Today is opening day to New York City's music festival: the big CMJ. Bands will be shooting in from all over the states to boast their skills and get recognized. Here are our top picks for today.
#1. The Wicked Tomorrow @ White Noise with sami.the.great, The Courtesy Tier and more. Acoustic sets all around. FREE and open bar at 6:30. Wicked Tomorrow are Black Angels or B.R.M.C. or Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - sleek city rock. Seeing them do an acoustic could be interesting. Here's a brand new single you can download for free or donate however much you'd like to the band.
#2. Black Taxi @ the Studio at Webster Hall - The Taxis play some pretty dance heavy rock, like a young, 1980's Rolling Stones.
#3. Wild Flag @ Bowery Ballroom - One of the new Pitchfork, NPR indie, girl group sensations. Most popular choice if you're into that sort of thing.
Junkyard Speedball by Left Lane Cruiser
by Sam Houghton
Classic rock is done, over with, washed-up and so over played that its lifeless corpse has been seen gasping for air in the desert like a sucked through raisin. It has become a nostalgic trip destined to plague the cover of the nostalgia tripping Rolling Stone Magazine until Bono finally gets hit by a bus. Unless of course you haven’t listened to new music. In that case, classic rock is fine – music to fill the void… music to get numb and dumb to. There are still plenty of folk out there who have not had the opportunity and still think U2 is inspiring music. And if you are one of those folk, I am jealous for it must take a great skill to be so ignorant and blissful… but if you’re tired with bliss, new music is out there. It makes you feel good and fresh and one with the young folk around you, which is doubly more inspiring than a billionaire in cheesy sunglasses.
For those curious and still stuck in the past, I suggest you check out Left Lane Cruiser and their new albumJunkyard Speedball [Alive Records – 2011]. Their blues inspired, angry hobo rock will help ease you into this realm of new music. Junkyard Speedball is the third from the Cruisers, produced by Jim Diamond. This is an Alive Naturalsound Record’s classic: barebones, backwoodsy, pure bad ass rock and roll.
By Leah B.
Zach Condon's left arm could have a lot to do with Beirut's non-traditional indie-rock sound.
The band's lead singer, according to an interview with Treble Magazine, had an accident during childhood that caused his left arm to be an inch shorter than his right, making guitar very difficult to play. Naturally, he stopped guitaring and turned instead to less traditional instruments: ukuleles; accordions; trumpets; euphoniums and flugelhorns, mastered them, and thus creating Beirut's unique sound. Accident or not, it works.
So, is their new album, The Rip Tide [Pompeii Records – ‘11], true to their eclectic, folky sound? Original, unique, fresh sounds often seem to fizzle out after a couple of albums and reluctantly settle into the category of the bland and mundane. But what about Mr. Condon and his short left arm?
It is the 21st century, in the heat of the age-old question of simplicity versus complexity. No matrix yet, but damn close. Technology is developing at a ravenous pace. Stage floors are no longer open for strutting, but littered with electrical equipment. Depending on your preference, the pivotal question that may have destroyed the 80s has become more and more relevant: how do we wield our tools without losing the primal, down home feel?
by Sam Houghton
There must be some sort of liberating protons in the New Jersey ground water: Makes the bagels sweet and breeds a wild, sweeter strand of frontmen. We’re not talking wild in that sense that Iggy Pop or Mick Jagger were weird and wild and raunchy and threatening, but more to the point that in New Jersey, their hearts are thumping on their sleeves and they desperately need the audience to be right there with them, like a girl in heat, needing to spill the beans… with a whole load of feedback and saxophones and drums pounding behind them.
Perhaps I suffer from over-exposure to the Brooklyn, uber-cool showmen with electrical gadgets spilling out of their pores that has become thankfully cliché, but I think there is something to be said for the resurgence of highly emotional Springsteen inspired bands like Titus Andronicus and The Gaslight Anthem and the swelling number of underground rock bands in New Jersey like The Everymen.