Archive for the ‘This Is New York’ Category

Pollens // ’83

August 20th, 2016 | This Is New York | 0 Comments


Brooklyn art-rock crew Pollens make a charming, lo-fi, polyrhythmic rumpus on their excellent new ‘83 EP.

Various Artists // Start Your Own Fucking Show Space

August 10th, 2016 | This Is New York | 0 Comments


I moved to New York in the summer of 2014. I walked inside the famed Brooklyn DIY venue Death by Audio once, but never ended up seeing a show there. I tried to see one of the big end-of-the-venue shows one night, but the place got to cap while my friend and I were in line. We came back later that night and they said they would let us in for $10 each, but they wouldn’t tell us who the “surprise act” playing was. I later found out it was Les Savy Fav. They should’ve told us – they’d have made $20 and I’d have seen at least one show there before it closed.

But for all those who never got to see a show at Death by Audio, or did and dearly miss the venue, Famous Class‘ recently-released compilation Start Your Own Fucking Show Space is a welcome consolation prize. The 25-song compilation features performances from a variety of great, noisy bands who played the venue in November 2014, the last month of Death by Audio’s existence. The album does an excellent job of capturing the sound and spirit of Brooklyn DIY, even if most of the bands aren’t from New York.

Tyondai Braxton // Oranged Out EP

July 26th, 2016 | This Is New York | 0 Comments


I saw New York-based composer (and former Battles member) Tyondai Braxton last week, performing at his record release show at National Sawdust Co. in Brooklyn. Anticipating his set, I remembered reading about him playing guitar surrounded by crazy pedals, manipulating loops and out-of-this-world sounds, and was expecting to see that. But his recent work, which you can hear on the Oranged Out EP, is analog synth stuff. It’s noisy, glitchy, and sometimes beautiful, especially with the glitchy visuals projected behind him, accompanying the work, .

26 (my age) has been an interesting year for me so far. A lot of the indie bands I read these days about seem so young, and the music they play feels cartoonish, like the musical equivalent of Archie comics. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with it (or Archie comics) – I just don’t relate to it the way I used to. But New York is great because, among other things, it’s still called home by some of the most interesting, mature, forward thinking musicians and composers in the world, from Philip Glass and Steve Reich to the weirdos in bands like Oneida and Zs (the latter of whom also played a great set at National Sawdust Co. that night). I consider Braxton to be in that category of music makers.

I’ve been a fan of Braxton’s ever since coming across his name when I first read about Battles. It’s a shame he’s not still playing with that also-incredible crew anymore (playing along to sampled recordings just isn’t as good as performing with Braxton as a vocalist), but I can’t complain that he’s not still making great work.

KDH // Piedmont Rose

April 29th, 2016 | This Is New York | 0 Comments


The other week some friends and I went to see another friend’s band Desert Sharks play Shea Stadium. We only caught the last couple songs of their set, but we also stuck around to see the first couple songs of Brooklyn-via-North Carolina post-deadheads KDH‘s set. They had a bit more testosterone than Jerry and the crew and we were all feeling it, but had to run over to Bushwick to make it into a House of Yes party before they started charging.

Blood Moon // Ancient Ocean

November 22nd, 2015 | This Is New York | 0 Comments


Blood Moon‘s Ancient Ocean is another album that caught my eye at Academy Records, where I think they had it on the shelf where the staff put what they like. It came out in June, so I’m a bit late on this…

Essentially the full-length vinyl debut of prolific Brooklyn-via-Louisville composer J. R. Bohannon, Ancient Ocean is a beautiful work consisting of four long ambient pieces. Admittedly, when I hear that something is ‘ambient’ I usually think ‘boring’ and pass on it. But nobody told me this was ambient music before I checked it out (based on the cool band and album name+cover), so I just fell into it. And ended up really liking it.

Ancient Ocean sounds like the album cover looks: somber, aery, ornate. Synth and violin tones emanate, roll and collide like layers of heavy, engulfing fog. There’s a great depth to it. I like to listen to it while doing my law school reading.