Category Archives: nyc bands

Purity Ring & Young Magic @ Webster Hall: January 11, 2013

I was very happy to have Purity Ring be my first concert of 2013 at their first stop on this leg of their American tour, at the NYC show at Webster Hall.

A lot has changed for the duo since the first time I saw them in 2011 at CMJ: At the start of 2012 they were signed by 4AD and Last Gang Records, and in July of that year they released their stellar debut album, Shrines.

The difference was even clear from their stage setup – still the same arrangement — “percussions” on the left side of the stage for Corin Roddick, and a bass-drum type instrument that singer Megan James occasionally beats — but this time suspended from the ceiling were creepy/ethereal light cocoons that would light up in sync with the music.

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The fact remains, everyone loves jazz hands!

The fact remains, everyone loves jazz hands!

The synth machine setup itself had gotten more elaborate, moving from a handy-man special of pipes and tubes, to a more sophisticated set of individual lanterns.

I’ve always been impressed by how no-nonsense and professional Purity Ring have been despite the band’s young age. As per usual, their show went off with not so much as a hitch — with Ms. James commanding the stage with her sweet, yet somehow powerful disposition. Diminutive in stature, with some of the tiniest hands I’ve ever seen, she often elegantly swiped her hand across the stage, as if to cast some sort of magical spell on the audience. When she wasn’t doing that, she’d sway up and down, ball-heeling herself to the beat, or grabbing a portable work light with a metal guard and holding it above and below her face for dramatic effect.

Purity Ring @ Webster Hall

They also performed a cover of Soulja Boy’s “Grammy” — giving the rap tune a totally new spin. Loved this version!:

Brooklyn band (and CMJ 2011 TMA fave) Young Magic also performed, although my enjoyment of their performance was severely hampered by the unbelievable bass-heavy sound system at Webster Hall, which literally had me dry heaving b/c my vocal cords were bouncing against one another with every surge of Young Magic’s drum machine. If you stand front and center at the main stage of that venue, and the band happens to be bass heavy, you are in for a world of pain. Every time a song would start and the bass kicked in, my stomach would hold on to the rest of my body for dear life. I kept thinking – “I don’t want to die at Webster Hall!” (Can someone, for the love of god, fix that sound system?)

Read more at: NYT, BV

VIDEO: Some British Dude Ruins “Last Nite” on X Factor UK

Hold me, I’m scared. Up until now I’ve been spared witnessing The Strokes being sung on one of those reality shows because most regular 18 year old Americans have no idea who the Strokes are other than “that band that the Killers really liked.” But unfortunately in Britain, it’s a different story, and last week a young lad by the name of “Eddie String” (nee the decidedly less rock ‘n’ roll Eddie Wilkinson) took to the “X Factor” stage in London and beat “Last Nite” into submission within inches of its life.

Surprisingly, the judges had nothing but positive things to say. Which only goes to show you, British people will fall for anything vaguely resembling the New York cool — they’ll even take a two-bit, scary tone-deaf version of it. One judge described him as “a little bit Mika, a little bit Russell Brand” — which I think was meant as a complement.

Witness the horror:

CMJ 2011: Day 2 – 10/19/11 – Stop the Virgens and Twin Sister

Day two of CMJ turned out to be a free form day. A few weeks ago my friend Kathryn got us tickets to the new Karen O psycho rock opera at St. Ann’s Warehouse, Stop the Virgens, with me totally not realizing it was smack dab in the middle of CMJ. Whoopsies!

After the show, I decided to push it and headed over to Williamsburg to try to catch King Krule at Glasslands, but by the time I got there they were no longer letting badges in. As I was standing there, I heard someone call my name, and low-and-behold it was Scott Stereogum, who then invited to come into the ‘Gum showcase next door at 285 Kent.

Before heading in, Scott warned me that it was extremely hot indoors and sure enough, it was in fact a “hipster sauna” inside. So who were the kids all waiting to see? Strong Island (seriously???) buzz band, Twin Sister. Dreamy disco music, with a lead singer who looks like an Olsen, it’s not hard to understand why the room was 75% Sausage Fest.


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Summertime Fun So Far: Seaport Concerts, Al Fresco Dining, and Sing-a-Longs

Gosh, the summer is just flying by! Here are a couple of things that have put a smile on my face so far:

The Radio Dept. and Asobi Seksu @ River to River, South Street Seaport – July 15, 2011

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of re-living the mid-2000s with a performance by Swedish shoegazers The Radio Dept. and NYC’s own Asobi Seksu.

A beautiful night with beautiful music.


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New Strokes Video: “Taken for a Fool”

Just the thing to brighten up this dreary Friday in NYC — a brand new Strokes video! The music vid is for my favorite song off of Angles, Taken for a Fool.”

The only way I can think of to describe the video is to call it a Strokes merry-go-round. I never want this ride to end!

Some amazing moments from the video screen capped:

So many Julian Casablancases, so little time.


OMG, Jules killed Fab!


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What Is the Oilers Hat Julian Casablancas Wore During Coachella?

I believe it’s a vintage 1990’s era Houston Oilers snap back hat. The team was briefly known in the mid-90s as the Tennessee Oilers, but are now known as the Tennessee Titans.

Julian Casablancas
just wore the hat again on Conan tonight:

Where can you get mad swag like JC? Well the bad news is I’m pretty sure that baby blue is vintage, so you’re gonna have to go digging … or you could be the lucky one to nab what looks to be the identical style hat up for bid on eBay right now. Current price is $29.99.

I have no affiliation with the person selling the hat so I can’t confirm it’s the exact same one, but it sure looks like it.
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