Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

CD Review: Copesetic – The Keys EP

Utterly impossible to pigeonhole artsy, tuneful rockers Copesetic – they’re nothing if not original and that’s a good thing. With plenty of hooks, harmonies and a groove that lends itself to sprawling out, they’d go over big on the jam band circuit. The opening track for some reason is called The Pickle Ditty, slide guitar over sparse acoustic with almost operatic vocals, then it gets funky, morphs into a big stomp and then into bouncy, cheery almost Penny Lane pop. Anytime also kicks off funky, blending late-period Beatlesque pop with a big grandiose 6/8 classic rock ballad feel, layers of jangly and crunchy guitar with sweeping organ behind them. The next cut, Veritas is another big but brief 6/8 anthem with the frontman howling through a bullhorn effect: imagine a straight Freddie Mercury.

Keys, which seems to be a title track of sorts builds from a thoughtful acoustic funk/jazz vibe with a latin beat, crunchy guitars finally kicking in with a gleeful “yeah!” Last cut on the cd is Be Here Now, yet another one in 6/8, which is actually pretty cool, starting out pensive and pastoral with a slightly jazzy tinge in the spirit of early 70s British art-rock bands like Nektar, building to a wildly beautiful, guitar-stoked crescendo.

If there anything to criticize here, it’s the vocals which are sometimes completely over the top, staggering from grungy slur to lazy Allmans drawl in places. Nothing wrong with New Jersey, dudes: you guys went for Obama last time out. This is a fun, summery record: Copesetic sound like they could be even more fun live. They’re at the Boro 6 Music Festival in Montclair, NJ on June 21.

May 19, 2009 Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Boro 6 Music Festival Coming to Montclair, NJ June 18-21

One ongoing problem here (we have many) is that being so immersed in the New York scene, it’s awfully easy to forget that there are plenty of other vital music scenes all over the country. Case in point: Montclair, New Jersey, home not to any one particular style but the focal point for a large, diverse handful of smart, impressively competent bands. The upcoming Boro 6 Music Festival runs June 18-21, with lots of bands on the bill. The McMickle Bros. serve up vaguely Neil Young-inflected clang and twang with unusual verve, at the top of their game sounding a little like the Dream Syndicate. The three women and two guys in Bern & the Brights deliver stark, passionate shoegaze-inflected minor-key anthems, while the two guys in Tip Canary offer funny, laid-back raps over lazy guitar funk grooves. Deivito play rousing acoustic Latin music fused with Mexican folk that actually sounds more like ancient Dominican bachata than anything else

Highlights of day one are the Defending Champions, who play tasty third-wave ska with clinky guitars, a horn section and a sense of humor, and gentle but funny cello/guitar indie pop band Waking Lights. Day two features New York gypsy-Japanese party band Kagero as well as the Frozen Gentlemen, who play funny, tongue-in-cheek early 80s new wave and ska-flavored pop. On the third day, there’ll be the scruffy, moody, restless indie trio the All New Cheap Moves along with blue-eyed soul/funk siren Stephanie White & the Philth Harmonic. Day four has a killer lineup with the Porchistas’ fun, country-inflected powerpop, the McMickle Bros., Bern & the Brights and Stu Klinger’s excellent Pogues cover band Streams of Whiskey. The final night includes the brilliant New York Americana chanteuse Julia Haltigan and her killer band the Hooligans along with the tuneful, anthemic, funky rock of Copesetic and perhaps the best act of the entire festival, the One & Nines who are an amazing time machine, playing the kind of slightly psychedelic late 60s soul that Smokey Robinson and the rest of the A-list were doing right before Woodstock. The entire festival calendar is here.

May 12, 2009 Posted by | Live Events, Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments