Wednesday, September 29, 2010

As Tall As Lions Calling it Quits

It is with great sadness and surprise that I write that one my favorite bands, As Tall As Lions are calling it quits. The band wrote on their Myspace page:
After eight years of music, friendship, laughter, adventure, bliss, blood, sweat, tears, and everything else that goes along with it, As Tall As Lions are retiring for the foreseeable future. There is no sadness on our side, and we hope there is none on yours. We will be playing a handful of shows across the country to try and give everyone an opportunity to see us one last time.
12/17: Los Angeles - The Troubadour
12/19: Chicago - Lincoln Hall
12/21: New York City - Highline Ballroom

The best band to come from Long Island, formed in 2002 and released three beautiful records through the years, we here at Officially a Yuppie have been covering the band since the release of their sophomore self titled disc which was named one of the best records of 2006 and one of the best records of the decade. Their last record, You Can't Take It With You, which was released last year was named one of the best albums of the year.

My love affair with this band began when I was a music director at my college radio station, WQAQ at Quinnipiac University in 2005. The band was doing an in studio acoustic set and it fell on a day where I was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, we were holding our annual Spring Concert which featured The Bouncing Souls, The Loved Ones, Let it Burn and others. While I was running around doing work, one of the DJ's pulled me aside and said to sit in and listen to this band play. It was only singer Daniel Nigro and guitarist Saen Fitzgerald performing, but I was blown away. That night as tired and worn out as I was, I bought their debut, Lafcadio off Amazon and never regretted it since. When I started this site in the fall of 2006, they had just released their sophomore epic and we have been every step of the way since then. This is a sad day for music, as this was one of the most exciting bands to watch and listen to. I wish them all the best of luck on future endeavors and also would like to take the time to reach out and say, please reconsider.

We have covered the band at numerous gigs and I had the honor of interviewing drummer Cliff Sarconia about the making of You Can't Take It With You and singer Daniel Nigro after the success of the record. You can also bet your ass we will be covering their final Highline gig, through hell or high water, we will be there for one last hurrah!

Take a look at our review from Highline in 2007 HERE
Take a look at our review from Bowery Ballroom in 2009 HERE
Take a look at our review from Westbury in 2009 HERE

Read our interview with Cliff HERE
Read our interview with Dan HERE

Quick News

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong made his Broadway debut last night acting in the American Idiot musical based on his band's mega successful 2004 record. Billie Joe is taking on the role of drug dealer St. Jimmy in the play and will only be doing performances this week.

After years of rumors and development, Nine Inch Nails 2007 record, Year Zero will finally be turned into a television epic for HBO. The show will be produced by Trent Reznor, HBO and BBC Worldwide. It will be penned by Carinval writer Daniel Knauf. No word as to when Year Zero the series will hit TV, but the plot is to be set 15-20 years into the future in a post apocalyptic society. Reznor in the meantime is a very busy man with recording the full length of his latest band, How to Destroy Angels and his score for The Social Network will be heard this Friday when it opens in theaters worldwide.

While they are just hitting the road to support their debut, The Places We Run From, Tired Pony the band featuring REM's Peter Buck and Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody will head back into the studio in February to record their follow up.

Incubus are set to play a charity concert for the families of the Chilean miners. The miners have been trapped in a mine since June. The gig happens Oct 8 in Santiago, Chile.

My Chemical Romance have released the track listing to their forthcoming album, Danger Days; True Lives of Fabulous Killjoys. Take a look at the track listing below, the album arrives Nov 22.
'Look Alive, Sunshine'
'Na Na Na'
'Planetary (Go!)'
'The Only Hope For Me Is You'
'Jet-Star And The Kobra Kid / Traffic Report'
'Party Poison'
'Save Yourself, I'll Hold Them Back'
'The Scarecrow Blues'
'Anytime You Want'
'The Kids From Yesterday'
'Goodnite Dr Death'
'Vampire Money'

More Rescues Live at the Troubador

Just last month we showed you exclusive footage of The Rescues live at the Troubador, here is more footage from that event! Keep your ear on this band, do not sleep on them!

Also take a listen to our interview with The Rescues from June!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Since the fall or hiatus or break up, whatever it maybe (each member calls it a different thing) of Bloc Party, we have seen front man Kele Okereke storm into the clubs on a successful solo tour. Drummer Matt Tong is taking a break from music, bassist Gordon Moakes formed a band called Young Legionnaire and guitarist Russell Lissack is playing in the band Pin Me Down. Pin Me Down actually formed while Bloc Party were still in existence, Russell along with Black Mustache singer Melina Mepris started the band for fun in 2007 and found that they had something aside from just a gag. The band has released a few EP's and this past spring released their self titled debut, I had the chance to speak with Melina about recording, working with Russell and the band's style. Take a look at my interview with Melina below..

How did you and Russell come together to form Pin Me Down?

My former band Black Moustache opened up for Bloc Party in NYC before BP released their first album. Their manager had called me, asking if their guitarist could borrow my amp at the gig, so I turned up at sound check and the guitarist in need was Russell. Russell and I started talking about guitars, gear, and music we liked and he’d had never been to NY before so we became friends from there. We started writing music together several months later, when he was in NY for a longer stint, just as an experiment, but we liked the results.

Was it a bit nerve-racking working with Russell from Bloc Party?

Well, when I met him, he was a guitarist in a band that had released a really promising EP, but Bloc Party wasn’t the big name that it is now. I was also in a band and we’d also recently released an album, so there wasn’t a huge discrepancy between us as people or in our experiences playing music. That said, it’s been really nice seeing my friend work hard and reach crazy heights with his band and perform in amazing places to rapturous approval. It couldn’t have happened to nicer people.

After playing in Black Moustache, how is this project much more diverse from your last? Or is it?

Black Moustache was part of the electroclash movement and Spencer Product [the NYC DJ] was the singer and local downtown legend. The music was electronic, but gritty with big riffs and the songs had a sense of humor. While I was in Black Moustache, I started writing pop songs with Russell for a girl to sing – I knew the songs weren’t right for Black Moustache, so we formed Pin Me Down as an outlet for these songs. It wasn’t something serious. It was just something fun to do in between our regular music schedules. Incorporating elements of “Pop” music in rock really wasn’t popular at that time

What was it like recording your debut?

The most difficult aspect was the scheduling and getting the two of us in room together for more than a day at a time. We’ve written a lot of songs so we had to narrow down about 12 to record and then fine-tune them in the studio. It was fun but stressful. We did most of the recording in 2 weeks with overdubs afterwards, but then went back in the studio a second time to record some more songs.

The band has been active on and off since 2007, why did it take so long to record your debut?

Again, scheduling was the main problem. We’d finish some recording and then Russell would be gone for a year on tour with Bloc Party and at the same time, I’ve also been busy in graduate school for the last 2 years. We were both proud of Pin Me Down and wanted to be available and involved with the record release. So we had a to wait for a time when we could both be there to promote and perform.

Your music and style is very fun, how much fun are you having being in this band?

Well, one of our aims with this project was to make a fun record; pop music for rock kids, music that people could dance to. I spent a lot of time writing dark, depressed rock songs so this was a conscious move to do something else. I grew up listening to female musicians like Patti Smith, Chrissie Hyde, and Courtney Love and skipped 80s pop singers completely. When Russell told me that my voice reminded him of Cyndi Lauper and Kate Bush and I started listening to both of those ladies, I began to see how I could use emotion and a pop vulnerability to sing for this project. It is fun to rock out on stage playing these songs; it’s definitely different from our main projects.

How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you before?

I like to call it “apocalyptic pop”…. What would it sound like to be a diamond in the rough, or the last sparkly object amidst a landscape of destruction?

We have seen a slew of male and female duo’s over the past few years, acts like The White Stripes, The Kills, Blood Red Shoes. How is Pin Me Down different from those acts and what do you bring to the table that they do not?

Ummm… I like all of the bands that you mention. The boy-girl combination wasn’t really a planned strategy – we were friends that liked to make music together. Because of the type of music we wanted to make, it made sense for me to sing and Russell is such a good guitarist and instrumentalist that we didn’t want him to hide in the background, so we thought it would make the most sense to make PMD a duo. We looked up to classic acts like the Eurhythmics, where both members are equally important.

Do you think it was odd for Russell to go from being a world famous headlining band like Bloc Party, and starting off at square one again as openers for acts like Yeasayer and others?

I really can’t answer that for him, but in my experience, there’s something special about playing new material in smaller venues where you can see the expressions on people’s faces and whether something is amusing or repelling the audience. I feel like that’s often where my most fulfilling performances unfold.

Quick News

REM have wrapped up work on their on their 15th studio album. The band worked with producer Jacknife Lee, who produced the band's last release and 2008's best album, Accelerate. REM's still untitled new disc will arrive in the spring.

After Adam Kessler abruptly left The Drums, the band have called on long time friend, Tom Haslow to replace Kessler on guitar. Still no word as to why Kessler left the band, the band also admits that Haslow is not a permanent member of the band...just yet.

Guitar virtuoso Johnny Marr is set to release an obscure 60's cover as a charity single to benefit the British charity Centrepoint. Marr covered the song "Tendency To Be Free" which was first released by little-known band Rabbit Mackay in 1969. The single will appear on a charity compilation called Key to Change.

Cee-Lo has pushed up the release date of his latest disc, The Ladykilla. Instead of being released in December, The Ladykilla will now be released on November 4.

Surprise, surprise...Stone Temple Pilots have been forced to postpone their current North American tour after singer Scott Weiland appeared drunk and was slurring his words and making bizarre rants at a show in Houston last week. Weiland, who has battled addiction since before the band formed, was apparently clean and sober since they released their latest record this past summer. We spoke to his ex-wife Mary Forsberg Weiland earlier this year as she discussed her addictions along with Scott's, take a look HERE.

Jimmy Eat World on Letterman

Jimmy Eat World made their return to TV this week, performing "My Best Theory" off their forthcoming record Invented. Take a look!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Live Review - Atari Teenage Riot @ Gramercy Theater

In the same week that the UN would gather in New York to discuss the problems of the world, one of the most volatile political acts would take the stage in New York for the first time in over a decade. On their first headlining tour since 1999, Germany’s Atari Teenage Riot came armed and ready to fire at the first stop of their North American tour. Atari Teenage Riot disbanded in 2000 and is currently celebrating a reunion that started last fall in the UK. The last time New York saw Atari Teenage Riot it was in venues like CBGB’s and Limelight, both have gone and turned into fashion stores, also ATR were joined by founding member Carl Crack. Crack died of a drug overdose in 2001 and the band is currently working and touring with Nine Inch Nails, Kanye West and Saul Williams collaborator CX Kidtronik. Though lineups and places may have changed, the band’s message of anarchy and disdain for politicians is still the same. With that, the band could have not picked a better time to come back to the city that never sleeps. Forming just after the Berlin wall fell, the band hit their prime of the mid 90’s, they pioneered a sound called “Digital Hardcore,” taking industrial sounds (think those of Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, Ministry) and fused it with a trial hardcore punk message and lyrical approach. As the band’s rise around the world grew, so did the controversy around them. With internal struggles the band called it quits in 2000 and after 10 years, they are back together and just as hard and heavy as ever.
Arriving on stage, the members of ATR; Kidtronik, programmer and singer Nic Endo and front man and musical mastermind Alec Empire began their explosive set with their latest single “Activate,” and did just that. As the crowd, who never thought they would see this band get back together, savored every moment the band was just a pulse pounding sonic assault of hard and heavy beats and screaming vocals. Burning through their set list, which included “With No Remorse,” “No Success,” “Delete Yourself” and culminated into an hour of just non-stop performance. While the members of the band would take turns behind the programming decks and sing their verses, the crowd was in pure awe. It was everything they hoped and waited it would be. The band seemed as fresh and as severe as they were in their prime, even their latest addition Kidtronik fit the band like a glove, and you would have thought he was with the band since the beginning. After an hour of non stop playing and dancing on stage, the outspoken Alec Empire would introduce his band mates and call on the audience to rise up against their governments, saying “all governments murderers and support the corporations more than their people,” before breaking into the song that got them censored and banned in their native Germany “Burn, Berlin Burn.” With a brutal hour and a half set, the crowd, exhausted but entertained applauded the band and is now waiting for the next return. However, for a reunion like this, a gig like this is a moment that could never be repeated.

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September is winding down (can't believe it!) and here is a list of tracks we have be banging.

- Belle & Sebastian - "Write About Love"
- NERD w/ Nelly Furtado - "Hot and Cold"
- Fanfarlo - "Luna"
- Q-Tip - "You"
- The Specials - "Free Nelson Mandela"
- Living Colour - "An Open Letter to my Landlord"
- Gaslight Anthem - "Boxer"
- Social Distortion - "Ball and Chain"
- Arcade Fire - "Month of May"
- How to Destroy Angels - "BBB"
- Bjork - "The Comet Song"
- Band of Horses - "Laredo"
- Codeine Velvet Club - "Vanity Kills"
- Massive Attack - "United Snakes"
- Pearl Jam - "Yellow Ledbetter"
- Foals - "This Orient"
- U2 - "New York"
- K'Naan - "Wavin' Flag"
- Kanye West - "Power'
- Lady Gaga - "Alejandro"
- The Postelles - "123 Stop"

Live Review - Jay-Z & Eminem @ Yankee Stadium

Jay-Z & Eminem 9/15/10 by Ramone Pesante*

and Eminem’s collaboration at Yankee Stadium is by far the closest
you’ll ever get to Woodstock in the Bronx. Not since Rage Against
the Machine
and Wu Tang Clan toured together have we seen two highly
talented but drastically different performers take the same stage. I
strongly emphasize the word “different” because these pioneers of
hip-hop represent two different spectrums, yet they are capable of
generating the same diverse appeal by the thousands.

I must say, it’s tricky to choose the perfect opening act for two of
the most highly celebrated hip-hop artists of all time. The decision
to go with B.O.B. was safe. His eccentric mix of rap, techno, rock,
and funk provided just enough to keep the crowd mildly entertained.
He led a powerless performance with his acoustic band that barely kept
my head rocking. A generic opening act was followed by an unnecessary
performance by J-Cole. Here we are, writing to see Eminem perform, and
we get this self-entitled snot-nosed whipper-snapper rapping about “A
Star is Born.” But the kid hasn’t even established an album yet!

Eminem took us on a musical journey from a young angry reject,
struggling for acceptance, to a superstar with staying power.
He stepped on stage performing, “Won’t Back Down,” my favorite track
off his latest album. His set list gave a strong indication that he
was avoiding the more disastrous tracks of his career. Performing
limited tracks from Relapse and Encore, focusing more on
Recovery and his earlier work. Tapping into the more immature days
for the sake of his old crew, D12, we watched his alter ego, Slim
Shady, prance around the stage rapping about things that contradict
Eminem’s Recovery. It seemed a bit out of character from his
current image, but it reminded me of why I liked him in the first

Dr. Dre's cameo was an entertaining tribute to the O.G.s (I almost
forgot he still existed.) Before leaving, he had to reassure the
world his long overdue Detox album was still on its way. I truly
believe the day it happens anyone who gives a damn will have already

50 Cent's contribution to the show was quick and painless. However,
his performance with Eminem was fresh, their chemistry still intact,
they remain the Batman and Robin of Hip Hop.

Eminem came to New York to perform for his New York fans, and he did
just that, but it wasn’t it wasn’t spectacular. I wish he’d spent a
little more time interacting with the crowd then just punching-in,
rapping, and punching-out.

Minutes before Jay-Z took the stage the anticipation grew.
The crowd by the stage swelled greatly. The out field grass was
replaced with bodies, among them, Will Smith walking into VIP area.
This was my first live Jay-Z concert, so I didn't fully understand the
aura this man radiated, but I felt it the moment he took the stage.

Standing under a single spotlight - a man and his microphone, equipped
to put on not just a show but an experience, Jay-Z subtly began the
introduction of the “Dynasty.” Part of what makes Jay-Z’s shows so
exciting is the artist he shares the stage with. His first
accomplice, Kanye West, performed some of his greatest hits. Watching
these two play with words felt like I was watching Jordan and Pipin
run drills.

Finally the moment we all were waiting for, Jay-Z and Eminem unite to
perform their only collaboration, “Renegade.” After the song was over,
Eminem quickly disappeared back stage. I guess their contractual
agreement was fulfilled. That would probably explain why they only
did one song together. I’d rate it the most forgettable performance
of the evening.

On the flipside, the most memorable moment of the evening was Jay-Z’s
performance of “Song Cry” with Mary J. Blige. The sound of this
woman’s voice in person had to be one of the most enchanting sounds
I’ve ever heard.

Hip Hop’s rookie of the year, Drake didn’t hide his inexperience by
fumbling his flow during his intro to “Up All Night.” Like a Jedi
molding his Padawan, Jay-Z insisted he start over.

Before the night was over Jay-Z’s final guest, and wife, Beyonce
performed “Forever Young.” The couple radiated on stage, so much so
you didn’t realized they completely butchered the song.

The warmest moment came at the end of the show. Jay-Z took his time
addressing people individually from the front of the stadium to the
back. A servant to the people, he made you feel like he was
performing specifically for you. He understands the personal
relationship between artist and fan and tailors his entire performance
to them. As a performer he deserves the same regard as U2, Coldplay
and Michael Jackson.

*Ramone Pesante is a contributing writer to

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quick Spins

RobynBody Talk Part 2
Every female pop star from Lady Gaga to Katy Perry to Rihanna to Kesha better sit their asses down and take a listen to what Robyn has to say and what she is doing. Firing back on all cylinders, the Swedish pop legend creates a pop record that is not only the best release from that genre in years, but has an electronic adventure doing it. On the middle record to her three part Body Talk series, Robyn shows off and expands her experimental sound to sheer perfection. As much fun and fresh as Body Talk Part 1 was, Part 2 is a sequel that does not suck. From the clubs to the radio to your Ipod, Body Talk is the record you will be talking about and will hit a nerve with any fan of any kind. Withthe creativity of Bjork and the energy of a full European discothèque, Body Talk Part 2 will leave you exhausted and only wanting more. My note to everyone, turn off your radios, stop watching MTV and find something good! This is it. A MUST listen.

ChatelaineTake a Line for a Walk
If Enya fronted The xx it would sound like Chatelaine. The former singer of Curve goes into electronic ethereal territory on her latest record. If you need a record to unwind to and relax you but will also take you into new territory, Take a Line for a Walk is your answer.

Ryan BinghamJunky Star
The Oscar winning songwriter returns with his friend T. Bone Burnett and creates a dramatic alt-country rock record that bends genres and displays not just Bingham’s creativity but his soul. A very introspective and intensely written album, Junky Star gives further proof that his Oscar gold was not a fluke.

Bars of Gold Of Gold
The triumphant return of Bear Vs Shark front man Marc Paffi to the musical scene, Bars of Gold is a band we have gotten to know very well at the Yuppie camp. Featuring members of Wildcatting, Bars of Gold is art rock at its finest. With aggressive melodic hooks and precision musicianship, Of Gold is one of the best debuts of the year from a band that is one of the years best new finds. Take a look at our interview with Bars of Gold HERE.

Brandon FlowersFlamingo
The Killers front man goes solo and makes the best Killers record since Hot Fuss. It is hard to not compare Flowers’ solo material to his bread winning band. Though he explores more synth territory, Flamingo is nothing too ambitious or adventurous from his regular outfit, however, still great fun to listen to. An ode to his home city of Las Vegas, Sin City’s favorite child is making a name for himself, yet we wish he was making a new sound.

Everything Everything Man Alive
Call them the whitest kids you know. England’s new favorite electronic children have a funky name and sound. Succinct musical patterns backed by dance beats, Everything Everything is a quirky band that wears their nerdiness on their sleeve and could care less what you think of them. An endless display of catchy sounds and glowing rhythms, Man Alive is one of the UK’s most talked about records from one of the UK’s most talked about new bands. If Hot Chip were younger and much more peculiar, it would be Everything Everything.

DelukaYou are the Night
Birmingham via Brooklyn electro punks are ready for their close up and your attention. If Joan Jett fronted The Bravery, Deluka would be that band. From synthy beats and thumping bass yet fronted with melodic vocals. Their debut, You are the Night is a much greater step in the right direction and much more polished than their EP, which was released earlier this year. Take a look at our interview with Deluka HERE.

Living Days Make Out Room
Dark, mysterious and down right dirty. That is after all what New York City is all about, but it is also a way to describe the members and sound of the cities latest breakthrough act, Living Days. Living Days hail from Brooklyn however have such a Lower East Side attitude from them that they relate more to the devious Bowery than any section across the river. The band combines 80's new wave, electro with a touch of goth and industrial. Their debut, Make Out Room, ooze’s sex, grit and curiosity. Take a look at our interview with Living Days HERE.

Speaking of quirky, this type of style if you will must be a new thing. From Australia comes Otouto, a three piece that sounds like Fiest meets Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Their debut Pip is a very fun and eclectic display of lo-fi indie rock.

New York City slick indie rockers are now a threesome and create a, well, Interpol record. This is one of those bands whose lives shows triumph over their recordings, though Turn on the Bright Lights is an exception. Their seems to be something missing from the band on this release and no it is not bassist Carlos D. It is something more, oh, freshness.

Pavement on Colbert!

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Pavement - Gold Soundz
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

In their first TV appearance in over a decade, Pavement took to Colbert Report to play "Gold Soundz" while the band does a week's worth of dates in Central Park.

Live Review - Klaxons @ Bowery Ballroom

Klaxons - Bowery Ballroom 9/20/10 by Leah Marchesano*

Nothing could have amounted to the excitement that was waiting in the room as over 400 hundred anxious New Yorkers, Australians and Brits (to name a few), anxiously awaited Klaxons to take the stage. I was one of those many New Yorkers who have been waiting 3 years for the return of the British New Ravers and nothing could have prepared me for what was in store.

I was accompanied to the show by a friend of mine, who even though he is only one year younger has much to learn about concert etiquette. To humor him, I met him at the Bowery Ballroom one hour before the doors opened. We waited on a line of about 5 people before being let inside the venue a half hour early. As soon as we walked downstairs I showed my buddy how to get free merchandise. It's amazing how easily you can impress someone simply by pulling posters off the wall. We waited in the lounge for about an hour, watching the crowd pile in, listening to the bands sound check. Finally, we were allowed to gather upstairs and of course we made it right to the front of the stage.

The opening band was called, Baby Monster, a Electro Rock band from Los Angeles. If I had known that one of their songs is called 'Ultra Violence and Beethoven', perhaps I would have connected with them more. What's cooler than referring to A Clockwork Orange? Baby Monster was able to hold the crowd's attention, however, I don't think the crowd was as enthusiastic as they would have liked. To be fair, after listening to a few of their songs, it began to get too monotonous and I found myself looking at my watch waiting for them to end their set. After Baby Monsters ended they began breaking down their equipment and Klaxons roadies began setting the stage for our beloved Brits. It's a show in itself watching gear being set up, it kept the crowd entertained. Finally, the countdown began.

The lights dimmed and Klaxons opening track started playing. We all watched a dark stage and about one minute later James Righton, Jamie Reynolds, Simon Taylor and Steffan Halperin took the stage. They started their set off with 'Flashover' off their new album, Surfing The Void. The rest of their set was comprised of a perfect combination of old favorites ('As Above So Below', 'Gravity's Rainbow') and new soon-to-be favorites including 'Echoes', 'Cam Trees' and 'Venusia'. The crowd was perfect, at least from where I was standing it was perfect. Even the dust flying off the stage could have been mistaken for glitter. Klaxons were feeding off our energy, a few times if seemed as if they couldn't believe how much love we were giving back to them. The band closed the show with 'Atlantis To Interzone' which sent the crowd into a frenzy. After waiting 3 years for their return, we still loved them just as much if not more. We were struck by the force that is a Klaxon lightning bolt. A strong sense of power and wonder shook through our bodies and we came out with a realization that no matter how long we waited, in the end, it was all worth it.

Klaxons Bowery Ballroom 9/20/10 Set List:
As Above So Below
Same Space
Gravity's Rainbow
Gloden Skans
Twin Flames
Two Receivers
Calm Trees
Future Memories
It's Not Over Yet
Surfing The Void
Atlantis To Interzone

*Leah Marchesano is a corresponding writer for She co-manages the music label Merrifield Records and manages New York acts The Royal Chains, Wildlyfe and Asa Ransom.

Band of Horses on Kimmel

The beautiful Band of Horses hit up Kimmel this week as well. Take a look as they perform "Laredo" and "NW Apartment" off their beautiful, Infinite Arms disc.

Live Review - Of Montreal / Janelle Moane

Robots, Beta Fish, and 1960s Throwbacks Help Janelle Monae and Of Montreal Rock Buffalo’s Town Ballroom. By Jared Ziedman*

There is a distinct difference between going to see a “concert” and going to see a “show.” When Of Montreal is involved, you’re getting a show. There is always a caution with shows, because there is always concern as to whether or not the band can pull it off. But not only did Kevin Barnes’ works come to life, they told an impressive (and at times disturbing) story. On Sunday night at the Town Ballroom in Buffalo, the “False Priest Tour” left everyone begging for more, due in large part to an incredible stage show and an opening act that won’t be opening much longer.

There is a certain amount of gusto involved in a show like this. Obviously the front man and front woman have to have the charisma to get their act over. But for both Of Montreal and Janelle Monae, it was less charisma, and more sheer confidence. Monae, known largely for her two singles, “Tightrope,” and “Cold War,” didn’t perform either song until the end of her set; instead performing the opening songs off The Archandroid, and then transitioning to some of her older work from the original “Metropolis Suite”. In fact, her two hits were played back to back, along with the equally liberating “Come Alive” to end her set. And “Come Alive” the crowd did, The Town Ballroom was in the palm of Monae’s hand, while her three piece band (that doesn’t get nearly enough recognition for being an unbelievable rhythm section) was as tight as any soul section out there.

You could tell that Monae and Barnes were close off the stage as well, as it was clear that the Wondaland Arts Society pals conducted some significant idea swapping. Monae’s performance was filled with costumes, dancers and video. But, Of Montreal pioneered those tricks, and they were not to be outdone. The near two-hour set included multiple costume changes, Broadway quality costumes, bold and colorful video, and of course, the delightfully eccentric and borderline insane Kevin Barnes.

Barnes was all about playing to the crowd, but it was the depth with which he played to the details of the stage show that made his performance work. Barnes’ antics ranged from playing a piano-driven piece through a fully functioning ten foot black and white television, to dry humping a woman in a pig costume, to performing a song complaining about his ex girlfriend who killed his beta fish by throwing it out a window in an act of revenge. It’s pretty safe to say all bases were covered, except for the classics.

With the exception of five songs (from “Skeletal Lamping,” and “Hissing Fauna”), Of Montreal exclusively performed songs off their new release, False Priest. Although similar to Monae’s decision, Of Montreal’s act was a little more risky, because the album didn’t leak online, and only came out five days ago (whereas The Archandriod was released five months ago). That being said, the risk paid off exponentially. Anyone who listens to the new album will now be able to attach the accompanying lucid visuals from the stage show. The crowd bought into it the entire time, and the show came off less like a concert and more like an interactive adaptation of the Rocky Horror Picture Show (which, in case you were wondering contextually, is fucking awesome).

When the Buffalo crowd screamed for an encore, they got a lot more than they expected, because Of Montreal returned to the stage with Janelle Monae and her band, and performed three songs off Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” (“Thriller,” “Wanna be Startin’ Something,” and “PYT”) in their entirety. The encore sent everyone into a frenzy, including Barnes and Monae who appeared to be in heaven together on stage..

Although the criticisms are scarce in quantity, it was painfully obvious that this tour was just getting started, particularly on Of Montreal’s end. Although the choreographed stage segments worked seamlessly, the sound producer was clearly still trying to figure out how to level the seven-member instrument section. The end result was a lot of feedback and some particularly jumbled sections when synth was involved. This show was one of the rare instances where the opening act had a much tighter sound and was much better mixed, although that can be expected when a band has already been playing this material live for two tours.

All in all, “False Priest” was quite the poetic show. Janelle Monae opened and helped close a show, which was headlined by a band that by and large paved the way for acts like Monae to do what they want on stage. Even though the crowd ate up all three hours, it looked like Monae came out the winner. Of Montreal is always good for a great show and a great time, but Monae looked like a superstar. It was one of those shows where you can say you saw someone before he or she became huge. And she owes a lot of it to Barnes. As the tour continues (it is literally stopping everywhere in this country) it will become much more cohesive and even better than what I thought was a complete success. I guess my one request would be this:
Keep it up Atlanta. You are saving music.

*Jared Zeidman is a contributing writer to He runs the sports website

Phoenix on Kimmel!

French Neo-New Wavers Phoenix are making their final run in America and did a stop at Jimmy Kimmel Live this week. Take a look as they performed "1901" and "Lasso."

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Dapper and desired, the lads in One Night Only have been causing up a stir in their native England. From sold out shows across the UK to a successful run in America earlier this year, including a stop at SXSW, One Night Only are out to prove they are much more than a band of pretty looks and catchy hooks. Combining 80's new wave and 60's garage, One Night Only are an outfit that will get people's attention from pop fans to rock fans. I had the opportunity to speak with bassist Dan Parkin as we discussed the band's beginging's, line-up changes, latest record and how the band is wavering after singer George Craig has been tapped to be the latest face of Burberry. Take a look at my interview with Dan below..

You started off as a Blink 182 and New Found Glory cover band. How did you go from pop punk covers to the music you currently play?

From the beginning we've always written our own songs, we did a wide range of covers by bands that we liked as well as our own material. We've always loved writing songs and I think as we kept writing over the first couple of years we developed our current sound.

Who are some of your influences?

We all have such varied influences, from 60's artists such as the Zombies and Beatles to the more electro 80's vibe which I think really comes through, especially on the newer material you'll be hearing.

How is the new record in comparison to “Started a Fire”?

We were all so young when we recorded 'started a fire' I think its a great snapshot of where we were at the time but we've all grown up a bit and I think that’s really obvious as soon as you hear it. We've brought out the more electronic sounds a lot more, I think it'll get a lot 80's comparisons, but the songs themselves are just great pop songs.

The album was supposed to come out last year and was pushed back to this year. What happened? Did you end up reworking songs and/or adding new ones?

There was a lot of reworking the songs and its where the delay came from, we have a whole batch of songs that didn't make it onto the album. We are aware that it's been a while for the fans but I think its been worth it, and i'm sure they'll feel the same when they hear it.

When you announced that the record was done, you also mentioned that your original drummer left the band and was replaced by George’s brother and former Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong drummer – James Craig. Did James leave Joe Lean just to aid his brother? How has this new formula worked without a founding member of the band?

James' departure from Joe Lean had nothing to do with the fact that he's George’s brother, it was the fact that we needed a new drummer and we have all known James for years which made the transition easier for everyone. It was a really rough period for everyone, and it did affect us, but the chemistry between us all feels really good and we're ready to get back to doing what we love most which is going out and playing for people.

Something I found very interesting to your marketing of your band was One Night Only Wednesday’s on Youtube. Who came up with this idea? Who gets to decide was content will be tossed on Youtube for fans to catch?

It was an idea we all had when we first started work on he second record as a way to keep the fans involved while we weren’t releasing anything or gigging. Most of the credit has to go to Jack who puts it all together, I guess he gets the most input on what goes in but we all get to see it before it goes up online and suggest changes.

You did a small tour of the US earlier this year, when can we expect you back?

We have rough plans to come back early next year, we had such a great time at SXSW and in New York, can't wait to get back and see a bit more of the country.

Your New York show was taped and used for Burberry fashion show. Is the famous British clothing company dressing the band now? If so, can I get a few samples of shirts (I take Medium)?

The band has a really great connection with Burberry stemming from the modeling work George has done. I wouldn't say they are dressing us, but we do get a couple of samples to wear. The clothes are absolutely amazing and if I get your address I’ll try and scam something for you!

I ask this to every foreign act I speak with and I get various answers, is it still a big deal for a foreign act to break big in the US?

Absolutely! Its defiantly something we as a band we have our sights set on. We know that it is extremely difficult for even a domestic band so we're not kidding ourselves, we know there’s a lot of hard work ahead. We're just really looking forward to giving it a try on this record, if we don't get anywhere, we'll be back on the next!

Quick News

The Drums have revealed via their website, that guitarist Adam Kessler has left the band. The Drums say "There have been some questions as to recent events and we are sorry to say that Adam has left The Drums, "Jonny, Jacob and Connor are devastated and are keeping to themselves and with friends at this time. The band are currently on the road in America. Thank you for all of the support, it means a lot." There has been no explanation for Adam's departure.

Trent Reznor is giving away a 5 song sampler to his score for the upcoming David Fincher film, The Social Network. The film is based on the creators of Facebook and stars Jessie Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake. Get the sampler HERE. Social Network arrives Oct 1.

After years of speculation, BBC news is reporting that Sacha Baron Cohen is set to play legendary Queen front man Freddie Mercury in an untitled bio-pic directed by Peter Morgan (The Queen, Last King of Scotland).

Roxy Music's Bryan Ferry has released the cover to his long awaited forthcoming record, Olympia. Take a look at the cover below, and notice the famous rock vixen on the cover....its model Kate Moss. The record will be out next month and features collaborations from Radiohead's Johnny Greenwood, Mani of Primal Scream, Flea and David Gilmore. However, what has everyone buzzing is the impromptu Roxy Music reunion, featuring Brian Eno, Adam Mackay and Phil Manzanera.

VV Brown on Letterman

London sexpot VV Brown hit up Letterman this week to perform "Shark in the water," take a look and see why she is one of the years most talked about artists.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


From forming in Birmingham, UK just a few years ago and setting up shop currently in Brooklyn, NY electronic outfit Deluka are taking the attention of eardrums from listeners all around the world. The band is a combination of The Sounds meets Gossip but they add their own flair of dirty punk to make their sound all their own, in essence think The Bravery fronted by Joan Jett. Deluka just won the "Freshman" video of the year at this past Springs MTVU Woody Awards. From their much talked about live shows to fun debut, You are the Night (arriving next week) Deluka are ready to step out of the sweaty clubs they have packed for years and into the limelight. Take a look at my interview with singer Ellie Innocenti as we discussed the band's formation, not being pigeonholed and their funky name. Here is my interview with Ellie below..

Your video for “Cascade” won the MTVU Woodie Award for Freshman video, do you feel that this is a big break for any indie band trying to get recognized these days, even if MTV doesn’t play videos that often?

I guess so, it's nice to know that people voted for us and wanted us to win, I think that is more important than the whole MTV thing for us. Although MTV was a big deal when we were kids, so it still feels nice to be associated with it and that people get to see the video and hear our music of course - it's a good stepping stone for a band of our level to reach more people.

How did the band form?

We all met at a place called 'The Jug Of Ale' in Birmingham. Although it has now closed down it was a legendary hang out/pub and music venue, where we all grew up watching bands there, playing in earlier bands too, and Kris used to DJ on the most popular night. We all kind of learnt our craft at this place...I played my first gig there when I was 14! way underage and trying to drink alcohol! We all came together because of our common interest in dance and indie music and trying to do our own thing with it. I wrote songs on an acoustic guitar but was into electronic music and Kris wrote loops and instrumentals, so we both had what each other needed. I had songs and arrangements and Kris was amazing at production and electronic sounds.

What does the name of the band mean? Does it have a interesting origin story?

The name comes from a character out of a popular motion picture of the 90's; Pretty Woman. We named ourselves after the down trodden drug addicted prostitute friend of Julia Robert's character 'Kit DeLuca'. She just always seemed like the more interesting dysfunctional character, plus she had the best one liners. It's not rocket science, it's just a name, and it sounds cool so...

Your style is DIY electro-punk, very fresh and very creative. Who are your influences?

We have many an influence, we collectively love bands like LCD Soundsystem and Soulwax but we also love new wave stuff like Blondie, Talking heads, The pretenders. Then there’s the spiky guitar sounds of Gang of Four and Wire. Personally I have always loved David Bowie, Prince and Iggy Pop. I could go on forever...

The sound of Deluka is also very experimental, where you ever weary about bringing your style to the masses and how you would be received?

Not really no. We set up our little 'myspace' page like all bands do, and then these gig offers kept coming in from exotic places like Paris, Berlin and even Romania. We found ourselves in airports and on these amazing adventures all because we'd uploaded our off-kilter pop songs to a website, it's pretty crazy. Our friends in other bands in Birmingham were like "how do you keep getting these gigs out the country!?". I couldn't answer but, I guess we were doing something right!

Early on in your career you gained notoriety from NME, how did you respond from such high praise from music’s most respected magazine?

Well it's very nice to get the recognition and to be brought to the attention of more people, but the british music publications are notoriously fickle so it's best to take it for what it is, and not think that you are the dogs bollocks just because you get a really doesn't mean that much in the long run, building a loyal fanbase is far more important to us than being flavour of the month.

You hail from Birmingham, with the slew of bands that have come from there, acts like Black Sabbath and Editors. Do you feel you need to uphold the musical legacy of what that city has given the world?

It would be nice to bring something positive to the image of the Birmingham music scene. It famously gets ignored by the British music industry and it would be nice to get it some overdue attention. Editors are a cool band but aren't really from Birmingham and Black Sabbath really don't have that much relevance to people our age in Birmingham, so to give the younger generation an internationally successful band to call there own would be pretty cool.

Being from a dark place like Birmingham, does that city influence your sound?

Well the people in it do, and the nights out.. It's really more the experiences within it, so I guess so kind of!

With acts like La Roux, Chew Lips, Little Boots and yourselves do you think we are seeing a rise in female fronted electro bands?

Well there is more of late, but its still miniscule compared to amount of men in music. It's stupid really, like 'female fronted' is a genre, I don't really look at it any differently. And as far as the electro thing is concerned, we never try to chase fashionable genres, we just try and make music we like with the instruments we find ourselves owning.

I ask this question to every foreign act I speak with, is it still a big deal for a foreign artist to make it in America?

Yes! America is so big, it would be a huge achievement...just touring the place is a big deal and was quite a shock to the system; 10 hour drives were something new for us!


Band email marketing

Ireland's Bell x1 did a great acoustic session with Reverb Nation and you can download it FOR FREE!! Just use the link above!

Quick News

As a fan conferance in the UK this week, Coldplay announced that it's expected Christmas time release for their untitled fifth record will not happen. Instead the follow up to 2008's Viva La Vida will be out at some point in 2011.

My Chemical Romance have named their fourth record, Danger Days: True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. The record will arrive on November 22.

Our July Rising Artist, Julia Ilowiecki has changed her name to Julia Price. Julia is currently locked away in the studio recording her debut, take a look at our interview with her HERE.

After winning the Mercury Prize last week, The xx's Oliver Simm spoke with NME and the band refuses to commit to a new record. Simm tells "There is no plan to even put out a second album," the band says they will still be "Creative," but no word on new material in the near future.

Duffy is finally following up her 2008 debut, Rockferry and is getting a little help in songwriting from Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.'s father, Mr. Albert Hammond himself. Duffy also enlisted The Roots to provide some of the music to her latest disc, Endlessly, which will be out on November 29.

Brandon Flowers on Kimmel

Killers front man Brandon Flowers was on hand the day of his solo debut, Flamingo at Jimmy Kimmel Live. Take a look at flowers performing "Crossfire" and "Magdelana."

Sunday, September 12, 2010


They came and went, Michigan's Bear Vs Shark stormed onto the scene in 2003 and disbanded just a few years later. The filth and fury they left behind will never be forgotten in the minds of fans from all around the world. Though the members of Bear Vs Shark have gone onto form separate projects, they never really take off...until now. Welcome, Bars of Gold! Featuring former Bear Vs Shark front man Marc Paffi and drummer Brandon Moss with members of the instrumental outfit Wildcatting. Combined with the fury of MC5 or Fugazi, yet hooked with the melody of post-hardcore bands, Bars of Gold will quench the thirst of fans looking for a new band with the ferociousness they are looking for. The band just released their debut, Of Gold last month to much acclaim. I had the opportunity to speak with Paffi about how this band came together, his singing style and could there ever actually be a Bear Vs Shark reunion. Take a look at my interview with Paffi below.

How did you get involved with Bars of Gold?

After bearvsshark broke up I started playing with Brandon again. He was playing in wildcatting and asked if I wanted to come and jam with what started out as wildcatting with a singer eventually got the name bars of gold

When you linked up with the band, they were the instrumental outfit Wildcatting. Was it odd walking in and being the “new guy” in an already established group?

Actually I had known those guys for so long it was really easy. The odd thing was trying to sing along along to their crazy ass took us awhile to get a feel for each other. I guess it was also odd because I was starting in another band and hadn't been in one for about three years.

What was it like making your debut?

Making this record was a whole different experience for me. Rather than being in a studio in another city for weeks we did most of the recording in Scott’s basement and back yard... a couple of the songs were recorded in wonderful hazel park Michigan at roshambo studios but for the most part it was a gorilla effort. That led us to taking our time with it and getting it sound how we wanted, plus it was cheap.

Do you feel any vindication now that it is out?

Not really

You made your live debut as Bars of Gold in 2009 and the record came out over a year later. What took so long for it to be released?

I think the reason for the wait had a lot to do with the process we chose to record with. We really wanted to take our time and not rush it. Plus we had to write some more songs. That’s the positive of being locked in a studio for weeks on the bearvsshark records, it forces you to have a deadline.

With the time that has gone by from forming and releasing “Of Gold”, I know it still maybe early but is a follow up already in the works?

Well I think this answer goes back to the previous one. Now that we've figured out what were doing were really rolling... as it stands now we already have a big batch of new songs. We'd like to put out a 7" around the holidays and a new record no later than this time next year...we also some ideas for more releases in between. We just want to put out as much quality music as we can.

What is it like being back in a band? Did you miss the feeling?

ABSOLUTELY ... that first show was amazing, for me and its great being around a bunch of creative people again.

There was a ton of anticipation from fans and curious ears alike leading up to the release of “Of Gold,” were you scared and nervous that you would not live up the hype? Or could care less and the art that you wanted to make was out there.

I have to say that it was probably a little bit of both. I guess that if your willing to put something out there your willing to take the input from the masses.

As a vocalist you have drawn comparisons to fellow Michigan singer the late Rob Tyner of MC5 to Ian Mackaye toTom Waits. How do you feel about these comparisons?

That's great man. They're all a huge part of my record collection and I wouldn't be who I am today without them. If those are the three people that I’m being compared to then I guess I’m doing something right.

How does being in Bars of Gold differ from Bear Vs Shark? Are there any similarities?

I think the biggest difference is I knew the fellas in bearvsshark for years; I literally grew up with them. We were all best friends throughout most of our childhood. The guys in this band (with the exception of Brandon) are new to me. I knew them and hung out with them on occasion but as far as music it was a new frontier. The similarities are that both bands are filled with dudes that you could give a house key to and let them take out your dog if you were on vacation. Also everyone in both bands came from the same three towns right next to each other

The style of music Bars of Gold plays is somewhat different from Bear vs Shark, it goes through a lot of musical styles and range. What did you guys look for in terms of inspiration when recording the record?

Inspiration for this record (and I can only speak for myself) came from growing up in a small town with dirt roads and field parties...and getting older...and having to have a full time job again....and getting married....and having to worry about bills....I guess just generally trying to figure shit out.

What was it like being back in a band with Brandon again?

It's amazing...He is really one of the most genuine people I have ever met... he was actually the first guy I played with after bearvsshark broke up...he is one of those people that you want to be your child's godfather, if you had a child and believed in God.

When will the band hit the road?

Hopefully soon...we are heading down to Florida to play the No Idea record fest in October...Other than that it's probably just mid west and local for now

You signed with Friction records to put out “Of Gold,” and were the labels prestigious 50th release. How do you feel about taking the honor? What is it like being part of the Friction family?

Well I’ve known Jeff for years now...He had a huge part in bringing bearvsshark over to the west side of the state in the beginning of the band, he actually put out both records on vinyl for us....It's really cool that we were the 50th release although I think that was just happenstance. Whatever the case it's a great label that REALLY does support Michigan bands. It's always nice when you meet someone that is doing it for love and love alone.

BURNING QUESTION: If I do not ask this, I think every fan will come and hunt me down – will there ever be a Bear Vs Shark reunion?

It's not out of the question.

"Heaven Has a Heater" off Of Gold (Above) / Cover of Talking Head's Classic "Burning Down the House," (Below)

Live Review - Airborne Toxic Event @ Town Hall

New York City is particularly an unusual place to be on September 11, it is not the typical New York one is accustomed to. On the ninth anniversary of the greatest attack on American soil, the mood in the air is thick and heavy all around. Especially this year, just turn on any news station or flip through any newspaper or webpage and things are at a boiling point. It is a day where we all reflect on what happened that one September morning, the events that will be embedded into each of our minds from here to eternity. As we look back throughout the day; we push forward, look for a release. There is no better release than that through music. LA art rock act The Airborne Toxic Event brought that much needed release to Town Hall on a day when their audience needed it most.
Dubbed “An Acoustic Evening with The Airborne Toxic Event featuring The Calder Quartet” the LA band brought their sense of passion and fury to the intimate New York theater.
As the Calder Quartet entered the stage, a small string ensemble that featured two violinists, a violist and cellist, the opened with their own overture and served as the entrance music to the band. As the five members of Airborne Toxic Event strutted on stage to their instruments, they opened with “Wishing Well,” the lead track off their first record. As the audience was unsure of what to do, either sit or stand (this seems to happen a lot with audience’s in a seated theater when string instruments are involved), the band set the tone right away – do what you feel is right. In between songs, singer Mikel Jollett would speak to the crowd about the origin of songs, as well as discuss the recording of their much anticipated sophomore record, All At Once (Due in early 2011). “We spent the last nine months locked up recording this record, so we have a lot to say” Jollett mentioned as the band would play a slew of new songs and rarities in the first part of the set. The show was broken up into two 45-minute sets, the acoustic set and the “rock and roll part of the program” as Jollett would call it. The first 45 minutes were in essence, showing off what fans can expect in the coming months as they wait for the new record. The absolute highlight of the set and gig came during “Papillion” where they performed a medley featuring Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire,” and Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.” The band would take a brief 15-minute intermission to recoil and retool for the second half set.
As for the “Rock part of the program” the band featured their normal set they would take on tour without the string quartet, a basic set from the songs off their debut. At this point the crowd made a decision and realized they would stand and enjoy the set, again strings on stage trick the audience. What would come during the set would scare and the band and audience alike as Jollett would throw water into the crowd, he would take a horrible slip on the stage and would lay on the floor for a bit. While the band thought we was joking around and the crowd would cheer him on, he got to his feet and said “I think I broke my ribs, I will continue but is there a doctor in the house please come see me after the show, I am seriously hurt.” Jollett soldiered on, while the fans would applaud him, he and his band still brought such high energy for the rest of the night. Maybe music is the best medicine? The quartet would arrive back to the stage to support the sound of the band’s breakthrough single “Sometime Around Midnight,” which never sounded as beautiful as it did that night. Still using the strings and closing with “Innocence,” the band would come back on stage to perform “All at Once,” the title track off their forthcoming record.
While the new songs blended perfectly in with the old ones, and fans left with a smile from ear to ear, Airborne Toxic Event gave that release New York was looking for. For a band with such dark and heavy tones to their music, they know how to provide comfort for those that are in need.

Interpol on Kimmel

Interpol hit up Kimmel this week to perform "Barricade" and "Summer Well" off their latest self-titled record. Take a look!

Ben Kenney Cover and Track Listing

Incubus bassist and friend to this site, Mr. Ben Kenney will release his much anticipated fourth solo record, Burn the Tapes on October 1. Take a look at the cover and track listing below. The album was recorded at Ben's house in California over the past year and will include a DVD featuring a special making of documentary on Burn the Tapes. Ben is also giving away the first single "World's Collide" for FREE on his site Ben spoke to us earlier in the year about making the record, take a look with our interview with him HERE.

01 Beard Of Bees
02 Homes
03 Heemtro
04 Aftertouch
05 Rubber Sheets
06 The Kibosh
07 Worlds Collide
08 Ishmael
09 Habit
10 Go

Scissor Sisters on Kimmel

New York electro glam rockers, Scissor Sisters performed "Any Which Way" and "Whole New Way" from their latest, Night Work on Kimmel. Take a look!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Live Review - Kele @ Webster Hall

The last time New York City saw Kele Okereke was in early 2008 when he was wrapping his second trip to the US with his other band, Bloc Party. Over two years ago when fans saw Kele he was a slender, shy musician that held his guitar for dear life and sang his songs that made everyone in the room go nuts. Last night was a different Kele, it was a different sound, a different band and most of all a different look. Gone were the skinny jeans and tight T-shirts that added extra weight to his small frame and in was a Detroit Pistons basketball jersey, baggy jeans and a full frame singer that looks as if he spent the last two years in a gym working out rather than a recording studio. New York City and fans on his current tour are witnessing the metamorphosis of their favorite singer. Kele, in support of his solo debut, Boxer (which may explain his new physique) is plugging into clubs and banging away with a small backing band of drummers and programmers that are bringing his electronic sound to life.
For Kele to be dabbling into electro is not shocking to Bloc Party fans worldwide due to the fact that the band’s last release, Intimacy, was a punk meets electronic album. What is shocking, aside from his look, is how alive Kele is on stage. Sure, he would jump around with his guitar in Bloc Party, but there is a different level of confidence and connectivity he has now. His bravado must be through the roof knowing that everyone in the room is there to see him and see what he can pull off. While Boxer maybe a mediocre record at best but a daring attempt for him on his solo debut, it sounds as if it were meant to be heard live, in a club with a sound system that will make you feel the bass in your chest.
While the songs from Boxer would get the audience’s attention, it would be his “old songs” as he would call them from “that other band that I am in” that would get everyone in the room going completely insane. As he burned through his set list, Kele pleased the crowd with a Bloc Party medley that featured “Little Thoughts / The Prayer / One More Chance,” the beauty about the medley was that the songs were not played straight, they were remixed and reinterpreted live right on that stage and was something so organic that it shows the man knows what he is doing. He kept the momentum going by jumping into the crowd and crowd-surfing a bit during his single “Tenderoni.” While the set lasted just under an hour and the crowd begged for more, Kele did most of Boxer and closed with the Bloc Party B-side of “Flux,” which was a great send off into the night. While everyone’s legs sure would feel like Jell-O the next morning, everyone knew it was well worth it.
On tour with Kele were his friends and fellow UK electro band, Does It Offend You, Yeah. The band who is also making a return to the States and much like their friend Kele are also not the same band that was in the US just two years ago supporting Bloc Party and Nine Inch Nails. Since the departure of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Morgan Quaintance, the band has added Matty Derham on guitar and vocals and Chloe Duveaux on bass. However, singer James Rushent was not at the show and was forced to stay home in England and miss the tour due to falling very ill, leaving his band to hit the road without him. Yet, Does It Offend You does not disappoint. Having seen the band before with their original line-up, this new incarnation and even without Rushent is still as fun and energetic as ever. Sticking mainly to the electronic tracks that do not require Rushent’s vocals, the band’s 45 minute set featured a few new songs from their forthcoming record, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You. Once this band returns properly to the US to support that album, they are not an act to be missed!
Opening the show was the only American electronic act and newcomers Interparty System. The band’s style of heavy beats, live drumming and vocals reminded me as if Andy Bell of Erasure fronted LCD Soundsystem. The sonic blend of three men working on stage and getting the party started was not only entertaining but also had them gaining new fans as their performance was one to be admired.


Grab this four song EP from industrial musician and former Nine Inch Nails programmer, Allesandro Cortini's latest project Sonoio. Sonoio marks the first time the legendary musician has embarked on his own and it is something to get very excited about for any NIN fan.