vocals to a track he was finishing.  That track became “Geography” and we liked working together so much we formed this duo.

Where did the name Stereo Telescope originate?

It kinda came together randomly, I really liked the idea of a band name with Telescope involved but couldn’t think of anything to make it click.  When I told Kurt, he immediately suggested Stereo, and we loved it.  We often tend to compliment each other really well like that.

    Did you face any challenges while recording your newest record, On and Running?

It was a pretty long process of evolving songs we’ve collaborated on for the duration of the band, so there are difficulties that come with finding your sound and how to present a live electronic set.  The album tracks Kurt’s progress with different programs (moving from writing with ProTools to learning to write and perform Ableton Live) as well as us getting better at blending our voices, tweaking tempos and arrangements, and redoing things on that level.  It really came to fruition when he settled on our current way of doing things.  So, with this type of music and this type of album and being new to performing electronic music, things changed along with the process of Kurt learning the software and the album reflects those challenges.

 What is the story behind “Fires” and the concept of the single’s video?

Kurt had that great ambient synth hook kicking around and when he started to develop it into a song, it immediately inspired the verse melodies and we sat down trying to work out a lyrical concept.  The lyrical and vocal melody of “Fires” was really collaborative, it’s a great example of us putting our heads together and coming up with content that represents both of our perspectives on the same concept.  So, it’s pretty fitting that the video came together as a slice of time in our everyday lives.  The director, Sean Corbut, had reached out about including us in a video project he is working on and was kind enough to use some B roll to create that video for us.  It all kind of fell together perfectly.

What is your favorite tour story?

Our first tour was unintended, haha.  Kurt’s band at the time had broken up right before heading out to SXSW and orphaned their fully booked tour.  So, he contacted all the venues and we jumped in a sedan with our good friend/solo artist Daniel Harris, and we took on a 3 week tour in that tiny car.  Before leaving we had to finish 6 songs and get them stage ready within just a couple months.  It was a wild time, and often really stressful.  Kurt had many a wrestling match with the computer system programming all of that.  We pulled it off though, and I doubt we’ll ever get to do something like that again, it was a great time.

 For people who don’t know you yet, what would you like them to know most about your band?

We just love to have a good time on and off stage, and if you come see us or buy our record grab a friend and a beer and hopefully you will too!

What was your most rewarding moment of 2012? What do you have planned for 2013?

Most rewarding moment of 2012 was probably listening to our test pressing for the first time and realizing we’re really putting out our first vinyl!  It’s happening! In 2013 we plan to play out as much as we can, and record and put out another album ASAP!


Tonight, Brooklyn forces come together for the late show at Mercury Lounge.  Three-piece rock composers, Apollo Run, and alt-rock quintet, Midnight Spin, will be playing some tunes starting at 10:30pm.  It also is a release party for Midnight Spin’s new record, Don’t Let Me Sleep, which got some love on Rolling Stone yesterday! All who show up tonight get a FREE copy!  See you all tonight and have rock your way into the weekend. 10:30pm doors, 21+, $10.



Last month/last year, Brooklyn born bands conquered the Studio at Webster Hall on December 20.

Soulful and precocious quartet, The Skins, rocked beyond their ages and are set to tour France next month (congrats!).  Catch them this Friday at Highline Ballroom before they head overseas.

Headlining the Studio was Viva Mayday, who shook the venue walls  with their surf-blues-reggae-rock, delving into their current album, Consuela, testing out a few newbies on the crowd, and passingwith flying colors. Check out some photos from the show and video of Viva Mayday’s  yet-to-be-released “Stupefied” below.