Posts Tagged ‘nyc’

Two Post from Deli Mag This DH Endorses

September 1, 2010

Saves me doing a lot of work I don’t feel like doing. Nice work, Deli Mag!

FIRST: New Video from The Drums (I still have something to say about this new breed of Indie music that is somewhere between a satire and a blatant copy of a previous style of music, but I’ll save it for another post. This particular song is still very good, regardless.)

THE DRUMS – “Down By the Water” (Would like to hear from the readers about whom the band resembles/might be portraying; I’m thinking The Righteous Brothers. Hit me.)

SECOND: A really great NYC band this dirty motherfucking hipster loves. Apollo Run doubtless puts on a top-tier live show. Don’t be a dipshit. Spend $8 of your freelance paycheck and go see them. According to their myspace, they’ll be playing next in NYC at Rockwood 2 on Sept 16.)


‘Nay. -DFH

The Kindness of Strangers

May 26, 2010

Every now and again something happens that puts a big ol’ smile on this dirty fucking hipster’s face. Recently, more and more of these smiles have been entreated by my favorite Israeli-born Indie duo, Hank & Cupcakes. This coming Tuesday, June 1st, the band will be at Mercury Lounge as part of a concert they have arranged to support a fellow scene-blog, Beyond Race Magazine. Like so many others, BRM has fallen on difficult financial times, so, since they have proven to not only be a hip journal that shows love for our talented NYC musicians, but have also proven to be good people, H & C have put together this benefit show. A benefit show that this dirty hipster fully endorses.

They’ve also made a promo vid with tits, really nice tits, in it. Maybe we’ll see tits at the show?!

Some very cool t-shirt (again, incorporating boobies) have been designed by Seasick Mama, and are available both on the Seasick Mama website and will be sold at the show. “The Plastic Shopkeeper,” Alan Lugo, will be distributing prints of his fantastic photography, included in said collection are shots of the evening’s hosts. Danny Ross, another rising NYC star, will be the opening act, and he’s sure as hell worth checking out. Amongst all the Indie brotherhood, an international big-shot has stepped in to join the good cause. Converse will be there, and will be raffling off some of their hot new styles. All you sneaker geeks best get your tickets. And, shit, it’s a Hank & Cupcakes concert! You never know who will show up, but you do know you’re getting to see one of the very best acts this beautiful, ever-warming city has to offer. I’ll be there, for sure. -DFH

Album Review: MGMT’s “Congratulations”

April 20, 2010

Now this album is a very pleasant surprise. A pleasant surprise, indeed! I thought Oracular Spectacular was okay. Songs like “Electric Feel” and “Time to Pretend” (my personal album favorite) certainly made MGMT not only a recognizable brand, but offered a defined and recognizable sound. But, despite a few indelible singles, something was always really fucking irritating about the band and the album. I don’t know about you, reader, but this dirty fucking hipster always found something terribly inorganic about OS. So, as a result, I never bought the record, never attended an MGMT show (which I had heard were awful, anyway) and never gave a thought to keeping up with their goings on. Fortunately for the band, they might have achieved the ultimate conversion: this stubborn, music-righteous dirty hipster just might be a fan now. Boy, I hope Titus Andronicus is reading this right now.

<i>Congratulations</i> from MGMT

'Congratulations' from MGMT

Congratulations starts out with a song, “It’s Working,” that had me hitting ‘pause’ and calling my friend to rave about how impressed I was; and to ask if what I was listening to was really MGMT. It certainly wasn’t the MGMT I remember hearing buzz by in every third car going down Metropolitan in the fall of 2007. It is rather off that a band who had built up so much support with their debut release decided to completely, and I mean completely, redefine their sound. And it is rather astounding that they were able to do so with such deft facility. It’s a whole new sound MGMT have cultivated, and it’s far superior to the old sound.

Stereogum cited a slew of influences that were apparent in the record, from David Bowie to The Beatles, The Kinks to Pink Floyd (and, to be honest, none of these comparisons are all that off-base, especially The Kinks comparison). Positing the band in such rarified air one would thing that Stereogum were sold hook, line and sinker on Congratulations, but, for some reason, they maintain that the jury is still out on the album’s merits. Well, this dirty hipster knows good music when he hears it and he’s not afraid to jump the fence and take a stand. This is a great, great album.

MGMT’s “Flash Delirium”

I suppose I’ve been getting a series of good recommendations because it’s been a while since I didn’t rave about a release. (She & Him didn’t release anything, I just happened to find and immediately hate them.) I’m going to leave lengthy description and summary aside on this one – as I suppose I seem to do anyway. Go into this one fresh. This is a different band. It’s corny, but I have to say, Congratulations deserves one gigantic cheer of “congratulations!” It’s musical, it’s brave and creative, and catchy as all hell. Certainly a lot of serious borrowing here, but that’s for another post. (And, it’s also not necessarily a bad thing. Zeppelin ! was, after all, more or less a series of borrowed blues progressions and lyrics.)

There will be another article on this album soon. There is something iconically Hipster about it and I’m looking forward to getting a little theoretical and writing a proper essay. Stay tuned, reader. In the meantime, either get on MGMT’s website to stream the album, or hop on iTunes and pay for a copy. -DFH

Live Review: Lights Resolve, Black Taxi, Blackbells, Deadbeat Darling

April 18, 2010

The Easter Bunny’s Early Arrival

Before I begin my tirade of praise for my music-filled weekend, I would like to thank The Dirty Fucking Hipster for inviting my writing into his space. I thought about the nom de plume “The Damn Sexy Scenester,” but I am far from that confident; and there are plenty who would disagree with the alias. Alas, I am simply me. Please enjoy my attempts to “dig deep” into the NYC music scene…

For the sake of story-telling, let’s assume the infamous Easter Bunny is real (spoiler alert!). The spring figure was good to me last weekend, bringing six of my favorite New York artists, Outernational, The London Souls, Lights Resolve, Black Taxi, Blackbells, and Deadbeat Darling, and a newbie, Uzuhi, over two days and three shows to the Tri-state area.

Outernational take over Santos

Outernational take over Santos

Santo’s Party House became a Friday night sweat-fest when Outernational returned, after five weeks on the road, to their home territory for the band’s only East coast show and before hitting the road again. Accompanying the Brooklyn-based rebel-rockers for the “One Way Finale” were New York’s Japanese punk crowd-pleasers and hosts, Uzuhi, and sultry, blues-rock trio, The London Souls. An ideal match for Outernational, Uzuhi (translates to “the Sun”) advocate music with no borders, a message preached with fervor in their inter-song patter. Fans melted at the touch of Uzuhi’s front man, Gosha, who shouted and perspired along with Dr. Tsu’s aggressive drums, Tsubasa’s elegant keyboard and back-up vocal melodies, and Katsuragi’s frantic guitar riffs. Audience participation was essential as Uzuhi commanded fans to sit down, guided one listener by the hand on stage for a serenade, and squished everyone into a group photo at the end of the set. A change in demeanor and style probably surprised the kiddies when The London Souls hit the stage.

The London Souls also rock Santos

The London Souls also rock Santos

Nothing short of soulful, the trio showcased their vintage vibe, intricate instrumental interplay, call and response vocal interchange, three-part harmony, and solid, intertwining solos. “Under Control,” “Stand Up,” and “I Think I Like It” happen to make me swoon; and throughout the venue, people agreed: the Souls’ bona fide rock ‘n roll brought on dancing, head-banging, or both, satisfying a wide spectrum of tastes. At this point, the antiperspirant levels were low but quickly plunged to zero as Outernational brought the heat. Never a disappointment, the quintet hit the stage running, cramming sixteen riotous rock-reggae-punk-world fusion songs into their stage time. Moshing and less belligerent activities accompanied highlights, such as “Future Rock,” “Sir No Sir,” “Que Queremos,” “Deportees,” an acoustic cover of a Woody Guthrie tune that brought the entire band stage front, and my new personal favorite, “Outernational.” Mid-set, members of Uzuhi paraded around the stage, while lead vocalist of Anti Flag, Justin Sane, joined the politically charged line-up. The evening’s intent of uniting people with music was evidently successful; everyone left with tinnitus and a piece of political shake-up.

Saturday afternoon, I suffered through hours of intense popcorn odor and equally stinky acoustic sets by innumerable Warped Tour-esque bands at Angels and Kings for a quarter-day, all ages “AKoustics” event. Relief finally arrived with Lights Resolve who, sadly, were having their final live show before escaping to the studio. Shockingly, Matt Reich (vocals/guitar), Luke Daniels (bass/vocals), and Neal Saini (drums/percussion) have not released a full album yet, together or individually, marking the upcoming studio stint as particularly historic. They plan to reemerge with new material, just in time for a summer tour. Joined by their previous bassist (who now plays in The Veronicas), LR debuted a few unrecorded songs, recently released tunes, the hit RockBand download, “Dreaming of Love,” and familiar tracks from the band’s EP’s, Currency and Prelude. In acoustic form, the vocal nuances, angst-ridden lyrics, and anthemic modulations stood out, demonstrating why LR’s music might outlast the rest and continue making Jersey Shore a bit more tolerable.

Black Taxi take the show on the road

Black Taxi take the show on the road

That same evening, I made the “trek” to New Jersey for an NYC invasion of Hoboken. The cream of the crop, Black Taxi, Blackbells, and Deadbeat Darling, played Maxwell’s for their first time. I have not found a single person that sits still during a Black Taxi show or leaves unsatisfied; and consistent with my field observations, this crowd had no exceptions. Mixing and matching their “grit-pop,” dance-rock tunes from Things of That Nature, a new favorite, disco-infused “Be My Friend,” and a cover of a golden oldie, “Miserlou,” Black Taxi made the evening worth a thousand Path train trips. Blackbells went west for their fifth show as a band and showcased material from the quartet's recently available self-titled EP. “High Healer” and “Young Again” have been ringing in my head for days. A consummate blend of rock ‘n roll and psychedelia with a touch of new wave and soul, Blackbells transported a classic but/yet refreshing sound to Jersey ears. Speaking of Blackbells, they will be playing Wednesday, April 14 at Mercury Lounge. It’s an early show, beginning at 7:30PM, so you won’t miss your bedtime. Deadbeat Darling completed the boast of the best from across the river with selections from Weight of Wandering and some unreleased compositions, “Broken Down Kiss” and “Insomnia Salvation.” DBD is not about showiness; instead, they channel a soft reggae-electronic rock ambiance that enchants listeners.

Deadbeat Darling bring a taste of NYC to Jersey

Deadbeat Darling bring a taste of NYC to Jersey

A triumphant NJ cherry pop, each band’s Garden State debut was well-received, reaffirming NYC band camaraderie and guaranteeing a holler back to Hoboken some time soon.

-Meijin Bruttomesso

Concert Review: Old Wives, Hank & Cupcakes, New Madrid at Cake Shop

January 24, 2010

I got invited to Cake Shop for a concert hosted by a company called CitizenMusic Presents last night. Initially there were four bands on the bill: Hank and Cupcakes, Action Painters, New Madrid and Old Wives. According to Facebook messages Action Painters pulled out the show several days beforehand – maybe they broke up, again? Would love to find out the story there, that band is (was?!) really good. Either way, anyone who reads this blog knows I have a deep affection for Hank and Cupcakes. (In fact, they were the first review ever posted on here.) I had never heard of Old Wives and was pretty unfamiliar with New Madrid, but their MySpaces sounded good, so I was pretty excited for the show.

As is rather typical, there was some early show at Cake Shop, some metal crap with a slew of black-clad creeps slithering out around 9 o’clock, when the Old Wives were supposed to begin. The CitizenMusic Presents show didn’t start until well after 10. Ordinarily I’d be pretty pissed off about that, but I was in an unconventionally good mood and just started drinking alone. There were some good-looking chicks there and everyone was having a good time, so a late start wasn’t so bad.

By the time the first band took the stage the room was packed from the front of the stage to the back door.

Old Wives
Photo courtesy of Deneka Peniston

Old Wives, a five-piece rock band from somewhere in New Jersey, began the show with a straight ahead, no bullshit blues jam. It was a nice way to start a set as it not only set the tone for the rest of their tunes, but it put their excellent musicianship on full display. As the band prepared to start their second song, lead singer Jason Gleason asked the crowd, “do you like to boogie?” The five Jersey kids then kicked into a seriously groovy tune reminiscent of Bad Company. Bella Gleason (keyboards) accompanied the driving, danceable number with organ tones that ricocheted between a Zombies-like church sound and some whacked-out, spacey Devo-esque noodling. The eight song set was superb, really superb. I hope this Jersey quintet won’t be strangers to New York, as they are just type of Rock n Roll this City’s yearning for. The musicianship is absolutely first class, the singer, Gleason, has the ability to scream it like Paul Rogers or belt it like Bono – he’s truly a top-rate talent. The rhythm section is perfectly in synch and the songs, especially “Rip Van Winkle” a track apparently about “the desert” according to Gleason, are great. Looking forward to writing more reviews of these guys.

The room was pulsating with an unusual energy in anticipation of the second band, among my very favorite acts, Hank and Cupcakes.

Hank and Cupcakes
Photo courtesy of Denika Peniston

Since I have previously written a rather extensive review of Hank and Cupcakes show (scroll down) I’m going to keep this one brief. If you haven’t seen them, see them. This salacious, riveting duo will have you saying “White Stripes who?!” after the first several notes. The ever-charming Cupcakes was the queen of the ball on this night. Whether exchanging on-stage banter with the crowd or dancing swinging her hips and hair (behind the stage, in the pit, on chairs) during Old Wives’ and New Madrid’s set, Cupcakes proved yet again to be a uniquely engaging personality. Hank, her partner in crime, is an absolute master. With a pedal board that must require its own Ryder truck to move from point A to point B, he created his singularly symphonic melodies from outer space that provided a perfectly tripped-out platform for Cupcakes to hammer away dance beats on her kit. The band will be at Pianos on February 5, this dirty hipster will be there and he’d think you all idiots if you’re not there as well.

I was extremely intrigued to see New Madrid. I’ve heard things here and there about them, but had never seen them live nor really dug into their self-titled EP, which was released last year. The four tracks and live videos on their MySpace had me very interested to see what they’d be live. And, while the songs off the EP are catchy and interesting, and the live videos (as home-made as they appear and sound) are pretty cool, this live show is off the fucking chains.

New Madrid
Photo courtesy of Crystal E

To start with, New Madrid shut off all the lights on stage and stood prepping their fingers, finishing their beers and checking the levels on their amps as Mozart blasted through the PA. The lights shoot on just as the band come in on a brutally fast, chugging punk song I learned from their MySpace is called “Radio Tranquila.” From the outset, frontman/drummer/lead singer, Axel, was in total command of stage and crowd. It was no surprise to see him and Cupcakes chatting it up after the show, because the two are awfully similar. Not only do they both stand and play drums while singing, but they are both supremely enigmatic. Guitarist, Erik Barragan, added massive distortion to his guitar, which, in conjunction with bassist, Anthony Formichella’s flittering bass lines, provided both grit and elegance to the set.

New Madrid deliver a set full of highlights. When they decide to get loud, they get fucking loud. Axel is not only an irresistibly engaging performer, but he is a phenomenal singer. Not to mention a very good, original-sounding drummer. Truly a great talent. And the songs are really great. There were a group of very tall, hip-looking girls no more than 6″ from the stage with their hands in the hair from start to finish; a little punk dude headbanging at the stage’s edge with his shirt off; an old, bald man contorting his body in an almost disconcerting fashion; people making out left and right; an agglomeration of flashbulbs fit for a Paris Hilton appearance.

The crowd stayed, drank and cheered from start to finish. The energy was palpable, and the performances by the bands were really, really great. This dirty hipster has two new bands on his “must see” list: Old Wives and New Madrid. If last night’s concert at Cake Shop were any indication, it appears that good times and good… okay, great bands are alive and well in New York. -DFH

The Deli Magazine Fan Poll: Best Emerging NYC Artist of 2009

January 14, 2010

Our good friends at The Deli Magazine have opened up polling to the public, so we encourage our reader to get out and vote for their favorite emerging act of 2009. Poll closes tomorrow, so hurry up and get on it!