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July 2015
The Great Void
"Shift Age

If you're one of the few not plagued by thoughts of mortality and burdened by self-reflection, consider yourself lucky. If you're a brooder, however, then Shift Age, by NYC dark electro-rock project The Great Void, might be the record for you. It bears all the outwards signs of happy pop music, though the longer you listen, the more surreal it gets. Especially vivid is “Medicine Ball,” whose plunky synths and new-wave vocals divert bleakly-rendered lines like, “I know we'd have fun/But you're much too young.” By “Shift Age (Part 2),” it's clear the gloss is just a cover for deconstructing nostalgia itself. “Out with the days of the old ways” sings leader Josh Ascalon before a barrage of high-pitched squeals surge towards an apocalyptic finale. Or maybe that's just the hardware inside his keyboard threatening to fry out? - Brian Chidester

The 60's

Band of Gypsys

Bob Dylan

Bruce Haack

The Fugs

The Godz

Holy Modal Rounders

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

The Ramones

The Talking Heads
Richard Hell
The Dead Boys
Lydia Lunch
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
They Might Be Giants
The 90's
A Tribe Called Quest
Cat Power

Jeff Buckley

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