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February 2015
Dolly Spartan
"self-titled EP
"
mp3

I think we can all agree about the fact that age is very important in rock'n'roll; we might not like that (we don't) but we can agree about it, right? Therefore, a good rock song is bound to get some added value when it's written and performed by four musicians in their (not so late) teens. And then, if you also realize that the band has a solid six track debut EP with no fillers under their belt, things start to get really interesting: records without fillers are rare at any age... The band in question is NYC's Dolly Spartan; their self titled debut fluctuates between pop punk exuberance ('We'll say that for now,' streaming below, and ' 'Don't You Know') and more tamed melodic moments reminiscent of a dirtier Vampire Weekend ('Who Are You,') or even of sacred monsters like The Beatles and their beloved disciples XTC ('Something on my Mind'). The band's sound features the right amount of rawness (think early Pixies), which gets tamed at least in part by songwriter and lead singer's Michael Eliran tenor, that sounds way more mature than his years. The range of the six tracks, the actual songwriting, and the maturity of the arrangements is truly impressive for such a young band, and make this is one of the most consistently fun NYC made record we heard in a while. Hopefully these guys' sound won't get too polished too soon!

 
The 60's
Bob Dylan

Simon and Garfunkel

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
Sonic Youth
Bad Brains
Beastie Boys
Bruce Springsteen
Swans
The Feelies
Laurie Anderson
They Might Be Giants
John Zorn
Arto Lindsay
Sonic Youth
The Fleshtones
The 90's

Jeff Buckley

The Magnetic Fields
Yo La Tengo
Soul Coughing
Cat Power
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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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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