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(Not exactly) pop from NYC: Pop. 1280

The peeps in Pop. 1280 must like paradoxes, since their music isn't poppy at all - dark, brooding, borderline evil rather. But maybe that dot means that "pop" stands for something else? Popsicle maybe? Popcorn? Oh, wait! It's from a novel by Nick Corey, and "Pop." stands for "population."

Signed to Brooklyn's Sacred Bones, these guys released a full length in January entitled "The Horror" (that's more like it) which snatched a 7.5 from Pitchfork. I always say that I like tension and release in music, but... boy! Tense throughout, this stuff won't let you off the hook, challenging most hears with truly edgy, clangy, and cacophonous sonic attacks, in perfect industrial/goth style - imagine an angrier version of Nick Cave's Birthday Party. Pop. 1280 will be touring the US in September, but we can see in the band's future an obvious destination, Germany and Northern Europe, true homes of angular and dark rock sounds. If this band was a painter it would be Edvard Munch. Check out their recent video of the song "Bodie in the Dunes" here.


A show you can't miss: Cake Shop Benefit on Saturday 07.14, with Wild Yaks, Shilpa Ray + more

I can't even imagine the Lower East Side without The Cake Shop, which has been going through some financial hardships as of late. The loss of this venue would mean that the more noisy, experimental, and DIY side of the NYC scene would have abandoned Manhattan once and for all. And noisy, experimental and DIY music is a huge and seminal component of what this scene has expressed since the 60s. Ya man, it all happened in Manhattan - nobody gave a crap about the Brooklyn scene until the aughts! This is why we should all make an effort to visit The Cake Shop more often, in particular this Saturday July 14th, when 4 great local bands and legendary DJ Dan Selzer (of NY Happenings Yahoo Group fame) will entertain hopefully a packed house in support of the Ludlow Street rowdiest venue. Hilarious drunk punks Wild Yaks willheadline, bringing the usual dose of unruly fun on stage, preceded by Shilpa Ray's charismatic and imaginative freak folk (one of her songs streaming below). The opening bands will be soul-rock quartet The Immaculates and ungooglable garage-blues band DON'T. There will be also a photo exhibit by local photographer Ebru Yildiz.

New Music Video: “Heartbreaker” - The Walkmen

The Walkmen just shared another new music video today for the track “Heartbreaker.” You can also check out a recording of them covering the Rolling Stones’ “Blue Turns to Grey” for Lauren Laverne’s BBC Radio 6 Music show HERE. Enjoy!


CBGB Fest wrap up: Black Wing Halo, Hollis Brown, The Virgins, Glint + more

This past weekend, CBGB Festival extended the 4th of July celebration and extra four days. A music, film, and spirits conference, the first CBGB fest in NYC featured a spectrum of artists throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. I was able to catch a handful of the performances, starting Thursday night with edgy, dark and punky quartet, Black Wing Halo at Trash Bar. Southern rockers from NY, Hollis Brown (pictured and streaming below) rocked The Living Room on Friday, July 6. The quintet hit the stage twice in one night, at 9pm and 12am, showcasing tracks off their recent EP, “Nothing & the Famous No One,” and summer single, “Cold City,” which are both available for free download. Not too far away, Bowery Electric hosted the highly anticipated come back of The Virgins, who have only recently returned to the scene to play shows in conjunction with the release of “Venus in Chains.” Saturday afternoon was a scorcher, but that did not stop a record number of passersby from taking advantage of the music in the center of Times Square. Two stages alternated acts, as the audience hustled back and forth. Kicking off the lineup, GLINT, an electro-rock project comprised of its one and only official member, Jase Blankfort, joined forces with orchestral back up to mesmerize with contrasting styles and impassioned vocals. A few blocks up, the other stage erupted with Big Apple veterans, The Hold Steady’s playful heartland rock which was followed by quirky indie synth-pop, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. –Meijin Bruttomesso

Foster Care is pissed, and plays Legion on 7/11

Forget everything the last decade taught you about the so-called aesthetics of punk, and welcome back to the days of angry fist-in-the-air pissed-up antics. Hating on hipsters since 2009, Foster Care released last month their debut LP 'Bad City Vibes' (Jackshack), a furious set of 13 fast tracks bursting with pure antagonism. I'll refrain from the critical urge to give them credit for the lyrics (not as thick as one may think) or even the noise (tighter than it sounds) to get straight to the point: these guys are Brooklyn's straightest answer to an oh-so-docile scene, furiously sticking it up to... Gee, the list is long. As a target of choice, NYC posers beware: they will be down at Legion on Wednesday (7/11), dishing out some rabid hardcore punk to a crowd that may make you swallow your tote bag. - Tracy Mamoun


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