Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Top Ten Songs of the Week 8/17/09

We usually do this on Tuesday but this week we’re doing it on Friday. Just to see if you’re paying attention. You’ll see this week’s #1 song on our Best 100 songs of 2009 list at the end of December, along with maybe some of the rest of these too. This is strictly for fun – it’s Lucid Culture’s tribute to Kasey Kasem and a way to spread the word about some of the great music out there that’s too edgy for the corporate media and their imitators in the blogosphere. Pretty much every link here will take you to each individual song.

 

1. Daniel Bernstein – Joyless Now

He wrote this spot-on, manic-depressive account of madness and alienation with his old band the Larval Organs but he still plays it at shows. Unrecorded as a solo work – you’ll have to experience it live. He’s at Goodbye Blue Monday in Bushwick on 9/14 at 9.

 

2. The JD Allen Trio – Live at the Village Vanguard.

Did you know that NPR archives a ton of its live shows? This is a complete concert from the Village Vanguard (the 9 PM set on 8/12/09) and it’s transcendent, the band in particularly focused mode. There’s also a link to Neko Case at the Newport Folk Festival on the same page.

 

3. The French Exit – Your God

Joy Division recast as sultry trip-hop by this amazing, dark New York band.

 

4. Norden Bombsight – Help Desk

Majestic, anthemic, haunting art-rock dirge. They’re at Small Beast at the Delancey on 9/7.

 

5. TV Smith – Together Alone

“We love our life and we love our leaders, sound bites from the bottom feeders.” Anthemic postpunk brillliance from the legendary Adverts frontman – just randomly wandered onto his myspace to be reminded what a great songwriter he is.

 

6. Schaffer the Darklord – Night of the Living Christ

The Biblical rapture rewritted as a zombie movie. An undead messiah? Beyond funny. He’s at Bar on A at 9 on 8/30.

 

7. Witches in Bikinis – Witches in Bikinis

The horror-rock supergroup’s cool, funny signature song

 

8. Kariné Poghosyan – Excerpt from Manuel De Falla’s Fantasia Baetica

The pyrotechnic pianist shows off her spectacular chops live at Steinway Hall, NYC. You want adrenaline? Wow!

 

9. El Radio Fantastique – Tiptoe Suicide

Characteristically spooky noir New Orleans blues from this imaginative crew.

 

10. Lunch During Wartime – Rubulad

A New York moment. “Strange thoughts fill my head…”

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August 21, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top Ten Songs of the Week 4/20/09

We do this every week. You’ll see this week’s #1 song on our Best 100 songs of 2009 list at the end of December, along with maybe some of the rest of these too. This is strictly for fun – it’s Lucid Culture’s tribute to Kasey Kasem and a way to spread the word about some of the great music out there that’s too edgy for the corporate media and their imitators in the blogosphere. Pretty much each link here will take you to the song; if not, you’ll have to check back here for live dates.

 

1. Juliana Nash – Love Song for New York

Classic, fiery, late 90s style underground NYC rock:  “It’s 6 AM and I’m drunk again…I turn incidents to habits!” Unreleased, as far as we know; watch this space for hopefully a live date or two sometime from the former Pete’s Candy Store proprietress.

 

2. Lenny Molotov – Brother Can You Spare a Dime

Updated for the new depression: stockbrokers become crackheads. Unreleased, watch this space for live dates.

 

3. Kerry Kennedy – Sons of Sons

Gorgeous NYC noir rock evocative of the Jesus & Mary Chain’s classic Deep One Perfect Morning

 

4. Moisturizer – The Kitchen Is Closed

Brilliant, counterintuitive bass goddess Moist Gina doing Larry Graham one better. They’re at Black Betty on 4/29 at 10 debuting their brand-new five-piece lineup!

 

5. The New Collisions – Ones to Wander

The Boston new wave revivalists have a ton of catchy, edgy three-minute gems and this is one of them. “Oh my eyes!” They’re at Arlene’s at 7 on 4/23 and the Delancey on 5/21

 

6. El Radio Fantastique – Riverbed 

Swaying, haunting, imaginative modern noir cabaret.

 

7. Linda DraperTime Will Tell

The great New York songwriter/lyricist has yet another new cd out, titled Bridge & Tunnel and this is a choice cut.  

 

8. Traquair – Perverted by the 21st Century

Scottish singer-songwriter – catchy, smart, terse.

 

9. This Spy Surfs – Spy Beach

Smartly virtuosic but tasteful guitar instrumental stylings. They’re at LIC Bar on May 15.  

 

10. King Django – Thirsty

Characteristically hypnotic but interesting dub reggae. They’re at Shrine on May 1.

April 20, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Concert Review: Kotorino at Pete’s Candy Store, Brooklyn NY 4/13/09

“It’s like they’re all Sufjahn Stevens,” a seemingly part-time band member (he played guitar and sang on a handful of songs) remarked. He was joking, of course. Other than the fact that pretty much everybody in Kotorino plays several instruments, they have about as much in common with Sufjahn Stevens as they do with Miley Cyrus. Alternately playful, haunting, phantasmagorical and carnivalesque, they came across as a cross between El Radio Fantastique and the badly missed Dimestore Dance Ensemble. In the course of just under an hour, the guitarist moved to harmonium, then banjo, then acoustic bass guitar, back to banjo and ended up on the harmonium. The violinist doubled on acoustic bass guitar and then acoustic guitar, taking a turn on lead vocals with a fetchingly ragtime-inflected lament, girl meets boy, girl loses boy and then wonders what to do next. The harmonium player doubled on accordion, the trumpeter switching to acoustic guitar for a song toward the end. Only the drummer stayed in one place, which was probably a good thing because somebody had to hold things together.

 

They started slow, swaying and off-kilter, like Dimestore’s tongue-in-cheek, Satie-esque swing but with more going on. Their bouncy, oldtimey songs have the same jazzy, saloony vibe as much of Tom Waits but without any of the stereotypical, over-the-top Waitsisms that so many imitators find impossible to resist (or replicate, for that matter). A jaunty, minor-key number featuring the violinist on bass and a soaring trumpet solo railed against “the way it has to be.” The next song began with an amusing and absolutely spot-on dub reggae rhythm, building to a dark, central European-inflected ballad that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Melomane songbook. They wound up the set with a rustic, upbeat yet ominous country banjo song – “There’s a sky in my eye, it’s on fire,” the frontman sang nonchalantly – and a harmonium tune in French which seemed to be an original. What an unexpectedly fun way to spend a drab Monday night. Kotorino is back at Pete’s for the next two Mondays, April 20 and 27, winding up their residency there: if you’re in the neighborhood, you could do an awful lot worse.

April 15, 2009 Posted by | Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment