Posts Tagged ‘new york’

Looking back on 2013, there have been innumerable musical memories I could retell. Traveling to 4 different cities for¬† SXSW, Coachella, Music Midtown, and CMJ festivals, meeting some of my favorite musicians, attending Live on Letterman, and hosting over 25 “Rocker Stalker presents” shows, to name a few, ¬†all in all, these 5 releases (singles, EP’s, records) made the most impact on my 2013 music experience.

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1)¬†Queens¬†of the Stone Age-¬†…Like Clockwork:¬†Queens of the Stone Age¬†don’t need another itty bitty blog telling cyberspace how great they are, but I’m going to do it any way. Their sixth studio album¬†…Like Clockwork¬†is a masterpiece that represents everything that is wonderful about the band and modern rock for that matter: depth, darkness, charm, sass, and ingenious melodies, lyrics, and instrumentation. And, did I mention the incredible album artwork by Boneface? It was also fashioned into animated videos to accompany track teasers and concert backdrops, a badass collaboration to say the least. ¬†According to sources, and to make a long story short, lead vocalist/guitarist Josh Homme was pulled out of a deep depression and encouraged to write the album¬† by bandmates, after being bed ridden for four months due to a surgery complication. In a way, I think the album pulled me out of a lot of hard times, and returned the pep in my step, not to get TOO personal. ¬†From the ominous “Keep Your Eyes Peeled,” bubbly yet thematically heavy “I Sat By the Ocean,” anthemic and balladic “The Vampyre of Time and Memory,” dancy “If I Had a Tail,” sultry and bluesy “Smooth Sailing,” and hearfelt and poignant title track, QOTSA nailed it with this record. Seeing the band perform the album in its entirety on¬†Live on Letterman¬†in June, meeting Homme and newly adopted¬†drummer Jon Theodore, aka “Mr. Handsome,” at Music Midtown, and catching the band live in Boston and Brooklyn, drove the point home about the greatness behind the tunes. ¬†Get yourself a copy of¬†…Like Clockwork¬†and check out the interactive video for¬†“The Vampyre of Time and Memory.”¬†¬†The album is¬†up for three Grammy’s (not shocking)…fingers are crossed!

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2)¬†Reignwolf- Two-way tie between “Are You Satisfied?”/ “In the Dark:”¬†OK, so if you’ve met me, you know what a diehard fan I am of Saskatoon-born, Seattle-based blues rock band¬†Reignwolf.¬†I fell in love with this act last year at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC and experienced their jaw-dropping performances and Jordan Cook’s epic guitar shredding (think Stevie Ray Vaughan meets Jimi Hendrix meets Eddie Van Halen) about a dozen times since, rain or shine. Just in this past year or so,¬†the trio’s notoriety has grown exponentially, and deservingly so. Hitting every major festival on the circuit and flooring every person they’ve played to in their path, the only thing that was missing was music people could actually¬†own. When I got the news that¬†“Are You Satisfied?”¬†was available in August (during Lollapalooza), it was like hearing that Guns ‘n Roses’¬†Chinese Democracy¬†was FINALLY here, but this time, with a better and more, well, satisfying outcome. The anticipation for released music continued, made stronger by their insane September shows in support of the Pixies, and my prayers were answered a few months later when Reignwolf premiered¬†“In The Dark” on Rolling Stone. This is blues and¬†rock ‘n roll at its finest. Reignwolf gives hope that rock still has a heartbeat; they are reinvigorating the appreciation for the genre and¬†I, along with thousands of others, cannot wait for the full-length to arrive! ¬†Check out¬†“Are You Satisfied?” and¬†“In the Dark,”¬†and be on the lookout as Reignwolf takes over the world. Next stop: spring tour with Black Sabbath.¬†

arctic-monkeys-am-cover3)¬†Arctic Monkeys,¬†AM:¬†Album number five from¬†these Englishmen is totally unexpected, but in a superb way.¬† Not abandoning their spunky and punky Brit-pop/rock roots, Arctic Monkeys¬†take a different turn on their 2013 release AM. ¬†I’ve been a fan since their debut record¬†Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not¬†and sophomore album¬†Favourite Worst Nightmare.¬†Though I lost touch with the band’s goings-on for a few years (sorry), I’m glad I caught wind of AM. ¬†Showcasing their sultry and sexy side, Arctic Monkeys channel blues, R&B, and hip hop, while weaving their signature bounciness in with aching, seductive lyrics. From pulsating ‚ÄúDo I Wanna Know?‚ÄĚ yearning rock track ‚ÄúR U Mine?,‚ÄĚ smooth, hip-sway-inducing ‚ÄúOne for the Road,‚ÄĚ Motown-esque ‚ÄúFireside,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúWhy‚Äôd You Only Call Me When You‚Äôre High?‚ÄĚ(my personal favorite), grooving ‚ÄúKnee Socks,‚ÄĚ and clever, slinky closer ‚ÄúI Wanna Be Yours,‚ÄĚ AM is the burlesque dancer of records fraught with enticing tunes. I missed my opportunity to see the band live in Atlanta, but I hope I get a second chance when they rock Madison Square Garden in February.¬† ¬†Get romantic with AM. ¬†Peep the official video for ‚ÄúWhy‚Äôd You Only Call Me When You‚Äôre High?‚ÄĚ

black-sabbath-13-13702857354)¬†Black Sabbath,¬†13:¬†¬† Appropriately named for its June 2013 release, 13 demonstrates Black Sabbath‚Äôs relevance, even after 40+ years of existence, multiple line-up changes, and now, 19 studio albums. Combining the best of both Ozzy Osbourne‚Äôs style, ranging from mania to sentimental ballads, Tony Iommi‚Äôs heavy, driving, and penetrating guitar riffs, and grave topics, 13 gets down to serious rock business from the first power chord of ‚ÄúEnd of the Beginning.‚ÄĚ Followed by highlight tracks, ¬†doomy ‚ÄúGod is Dead?,‚ÄĚ super-Sabbathy ‚ÄúLoner,‚ÄĚ creeping ‚ÄúZeitgeist,‚ÄĚ epic ‚ÄúAge of Reason,‚ÄĚ stealthy ‚ÄúDamaged Soul,‚ÄĚ pounding ‚ÄúDear Father,‚ÄĚ and dynamic ‚ÄúMethademic,‚ÄĚ 13 ¬†is a head banger‚Äôs delight. ¬†I‚Äôm thrilled these heavy metal pioneers are still going, and I‚Äôm looking forward to seeing them for the first time in March at Barclays! 13 is up for three Grammy‚Äôs too, so get listening!

blacktaxi_chiaroscurocover5)¬†Black Taxi,¬†Chiaroscuro:¬†Brooklyn-based¬†band¬†Black Taxi, who has been in my top favorites for over half a decade, have made leaps and bounds since first I first lay ears on them. This past September, they released their ultra-dancy EP¬†Chiaroscuro,¬†follow up to their 2012 album¬†We Don’t Know Any Better,¬†showing off the band’s knack for ‚Äúdance music without laptops.‚Ä̬† ¬†Though you wouldn‚Äôt peg the quartet as a typical ‚Äúrock‚ÄĚ act, they definitely ROCK at what they do and hold true to real guitar solos and contagious drum beats that can whip both rock ‚Äėn rollers and club goers into a frenzy. ¬†Ever-so-energetic and charismatic on stage, Black Taxi continue to impress with their live shows and grooveable tracks. ¬†Chiaroscuro¬†showcases those ‘electro’-buildups, that break into danceable choruses that we all know and love, maintaining the band’s reputation as one of the top NY acts and most fun performances! ¬†Check out¬†Chiaroscuro¬†here,¬†and if you’re in the neighborhood for New Year’s Eve (that‚Äôs tonight!), come dance the night away with Black Taxi at Mercury Lounge!

Runners up: ¬†Compass EP by Brandon Boyd, ‚ÄúSatisfied,‚ÄĚ single by The Wans, “Tell Me Why” video by Butcher Knives, ‚ÄúRosemary‚ÄĚ video by Deftones, self-titled EP by Isle of Rhodes, and Reflector by Arcade Fire.

Happy new year! See you on January 3 at Bar Matchless and January 17 at Bowery Electric!

Today is the day! It’s Rocker Stalker’s CMJ kick-off at Spike Hill in Williamsburg! The “Wake the Rock Up”¬†showcase features¬†Shady Elders (CO), The Tye Trybe (NY), Crush Distance (NY), Cadaver Dogs (OH), The Phuss(TX), STRNGRS (NY), and Black Wing Halo (NY)¬† and¬†It’s a¬†FREE! ¬†

Doors at 12pm, runs til 6pm! Check out the Facebook invitation for set times!

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Greetings music lovers! It’s that time of year again when bands and music industry folk infiltrate New York City for the annual CMJ Music Marathon! This year, Rocker Stalker is taking the “marathon” very seriously, with THREE official and amazing showcases featuring top bands from five states!

First up, on Wednesday, 10/16, the “Wake the Rock Up” showcase features¬†Shady Elders (CO), The Tye Trybe (NY), Crush Distance (NY), Cadaver Dogs (OH), The Phuss(TX), STRNGRS (NY), and Black Wing Halo (NY)¬†at¬†Spike Hill in Brooklyn. It’s a¬†FREE day show from¬†12pm-6pm. Check out the Facebook invitation for¬†set times!

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Thursday, 10/17, Rocker Stalker is back at Bar Matchless, this time for the “Loud and Proud” CMJ showcase with some evening shenanigans and debauchery brought to you by Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs (TX), Isle of Rhodes (NY), The VeeVees (NY), Cadaver Dogs (OH), The Battery Electric (NJ), The Tye Trybe (NY), The Phuss (TX), and Midnight Spin (NY). ¬†Come rock from 6pm-12am! Invite your friends here.

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The Rocker Stalker finale takes place on¬†Saturday, October 19 at¬†SPiN New York¬†in Manhattan (Fun fact, this club is owned by Susan Surandon.). The “Rock Steady”¬†CMJ showcase keeps the andrenaline going with¬†Raccoon Fighter (NY),¬†The Courtesy Tier (NY), Isle of Rhodes (NY), The Epilogues (CO), The Phuss(TX), The Hsu-Nami (NY/NJ), and¬†The Black Clouds (NJ). ¬†Come close your CMJ the right way! RSVP here!
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Lucky number 13! Rocker Stalker’s only got a few shows left at Bar Matchless, but that doesn’t mean there’s any slowing down. ¬†TONIGHT, September 6, come on out and rock with New Jersey artists Philip Lynch, Casual Shot, The Battery Electric, and Young Rising Sons.

Per usual, it’s 21+ and $10. Doors at 7pm!

RSVP here, and check out photos from the last TWO Rocker Stalker events at Matchles on 8/22 and Mercury Lounge on 8/28!

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Not long ago, I had posted¬†BLACK TAXI‘s single “House on Fire” (which has gotten some high praise from MTV Buzzworthy) from their forthcoming Chiaroscuro EP. A product of the band’s¬†three-month stint in Austin prior to SXSW, the EP is finally ready to drop on September 10!¬†¬† For all those curious, “chiaroscuro,” as defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary, is, “a¬†:¬†the arrangement or treatment of light and dark parts in a pictorial work of art;¬†b¬†:¬†the interplay or contrast of dissimilar qualities (as of mood or character).” ¬†

An appropriate title, the Brooklyn-based quartet’s newest EP takes a turn for a much dancier (if you can believe it), ¬†synth-heavy, electro-based, 80s-inspired sound, tinged with dark, quirky edges. ¬†Jumpstarting with “The Runner,”¬†the EP opens with ringing guitars that build with twinkling synths that erupt into dance grooves swirling through ethereal reverb and blips and beeps. ¬†“Gone” slinks and swings with haunting and jazzy trumpet lines ¬†and is driven by choruses of hypnotic chants, ¬†disco-esque beats, and epic guitar solos (think Journey). ¬†“Can’t Stop Shaking” pulsates with robotic vibes and single, “House on Fire,”is the anthemic ¬†dance number that rounds out the release. ¬†BLACK TAXI also includes some special bonus music, remixes of “House on Fire” by SoundSAM No Time ¬†and ¬†“Can’t Stop Shaking” by Soul Puncherz for the true club goer.¬†

The four piece will be welcoming Chiaroscuro at their official release show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on September 10, where they will be opening for another “taxi” band, MOON TAXI. Grab your tickets here! blacktaxi_chiarscuroPHOTOIn case you didn’t get to check out “House on Fire,” listen below!

This Thursday, it’s the tenth in Rocker Stalker’s series at Bar Matchless in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. ¬†Besides being another rockin’ show, it’s one of the band’s album release show! Congrats to The Toxic Femmes on their new record! ¬†To help them celebrate, we have fellow NYC’r’s The Early Universe is Entirely Opaque, The Hsu-Nami, and The Courtesy Tier taking the stage tonight,¬†Thursday,¬†July 18. ¬†Doors at 7pm, 21+, $10!

RSVP on Facebook here!  

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Boston-based rock ‘n rollers, Dead Boots (formerly TAB the Band) are set to release their full-length album, Ver√≥nica,¬†Tuesday, 7/16. ¬†They will be celebrating on¬†7/17 at Mercury Lounge, and they are ¬†giving out digital downloads of the new record to everyone at the show. The quartet will be joined by fellow rockers, Brooklyn-based Midnight Spin.¬†¬†In anticipation of Ver√≥nica,¬†Dead Boots welcomed a music video for the track¬†“Saturdays” (directed and featuring a cameo by comedian Dave Hill), which you can view below along with two additional tracks from the new record!

Make sure to get tickets to their New York release show here.

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This past weekend was an indulgent one, setting aside two nights for one of my favorite artists, Canandians-turned-Seattlites, Reignwolf, who I’ve mentioned several times since seeing them perform last year in New York. ¬†This time, the power blues rock trio took NYC’s Irving Plaza by storm, as part of their east coast tour and after party for Governor’s Ball. ¬†The rain that came with Reignwolf did not stop fans from venturing out to the festival that, from what I understand, was an epic rock show that ended in the mud. ¬† Surviving the flood and ferry ride (Vocalist/guitarist Jordan Cook mentioned his horoscope predicted “a tragic boating accident will soon claim the lives of the lead singer, guitarist, and drummer of your one-man band.”), a drier venue welcomed them on Friday evening where they joined fellow threepiece, 80’s rock icons, Dinosaur Jr., who demonstrated more stamina than most people half their ages and shook the venue with more than an hour and a half of hazy, loud rock. It was the perfect combination; bands from different eras showcasing the longevity of guitar-heavy rock ‘n roll. ¬†Here’s Reignwolf shredding at Irving, seguing from a take on Moby’s “Natural Blues” into ¬†a RW original, “Into the Dark.” ¬†I don’t need to speak much for this video…and check out some pictures too!¬† The Reignweekend continued Sunday evening. I made the trek to Philly’s Ortlieb’s Lounge, had some cheesesteaks and energized for the impending, unapologetic rock out. The show got going with Philly/Tristate area-based Satellite Hearts, who, though youthful, sounded beyond their years with classic rock vibes and prococious chops. ¬†They called Reignwolf, “Beowolf,” which added a bit of comic relief and continued the string of hilarious misnamings of the ¬†act (They had been called “Reignworm” when being booked at Irving Plaza). Speaking of Reignworm/Beowolf/Reignwolf, there was no mistaking the awesome spectacle that was their performance. With a smaller venue came a much more intimate show, fusing the band and crowd with an electric set. ¬† Starting out solo, ¬†playing a single kickdrum while singing and wailing on guitar, Cook drew the crowd in before adding bandmates Stitch on bass and Joseph Braley on drums, ¬†who ¬†pummeled the stage and pulled out all the stops. Cook lept on and off his kick drum, reigning (literally) over the audience with his guitar, while Stitch made his way into audience for a friendly jam out. ¬†Favorites of the night included “In the Dark,” “Electric Love” (video below), and a rarely performed cover of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy,” during which Cook made his way over to the drumkit to sing, play guitar with one hand, and drum with the other. ¬†The night was unforgettable, and definitely proves why Reignwolf is making huge impressions wherever they go. ¬†They’ll be rocking and ruling at NXNE, Lollapalooza, Squamish Festival, and Austin City Limits, just to name a few stops on their tour. ¬† All I can say is HELL YEAH. Keep it up guys! Here’s a look back on Sunday!

 

The past two days have been a blast to say the least, and they’re just the beginning of a music-packed month.

Tuesday, June 4, upon boarding the lovely boat, Circleline Queens, I knew I was in for a pretty memorable evening with LA’s The Bronx. A feisty punk rock band, a rediculously high-energy, moshing crowd in a room with 7-foot ceilings, AND a view of Manhattan from the water? Rocking and romantic. NY’s Vagina Panther, lady-led, speedy, metal band set a good pace for what was to come. The Bronx hit the deck running, full throttle, blasting through a set ranging from their “I”-“IV” records. Although they joked about it being the “last Bronx show on a boat,” they were probably right when crowd-surfing fans kicked in the ceiling, forcing guards to dismantle pieces of the boat’s first floor. But, hey, it’s a rock show. What did they expect? ¬†Here’s a taste of the ceiling’s demise and some pics!

Last night, I was lucky enough to see Queens of the Stone Age LIVE ON LETTERMAN. The band doesn’t need my help promoting it, but I have to point out how much I love their new record …Like Clockwork¬†that officially (and finally) dropped this past Tuesday. ¬†Full of dark love songs, grabbing melodies, and signature sultriness, QOTSA’s sixth album might be in my tops, especially of 2013. ¬†Letterman was indeed a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the band played almost an hour of new songs accompanied by stunning, ghoulish visuals, masterminded by Boneface, and ¬†projected on the backdrop. ¬†The artwork also serves as a sort of animated graphic “novel,” and can be sampled¬†here in this album promo. Though the show felt too short, even with the encore, “Little Sister,” I couldn’t have left the Ed Sullivan Theater feeling any more satisfied. ¬†You can stream the performance on CBS.com, but here’s my little video of “Smooth Sailing,” and some photos! And to all you lucky Brooklynites, enjoy their show tomorrow!

Tonight, Brooklyn’s alt-rockers Midnight Spin take the stage at the fancy and spacious Gramercy Theatre! Joined by fellow Brooklynites Country Mice and Minneapolis-based The4ontheFloor in support of Chicago’s Filligar, this lineup showcases a solid handful of nationwide rock.

Come on out to midtown and kickstart the summer! Doors at 7pm, 16+, and tickets here or at the door.