Posts Tagged ‘new york’

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.

Wildly // Cassette

August 24th, 2015 | This Is New York | 0 Comments


Saw dreamy New York jangle-poppers Wildly the other night at Shea Stadium in Brooklyn. And their arrangements were wonderful.

Sarah Winchester // Northeast Kingdom

March 7th, 2015 | This Is New York | 0 Comments


The other week I saw Real Life Buildings opening for Advance Base at Silent Barn. It was a really solid show, like most shows at Silent Barn.

One of the guys in Real Life Buildings runs a little record company putting out tapes and zines and stuff called Mt. Home Arts. Examining the little table of stuff they had for sale at the show, I was blown away by the love, care and creativity that was put into all their products. The cassettes for example, were packaged in beautiful cardboard designs with elaborate fold outs. I had already spent too much on records that weekend, but otherwise I would’ve easily shelled out a couple bucks for the stuff on the basis of the design alone.

One of the most impressive-looking cassette packages was Sarah Winchester‘s Northeast Kingdom. You can see what I mean here. I was drawn to the design, but I also liked the title since I’ve been thinking about music in very regional terms recently. For instance, now that I’m living in New York, I’m starting to make sense of the various indie rock scenes here, but I’m also getting a sense of some really cool things going around in surroundings states, like New Jersey and Connecticut, since bands there come here all the time. I mean, comon, this is New York, right?

I recently got around to actually checking out the music of Northeast Kingdom and I’m happy to say that in this case I would’ve been right to judge a cassette by its cover. As expected, it’s a beautiful, intimate little collection of folkish, emotional, acoustic songs. Next time I get a chance I’ll definitely grab the tape from those Mt. Home guys.

Songs For Snowy Days & Nights

January 27th, 2015 | The Mix | 0 Comments


Here in New York, our ‘historic’ blizzard turned out to be a historic dud. There’s a bit of snow outside, but nothing worse than the average winter day in Toronto. But in any case, I put together a little mix for the occasion. It is almost entirely songs by Canadian bands (the one exception is from Scotland). Cuz snow is kind of our thing, y’know.