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May 2015
Pop and Obachan
"Dream Soup
"
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Dreaming has always been a prerogative of the young. But seeing the raising wave of dreamy NYC based bands, we start to wonder if dreaming becomes a necessity for those who choose to settle in that post-industrial wasteland that is "non affluent Brooklyn." Or maybe it's the other way around: would anobody who doesn't have a dream to nurture settle in a place like Bushwick? Whichever the answer, that gray urban ugliness is producing many colorful psychedelic flowers. One of them is Pop and Obachan, a duo that, in just over a year of existence, released two EPs that show a radical metamorphoses - one that veers towards dreaminess. Their debut EP 'Unfurl' was a modest, sparse and sleepy alt folk record featuring just voice, ukelele and acoustic guitar. Its melodies and chord progressions owe a lot to the roots of American music. But this year's 'Dream Soup' sees the band entirely transformed - and for the better. An enriched instrumentation - now featuring also drum machine, keyboards and electric guitar - supports, through inventive arrangements, some truly imaginative and personal dream-pop songwriting. The highlights are opener 'Holly' and 'Dry Land,' with their impressionistic sound, beautifully whimsical melodies, and perfectly balanced production. If this is what "non affluent Brooklyn" can do to a band in one year, there's definitely nothing wrong with it, no matter how expensive the rent is.

 
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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NYC band on the rise: Clear Plastic Masks headline the Knit on 05.25

NYC band on the rise: Clear Plastic Masks headline the Knit on 05.25

Since moving to NYC from L.A. in ‘99, the flurry of local bands I’ve fallen for has been dizzying.  But none in recent memory has gripped me quite like new garage soul outfit Clear Plastic Masks, fronted by Detroit-bred Andrew Katz (ex-New York Howl). Powerful sh*t emanates from this man who, at 6’6”, casts an imposing shadow, yet you’ll never meet a warmer guy.  The band’s sound dynamics are what’s most striking. One minute Katz’s everyman poet is casually whispering in your ear like an old friend telling you a joke and putting you at ease.  The next Matt Menold (guitars, keys) is pummeling you with ocean size Hendrix licks and Stax Hammond organ drones. But a deep soulfulness permeates every note, and the Cuban and Dominican roots of rhythm section Eddy DuQuesne (bass) and Charlie Garmendia (drums) ensure asses are kept shakin’ and the funk is kept stankin’. It adds up to a powerful elixir that could only be brewed in this great city of ours, and it’s undeniably rock n' roll. In the last month the Masks recorded their forthcoming debut LP with producer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes; Jay Reatard) in Nashville, and filmed this video with director Joshua Shoemaker in Alabama. Catch them headlining the Knitting Factory on Friday 05.25 and be left reeling.  – Ryan Henriquez

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