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Artist of the Month
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June 2015
Annique Monet
"Phantom Letters
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Some records have the ability to plunge the listener into some kind of alternate reality. Annique Monet's uber-psychedelic debut album 'Phantom Letters' will do that to you. It took a few notes for opening track "Salt, Veruca," (streaming) to hypnotize us with its haunting beginning: a simple electric piano part, whistles, a fake horn section and a droney verse slowly led us towards a celestial chorus, which was quickly fogotten - for good - in favor of a baroque, droney outro. The following track 'Voodoo', a grottesque and dissonant waltz, took us to a really weird (and scary) place: we saw the devil looking at us through the speakers, from Vienna. With a beautiful melody, the first few bars of "Nowhere"  brought back some hope for a return to light, but the song didn't go anywhere - we should have expected it, considering the title. 'Relapse' delivered another waltz - a more subtle one - but filled to the brim with eerie and decadent melancholy. From its plodding intro, Turtlenecks in July resurrected the ghost of The Beatles' psychedelic pop, although sounding nothing like it, while in '52,' Greek mermeids lured us with the most ghostly of lithanies, asking us to join them - and drown. The following two songs on the record kept this beautifully absurd, elusive dream going, with noteworthy track "Unchange" closing the collection.

Although we often praise structure in songwriting (many songs here would benefit from more of it), there's very little structure in a dream - which is what this album is. In a scene that seems to have lost the imagination of its peak years, this is a record that will hopefully inspire other NYC artists to be more daring.

 
The 60's

Band of Gypsys

Bob Dylan

Bruce Haack

The Fugs

The Godz

Holy Modal Rounders

Velvet Underground
The 70's
Television
Patti Smith
The New York Dolls

The Ramones

The Talking Heads
Richard Hell
The Dead Boys
Blondie
Suicide
Lydia Lunch
DNA  
Mars
The Contortions  
The 80's
Afrika Bambaataa
Arto Lindsay
Bad Brains
Beastie Boys
Bruce Springsteen
The Feelies
The Fleshtones
Grandmaster Melle Mel
John Zorn
Laurie Anderson
Public Enemy
Run D.M.C.
Sonic Youth
Swans
They Might Be Giants
The 90's
A Tribe Called Quest
Cat Power

Jeff Buckley

The Magnetic Fields
Nas
The Notorious B.I.G.
Soul Coughing
Yo La Tengo
The 00's
The Strokes
Interpol
TV on The Radio
Fiery Furnaces
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Bravery
Animal Collective
Bright Eyes
Devendra Banhart
Moldy Peaches
Le Tigre
Liars
Blonde Redhead
Grizzly Bear
 

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scene blog

Marathoner Mike Day 2: Christina LaRocca, Netherfirends, Lisa Bianco, Automatic Children

Marathoner Mike Day 2: Christina LaRocca, Netherfirends, Lisa Bianco, Automatic Children

Day number two finds me in the Caribbean-themed frat bar Wicked Willy’s. I’m not entirely sure how I ended up here, but I had heard a bunch of artists were playing stripped down sets without their bands, and this wasn’t something you get to see a lot of at CMJ.

First up was Christina LaRocca. A Brooklyn staple with powerhouse pipes. Backed only by partner Satchel Jones, she projects a warm R&B flavor either when singing in French, or when covering classics like ‘Ring of Fire.’

Next to the tiny stage was the funky scientist Netherfriends. Essentially a one-man show, music-nerd Shawn Rosenblatt became the audience and artist at once. He has no problem looping harmonies, beatbox and pads together while still having plenty of time left over to bolt off the stage and throw his weight around on the dancefloor throughout the half hour set. One minute Jamie Lidell, the next Buddy Holly, his band-in-a-box style is unconventional, but won the crowd over with how enthusiastically the Chicago native brought it all together.

 

After all these solo acts, Lisa Bianco finally brought the first band out of the night. Bianco sings music from the heartland, but her riot spirit comes alive in every runaway train jam. Once upon a time people referred to the NY artist as anti-folk. This spirit comes through at the quieter moments, but for the most part she delivers overdrive to make Neil Young turn his head, stopping any of the usual Sheryl Crow comparisons at the door.

After wishing My new friend Paul congratulations for winning the biggest beer pong trophy I'd ever seen, I was ready for the last band of the night, Automatic Children. Here’s a band where almost every member is a frontman, bouncing lines back and forth from singer to singer and trading riffs from country stomp to sentimental note picking. These guys are long- time favorites of the Deli, and new faves of my own.

After that it was time to find my bed again... Reminded after two days that I actually have a girlfriend I should probably see. Who knew?

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