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Tall Juan premieres Ramones cover video, performs at Puerto Rico benefit 11.05

Maybe you’ve been thinking “wow, there are a lot of bad things going on in the world right now—like the hurricane damage to Puerto Rico—I wish I could do something about it.” Or maybe you’ve been thinking “what my life needs is a band that sounds like The Ramones, but isn’t The Ramones, and maybe features acoustic guitar and occasional Spanish.” Either way you should probably be watching Tall Juan at the Que Lio! Fundraiser show for Puerto Rico on November 5th.

Sometimes it’s just hard to figure out how to do good and contribute to a cause, but being part of a benefit makes it easy. Sometimes it’s just hard to listen to The Ramones—actually, no it’s not, if you feel like it’s hard to listen to The Ramones I cannot offer sincere understanding... But that’s beside the point. Tall Juan’s Joey Ramone-esque vocal delivery and incessantly bopping rhythms clearly pay tribute to the early NYC rebels, but there’s also a garage rock, almost lo-fi sensibility to his taste and style (Mac DeMarco recorded his debut album). It’s a sound true to New York from The Ramones, to The Strokes, to that band you saw a couple weeks ago in Brooklyn that sounded way better live than on Bandcamp.

Below, you can watch his new video for “Time Bomb”—a Ramones cover that sounds even more Ramonesque than the original—featuring shirtless Tall Juan, skateboards, and hip little dance moves. And don’t forget to stop by the Que Lio! fundraiser at Baby’s All Right. It’s a donation-based daytime show (12-4 p.m.) on a Sunday, so no excuses. – Cameron Carr, photo by Audrey Del Piccolo.





New Weller LP Available for Streaming & Purchase

The trio of Weller recently shared its self-titled debut LP, which was produced by Jake Ewald (Modern Baseball, Slaughter Beach, Dog). Songwriting, soaked in emotive sincerity, forges a natural bond. Braiding heart-panging relatability with an upbeat energy, these songs make one feel less alone and hopeful of breaking through the fear. After touring for the better part of the last month, Weller will be returning home this Saturday, November 4 at JJ's Diner for the band's record release celebration that will also include Three Man Cannon, Allegra, and Beach Bod. (Photo by Emily Dubin)





New Myths bring blend of new wave and alt rock to Brooklyn Bazaar 11.16

The thing that makes New Myths so hard to pin down is, paradoxically, how familiar their music feels. The synths and dance beats are recognizably new wave, but the guitar tones pay tribute to angsty alt-rock. To top it off there’s a mood of goth darkness veiling the vocal harmonies and instruments below it. Blended together, New Myths’ sound is relatable yet exciting calling to mind alternative classics without over-referencing any particular artist. You can experience it live next at Brooklyn Bazaar on November 16th. – Cameron Carr





New Sandcastle EP Available for Streaming & Download

A meandering melancholy of doo wop, medieval folk, and indie rock, Sandcastle's The Vampire was released at an ever-appropriate time. Featuring contributions from Zach Robbins and Josh Mackie (Dark Mtns, Flight Habit, Sun Organ) as well as Josh Meakim (A Sunny Day in Glasgow, The Fantastic Imagination), the album creates a cautionary sense of comfort, as if something is slight amiss. Sam Kassel and Dan Angel form a bewitching pair. It’s drearily delightful as one slips into the darkness.





Record of the Month: Blood Cultures, “Happy Birthday”

Blood Cultures’ buoyantly catchy single “Indian Summer” dropped all the way back in 2013. “Indian Summer” was an electro-indie gem that gave a glimpse into Blood Cultures’ distinctive talent for poignancy and melody. It’s a style the producer/multi-instrumentalist has come to master on his debut LP, Happy Birthday.

In the four years since “Indian Summer” dropped to considerably positive reception, hype over Blood Cultures’ debut has ebbed and flowed. It’s rare for an artist not to capitalize on the type of momentum generated by a successful indie single like “Indian Summer.” And it’s even rarer for an artist to fulfill the promise of a well-received single in the way Blood Cultures does on Happy Birthday.

The album feels truly sonically coherent. Throughout, Blood Cultures riffs on the soundscape he painted in “Indian Summer” in varied ways. And they’re all wonderful and welcome experimentations: Drawing from a palette of synths, dreamy vocals, found sound-esque samples, and filtered guitar riffs, Blood Cultures creates a record chock full of standout tracks. “Phospholipid,” which feels like a musical cousin to “Indian Summer,” is one such standout. The lyrics echo the longing and pathos felt in the melody: “You ask yourself what am I to do? (You ask yourself, you ask yourself) Your mother says don't let him get through (Your mother says, your mother says) You ask yourself, what am I to say? Don't give me away Don't keep me astray The way you play your games.” It’s simple, yet potent stuff. The best of Lykke Li and or a subtler M83 come to mind.

Elsewhere, “Coastal” is an expressionist dream that builds and strengthens with synths and sweeps reminiscent of Kool and the Gang’s legendary soul hit, “Summer Madness.” Album opener, “Scenes from a Midnight Movie” is a fitting declaration of Blood Cultures’ artistic vision: “Oh please, tell us about all the things you have seen About all your visions and all of your dreams It seems to me That you're set free It seems to be The only possibility…” It’s a vision full of pathos, wonder, and joy. - juan leon

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