Thursday, October 25, 2007

HOT TIP: Whitey Plays Cheeky Bastard’s DUMBO Loft Party this Halloween Weekend

Got plans for this Halloween weekend? Despite being in semi-hibernation since CMJ 
& Justice / Midnight Juggernauts, this DUMBO loft party with Whitey is just what the
doctor ordered to get me up and out the door in my dancing shoes... matching my
costume, of course.

Whitey Loft Party Flyer from Cheeky Bastard

Cheeky B*stard Loft Party!!!!
Featuring Whitey & Rory Phillips (Trash,UK)
Saturday Oct 27 - in DUMBO. Open Bar All Night!

When we heard that one of the best electro artists ever to come out of the UK, Whitey
(a.k.a. Nathan J Whitey) was going to be in town this weekend and looking to perform,
we just simply had to throw a party... and seeing as we haven't thrown a loft party for a
while... well... you know how it goes.

Whitey (currently on Dimmak Records in the US) has caught the ear of many in the music
industry. You have probably heard his single 'Non Stop' on the Mitusubishi commercial -
but if that's all you have heard then you are missing out. Whitey has remixed (among
others) Soulwax, Chromeo, Kylie, Bloc Party... and his tracks have appeared on
compilations by from Kitsune Records, The Glimmers and too many more to mention.
His latest album 'The Light at the End of the Tunnel is a Train' is nothing short of
breathtaking, and he has a new album due out shortly.

>>Get all the details<<  with the restof this handy flyer from those Cheeky Bastards.
Note: It says absolutely nothing about costumes being required for entry, so you have
no excuse to stay home!

Now where did I put that wig?


Don't live in NYC?
Whitey's on tour!
Full sked below.

Whitey Tour Schedule Poster

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

THE VIEW FROM MY SEAT: Klaxons @ Webster Hall

Nu-rave, nu-shmave. Genre labels be damned, Klaxons are a party band. And I don't
mean the kind you suffered through while waiting in line for the keg. I mean they're the
kind of band that brings the party. It's nigh impossible to avoid having fun at a Klaxons
show, no matter how gray your day was, nor how dead set against grinning like a fool
you may be. I mean seriously, there I was at Webster Hall on 10/12 having lost my
schmancy new cell phone and my driver's license, and I still couldn't help but forget my
troubles and shake my @$$.

Klaxons @ Webster Hall 101207044_edited

With their infectious beats, multi-part harmonies and synth-laden sonics, it's no wonder
the Mercury Prize winners are catnip to the club kid set. And the club kids were certainly
out in force at Webster Hall, requisite glow sticks in hand. But with a heavier, more
aggro tone to several of their tunes, they've drawn a much more diverse crowd than I
would have expected. And that made me happy.

Klaxons @ Webster Hall 101207127_edited   Klaxons @ Webster Hall 101207139   Klaxons @ Webster Hall 101207223                                 

Why? It shows promise. Not only does it mean the US market can see beyond the
pigeon-holing labels, but it also means that Klaxons have a good shot at having legs. They
may well achieve the brass ring of longevity and ever-broadening appeal that signals a
solid future in the biz. I can't wait to see what they do next.

Klaxons @ Webster Hall 101207145

Unfortunately, I may have to. The Webster show was their last US performance at the
tail end of a grueling touring season that saw them in Cali as early as April at Coachella.
After such a lengthy road, who can blame them for heading back across the pond to
savor their Mercury Prize win and relax. ...And then hopefully start the party up again.

--See Photos: Klaxons at Webster Hall
--See Photos: Klaxons at Coachella
--Watch Video: Klaxons at Coachella

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

NEW PHOTOS & VIDEO: Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Blonde Redhead, Les Savy Fav @ Randalls Island

The must-see show of the fall season? I think most in NY would agree that Randall's
Island can boast having hosted that show: Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Blonde
Redhead, Les Savy Fav and openers, Wild Light, 10/6/07.

Arcade Fire @ Randall's Island
>>Arcade Fire

Yeah, read that lineup again. What indie music fan could live with themselves having
passed up that opportunity? Not I, certainly. Thankfully, not only did I get to catch the
show, but I also got to shoot it. Watch and believe:

--See Photos: Arcade Fire @ Randall's Island
--See Photos: LCD Soundsystem @ Randall's Island
--See Photos: Blonde Redhead @ Randall's Island
--See Photos: Les Savy Fav @ Randall's Island
--See Photos: Wild Light @ Randall's Island
--Watch Video: Arcade Fire @ Randall's Island
--Watch Video: LCD Soundsystem, Blonde Redhead, Les Savy Fav & Wild Light

LCD Soundsystem @ Randal's Island   Blonde Redhead @ Randall's Island   Les Savy Fav @ Randall's Island
>>L to R: LCD Soundsystem, Blonde Redhead, Les Savy Fav

THE VIEW FROM MY SEAT: DJ Krush @ Highline Ballroom 10/4/07

Why am I only now finding out about DJ Krush? He's been making history, forging new
ground, pioneering in the turntablist arts for well over 10 years. "History of DJ Krush" is a
fitting tribute to a man equally respected among the hip-hop community as he is by the
electronic cognoscenti. The "History of DJ Krush" is both the DVD release around which
the buzz machine kicked in, and the unexpected gift that introduced me to something I
find extraordinarily memorable. (Thank you, Justin!)

DJ Krush @ Highline Ballroom

Let's get this straight: DJ Krush is from Tokyo. Despite the language barrier, he has
collaborated with some of the brighter lights in the landscape of DJs and vocalists. You'll
find Black Thought of The Roots, the heavenly Esthero, and even Zap Mama's Marie
Daulne. But rather than being an unseen force behind the scenes, DJ Krush is really the
scene-stealer here. His beats are what I can only lamely under-describe as "fat." Words
just don't do it justice. And nowhere is this more evident then in seeing DJ Krush live.

DJ Krush is the perpetrator of some of the lowest low ends I've ever encountered live.
My ears sang with joy. (Disclaimer: I have a particular weakness for bass.) His taste in
hooks -- both vocal and instrumental -- areinfectious in the way that only the most gifted
trip-hop auteurs can boast. I'm thinking Portishead. I'm thinking Massive Attack. An
elder-statesman after more than 10 years on the international scene, it's a rarefied
universe that DJ Krush finds himself inhabiting.

DJ Krush @ Highline Ballroom  DJ Krush @ Highline Ballroom  DJ Krush @ Highline Ballroom

All of the aforementioned owes a debt of honor to Krush's most noteworthy ability. He is
a world-class, stunning turntablist. This man spins. Seeing him spin, one is mesmerized by
the speed and agility of his fingers. He plays it all live. His fingers move like smoke and
mirrors. They are magic, and lightning fast.

The best thing about the "History of DJ Krush" release is that it comes with three
individual DVDs, two of which are heavily saturated with live footage. You can watch the
man's fingers move up close, in ways that my humble video couldn't capture. I only hope
you can get a smidgen of a sense of the kind of atmospheric webs DJ Krush weaves
within the confines of four walls.

-See Photos: DJ Krush live at Highline Ballroom NY
-Watch Videos: DJ Krushlive at Highline Ballroom NY

Friday, October 12, 2007

MUST-SEE SHOW: Klaxons Celebrate Mercury Award Win With NY Plus Sasha & Spooky

New Yorkers: Looking for something to do TONIGHT that's all thriller, no filler?
Try the double-biller of Webster's October calendar: The Klaxons, plus a late-night
dance bacchanal that features legendary Welsh dj Sasha and his new London cohorts,
production duo Spooky.

Coachella 2007 - Klaxons   Coachella 2007 - Klaxons   Coachella 2007 - Klaxons

New Yorkers are lucky to catch the Klaxons' last US date before heading back over the
pond to the land that, just last month, awarded them the internationally prestigious
Nationwide Mercury Prize for 2007. Past winners have included otherworldly expat
Antony and the Johnsons, and Arctic Monkeys, who found themselves nominated again
this year.

Show up by 8pm and you'll most likely be in time to catch the openers, billed as "Special
Surprise Guest". Ok, intriguing...

Meanwhile, late night revelers will shake it to the sounds of Sasha. You'll recognize the
name from Sasha and Digweed fame. They've recently collaborated in the studio with
interesting new production duo from London, Spooky. Tonight marks their first-ever
show together in New York, and they'll celebrate the release of the fruit of their
collaboration, the new double disc "Open."

See you there. Yeah, that's me up front with the camera, so say hello.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

CMJ MADNESS: Brooklyn Vegan’s Recommendations Help Us Cut Through The Noise at CMJ

OK, so I've been poring over the CMJ schedule, and just as in years past, I've noticed
that old familiar creeping sensation of being overwhelmed. (*sigh*) This may be
unbloggerly conduct, but I'm going to admit my extreme uncoolness and announce, "I
have never heard of most of these bands! Who the Hell am I going to choose?!" I mean,
I love a whole slew of the band names (The Most Serene Republic, Care Bears on Fire,
The Beasts of Eden, Tall Firs, and most especially Giddy-up, Helicopter), but is that
reason enough to see them? Ummmm...

Granted, there ARE tons of bands whose shows I've been anxiously awaiting for weeks,
and in the case of Via Audio, months even. But still, I know I could use some advice
from a sage one, full of CMJ wisdom. Couldn't you?

As if on cue, enter Pop Tarts Suck Toasted and Brooklyn Vegan: The Interview. Thank
you, Pop Tarts Suck Toasted. Not only have you revealed Brooklyn Vegan's name
(Dave), but you've also had the forethought to provide us with a lovely Q&A to help us
mine our CMJ schedules and make the most of our precious time to rock. A few snippets
to whet the appetite:

- Out of your lineups what bands are you most excited to see?
I'm really excited to see everyone, but of course there's the Black Kids coming up
here from Florida, and then there's the return of the Maccabees from the UK who I
loved last time they played NYC. Then of course there's the Meat Puppets. Saturday
night at 205 I'm doing an afterparty with David Bruno, and we have Professor Murder
playing as King Oppression which is like their other identity –they sing Professor
Murder songs over other people's beats - live remixes I guess – or something like that.
They did it at a Pitchfork Festival after-party in Chicago, and supposedly it went over
really well there, so I can't wait.

- Are there any other blogger's shows that you are interested in seeing during the week?
Gothamist, Underrated, After the Jump, Big Stereo, and Pop Tarts Suck Toasted of
course. Are there others? I haven't totally figured out everything going on yet.

-Read the whole interview at Pop Tarts Suck Toasted.
-Study the CMJ showcase schedules and build your own.
-Get to know Brooklyn Vegan and why his opinion counts.

LCD Soundsystem @ Randal's Island
>>James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, Randall's Island, 10/6/07

I'll find a way to make it work, I will!
For my part, I am going to do my damnedest to see the following:
--Brooklyn Vegan showcase at Bowery featuring Voxtrot
--James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem) DJ Set at Hiro (not officially CMJ?)
--Via Audio at Lions Den and Ace of Clubs
--Mates of State at Avalon and The Annex
--Fools Gold Records showcase at Hiro featuring Cool Kids & Kavinsky
--Islands & ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead at Highline Ballroom
--New Young Pony Club at Studio B
--Dirty Vegas at Highline Ballroom
--Sister Suvi at Mo Pitkin's
--British Sea Power at Bowery
--The Shalitas at Europa
--Simian Mobile Disco at Music Hall of Williamsburg
--Abigail Warchild at Trash
--Illinois at Midway
--Band of Horses at Bowery
--Matt & Kim at Music Hall of Williamsburg
--Spoon at Roseland
--And just, frankly, because it seems like a good idea: Scotland Yard Gospel Choir at
Cake Shop or Union Pool.

Illinois @ Irving Plaza 5/10/07
>>Illinois at Irving Plaza, 5/10/07

Film Festival Recommendation: Greetings From The Shore
Directed by Greg Chwerchak
At IFC on 10/17, 3:30pm
--Winner, Best Feature: Big Bear Lake International Film Festival
--Winner, Best Feature: Red Bank International Film Festival
--Winner, Best Feature: Hope & Dreams Film Festival
--Winner, Best Narrative Feature / Best of the Fest / Best Actress: Great Lakes Independent Film Festival
--Premiere: Temecula Valley International Film & Music Festival
--Official Selection: World Film Festival, Montreal
--Still to come: New Orleans Independent Film Festival (10/11-10/18), Oakland International Film Festival (10/18), Red Rock Film Festival (11/4), Queens International Film Festival (11/8-11/11), more...
--Read a review: "Indie Films Take Spotlight In Hope"

--Full Schedule: Showcases and other live music performances
--Full Schedule: Film Festival screenings
--Full Schedule: Panels and conference events
--Registration: Get a CMJ Badge and get in on the action

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

CMJ NEWS: CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival Schedules Announced

CMJ Madness is coming to New York, and we have only one week to wait! With such an impressive and exhaustive list of indie bands, films and panels to sift through, you'll need all the time you can get to fully plan out your week. Just remember this: With CMJ, every minute matters. Now if only I knew how to clone myself...

--Full Schedule: Showcases and other live music performances
--Full Schedule: Film Festival screenings
--Full Schedule: Panels and conference events
--Registration: Get a CMJ Badge and get in on the action

Just like you, I'll be wading through all the glorious options and coming up with a schedule of my own. The minute my itinerary is done, you can bet I'll be posting it here.

Already know who you're seeing and when?
Post a comment and let us know which you think are the MUST-SEE shows.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

NEW PHOTOS & VIDEO: Bloc Party @ WAMU Theater at Madison Square Garden 10/3

The boys from Bloc Party have been on a seemingly endless tour since last summer. But
no longer! With only one US festival date left before they head back across the pond,
their Theater at Madison Square Garden show was a fitting way to wrap up their trek.

Bloc Party @ WAMU Theater at MSG 100307-072_edited

You've already seen me wax rhapsodic about how much I adore seeing these lads live, so
I won't bore you with a bazillion synonyms for amazing. Though I don't think the material
from their new album is up to the same standard as the tunes from their debut, Silent
Alarm, but their live performance was the high energy fun I've come to expect from them.

Watch and believe...

--Photos: Bloc Party at WAMU Theater at Madison Square Garden
--YouTube Videos: Bloc Party at WAMU & United Palace Theater
--UnCut Videos: Bloc Party encore at WAMU Theater at Madison Square Garden
--Blog Buzz: The Monitor & TixGirl laugh about Bloc[k] Party Madness

Bloc Party @ WAMU Theater at MSG 100307-197_edited

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

THE VIEW FROM MY SEAT: So You Think You Can Dance Live Tour at Continental Airlines Arena 9/29

Know this: I'm a sucker for So You Think You Can Dance. I'm hooked. 100%
completely and totally. I'm a believer, and I'm not the only one.

So You Think You Can Dance 092907-2-150_edited

Though American Idol is famed for locating undiscovered talent, I'm put off by the
machine it has become. I firmly believe almost any schmuck can sing karaoke to other
people's music and look relatively good doing it, thanks to the ministering of legions of
professional stylists and voice trainers. The folks on American Idol are out there
specifically to play the fame game. They're there to get famous.

Not so with So You Think You Can Dance. The kids who line up to audition for
SYTYCD are fully aware that they won't become superstars. Though they may become
household names to those who watch the show, the rest of the universe will slide blithely
by without taking any notice whatsoever when someone mentions "Benji" or "Sabra" in
passing. The winner of SYTYCD is not going to become the next Kelly Clarkson, and
everyone trying out on audition day knows it.

So You Think You Can Dance 092907-2-213_edited

As a result, there's a concentrated focus on true ability. The notoriety-seekers are
weeded out immediately, and you're left with the cream of the crop -- all of whom are
there because they have a dream: They want to be dancers. Working, employed dancers.
Dancers with a career. And this show actually provides real opportunity for outrageously
talented dancers who might never have thought they could make it farther than teaching a
hip-hop class at their local dance studio.

Much has been made of the fact that SYTYCD and Dancing with the Stars have brought
dance back into the mainstream. More power to them for bringing dance into the living
rooms of those who might never have thought it was "manly enough" to enjoy watching a
flawless waltz, rhumba or disco routine. But speaking for those of us [congratulating
ourselves for] already loving dance as an art form, I'll admit I thought a reality show
dance contest couldn't possibly be anything more highbrow than a trumped-up talent
show. Man, was I wrong.

So You Think You Can Dance 092907-2-164_edited    So You Think You Can Dance 092907-2-165_edited    So You Think You Can Dance 092907-2-166_edited    So You Think You Can Dance 092907-2-167_edited

Not only is the quality of the dancers shockingly high, as Nigel himself frequently pointed
out in Season 3, but it's also wonderfully egalitarian. Because they put an emphasis on
turning out well-rounded dancers versed in every genre, there's room for everyone from
classically trained ballet dancers (Danny) and ballroom champions (Lacey & Pasha) to
B-Boys and B-Girls (Dominic & Sara). Therefore, not only will you find every kind of
dancer, but you'll be entertained by every kind of dance.

So You Think You Can Dance 092907-2-110_edited   So You Think You Can Dance 092907-2-131_edited

Being a die-hard fan, I made the long trek to Continental Airlines Arena in E. Rutherford,
NJ already convinced it would be a fantastic show. Between the immense talent of the
finalists and choreographers, and the promise from the show's judges that the most
beloved numbers from the season would make it onto the program, how could they
possibly go wrong? I was not disappointed.

On the other hand, I found some of the montages on the jumbotrons tiresome. We'd
already watched the full season, including the finale. How many more times do I need to
see Nigel ask Sex not to come back next year? That was a little much. But when all was
said and done, the emphasis was on the dancers and the choreography. We got to see
the Flower and the Hummingbird routine firsthand. We got to witness Danny and Lacey
burn down the house with one of the sexiest sambas you'll ever see in your life. We gasped
at the acrobatics as two princes vied for the throne. Mia's ode to her father was even
more beautiful and touching in person. Latin ballroom stars Pasha and Anya devoured
their salsa dish
. And the Devil chased the Angel, just for us.

Having trouble with the player?
--Watch all the solos from the playlist on YouTube.
--Watch the couples dancing together on UnCut.

Even if you don't give a damn about Sabra, Danny or the lot of them... Even if you've
never seen the show once... Even if you despise reality TV and all it stands for... The
SYTYCD Tour is still a worthwhile evening out. You'll come away from it having been
exposed to more forms of dance than you'll ever find assembled under one roof again.
You'll enjoy watching them performed by talented, humble artists who refuse to
disappoint, because they know exactly how lucky they are to be dancing for you. And lest
I forget, they also want to thank you for voting them onto the stage in the first place.

Catch the So You Think You Can Dance Live Tour nationwide thru November:

So You Think You Can Dance 092907-2-172_edited

More So You Think You Can Dance Live Tour:
--Watch more videos from the SYTYCD Live Tour
--See more photos from the SYTYCD Live Tour
--Read Loralyn's Show Report @ Blogging SYTYCD

BREAKING NEWS: Martha Wainwright Announces Tour with Swell Season

Martha Wainwright just made my day.

Martha Wainwright @ McCarren 8/24/06  Martha Wainwright @ Gramercy 6/6/07

Yes, Martha fans, your prayers have been answered, your dreams have come true, and
one of your three wishes has been granted. She has officially announced that she'll be
hitting the road with Swell Season for a full US tour. Dates are as follows, thanks to
Martha's MySpace Blog:

11/5/07- The Moore Theater, Seatte, WA
11/6/07- Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR
11/8/07- Regency Center Grand Ballroom, San Francisco, CA
11/9/07- Regency Center Grand Ballroom, San Francisco, CA
11/10/07- The Wiltern, L.A, CA
11/11/07- 4th and B, San Diego, CA
11/13/07- Ogden Theater, Denver, CO
11/15/07- Stubbs, Austin, TX
11/17/07- Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA
11/18/07- Lincoln Theater, Washington, DC
11/19/07- Beacon Theater, NY, NY
11/21/07-Orpheum Theater, Boston, MA
11/24/07- Vic Theater, Chicago, IL
11/25/07- Vic Theater, Chicago, IL

Martha Wainwright autograph signing @ McCarren 8/24/06 Rufus & Martha Wainwright @ Gramercy 6/6/07
>>L to R: Signing autographs @ McCarren | With brother Rufus @ Gramercy (Yes, she's the one in pants.)

If you haven't had a chance to witness the divine Ms. W. onstage before, this is your big
chance. It's her first time back on the road in the year since she made the announcement
at last summer's McCarren show that she'd cease touring while she records the follow-up
to her self-titled album.

Not sure what Martha's all about? Look, listen, read, and show up at a show!
Martha Solo:
--Photos: Martha Wainwright at McCarren
--Review: Martha Wainwright at McCarren
--Videos: Martha Wainwright Live
--Tickets: See Martha Wainwright on Tour
Family Affairs:
--Photos: Martha Wainwright with brother Rufus Wainwright
--Photos: Wainwright Family Christmas at Carnegie Hall
--Review: Wainwright Family Christmas at Carnegie Hall