You've really got to hand it to The Cult. Getting The Icarus Line and Against Me! to open was a strange move, but it speaks well of them.
Field Day. All Points West. Music To Know. Escape To New York.
The New York summer concert season is littered with the bones of music festivals that wanted badly to be the East Coast answer to Coachella or Bonnaroo, and were sometimes produced by the companies responsible for those institutions, but none of them were ever able to establish a beachhead in the market.
Though sons of New York City, the Beastie Boys famously helped bring hip-hop to America's suburbs, cementing it as more than a passing fad, and the late Adam Yauch's consciously tough-guy performances and lyrics were a large part of their License To Ill-era appeal that made them internationally known.
Organized by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, the weekend long Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival was conveniently all in-one; the bigger acts played the main opera room, some of the more avant-type like Buke And Gase or Sinkane played the upstairs lobby and a few low-key types like the two-man folk group Yellowbirds played one of the movie theaters.
Party commander Andrew W.K. celebrated the 10th anniversary of I Get Wet at Webster Hall Monday night, saluting 10 years of living in the red with blood, sweat and other bodily fluids.
1. Towards the end of an extended jam on "Racehorse," Carrie Brownstein stood on Janet Weiss' drum kit, turned her back to the audience and leisurely plucked a few clamorous notes from her guitar for what seemed like forever. (It was probably two minutes.) She barely had to move to fill the room with sound and attitude. She's bad, and she knows it.
On April 3 Brian Shimkovitz' s label Awesome Tapes From Africa will release its latest discovery Volume 7, by Ghanian singer and kologo player Bola. Shimkovitz got his start posting his favorite tapes of African music that he picked up while studying overseas, and he won enough listeners to turn his blog into an acclaimed label and DJ career.
Despite the best of intentions, it's hard to write a good song about the environment. It's an important issue that people willfully ignore, and plenty of artists mean well, but the vast majority of anthems that may as well be called "You Need To Be Concerned About Global Warming" barely work as op-ed pieces, let alone music.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this year's Oscar nominees on Tuesday, and we are still appalled.
Like anyone who actually likes movies and not prestige nonsense, we find the omissions of Charlize Theron and Albert Brooks baffling. But this is a music blog, so we are going to focus our carping to the ways in which the Academy's song and score picks were so tepid that even your "Help"-loving grandmother is all like "no Trent Reznor? WTF?"
A certain level of creative stasis seems inherent in the term “classical music.” But composer, record label head and festival organizer Judd Greenstein is doing everything he can to shake up that world. He’s well aware that some people don’t like it when you mix their new classical music peanut butter with their indie rock chocolate, but to him, adventurous rock songwriters and outré vocal groups and string quartets are a natural pairing.
Texas-born electronic music maker Matthew Dear has spent the last decade making the sort of percolating dance music that splits the difference between making you feel sexy and making you feel awed.
For the past eight years Brice Rosenbloom has worked hard to make a Winter Jazzfest lineup that dares fans to brave the unforgiving January cold.
Philadelphia band The War on Drugs have been making spacey, shambling music that values a certain free-roaming feeling in both the vocals and the guitar tones for several years now. But for their new Slave Ambient, they made one of the most acclaimed albums of the year by turning their free-floating waves of guitar bliss into hooks that land hard without losing their essential open-ended feel.
"Portlandia," Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein's gentle skewering of all things precious, hip and overly politically correct, returns Friday at 10 p.m. on IFC.
In their own words, it's been a ridiculous year for The Antlers, one of Brooklyn's finest purveyors of moody widescreen pop. But ridiculous in a good way.