I can’t vouch for the former, but this three-piece Boston outfit is certainly pretty-- their latest, Golden Rules for Golden People, has been slowly gaining critical acclaim that their long-standing Beantown fans can cheer for. Often compared to early new wave from Elvis Costello to Squeeze, don’t listen to the blogs that tell you Pretty and Nice are merely influenced performers. In their single “Hibernate”, you hear snippets of the Kinks and a snatch of electronic, but the blend is completely unique to the group. Holden Lewis and Jeremy Mendicino have been playing the New England scene since 2004 and are finally gaining some clout in the community. Golden Rules is terrific, but for even more Pretty and Nice fun take a listen to their earlier recordings-- their current sound is a careful blend of everything they’ve done to date, and it’s a cool journey to take. Catch them at the Sinclair on Thursday with the Thermals. - Jamie Loftus
West Philly's Grandchildren recently performed at Glasslands in NYC on May 15, 2013 as part of the celebration for the release of their latest LP Golden Age (Ernest Jenning Recording Co.). You can listen to their entire set below, and download it for free HERE. Special thanks to NYC Taper for sharing.
Keeping secret identities, rising R&B electropop artists ASTR are testing the waters with slick, slightly sinister club bangers. The “NYC Duo” mixes processed vocals, 808s and heavy bass drops, producing dance tracks that sound like they came from a seasoned hit factory. Dark undertones ground their handful of high-gloss tracks, but they never dive into the creep-pop or drug-stupor of influences like Purity Ring and The Weeknd. The pair’s latest single is a radio-friendly earworm called “Operate.” The twitchy, washed-out companion video borrows from NIN’s, “Closer,” with blood, guts and silent film footage spliced between shots of the glam, unknown singer, whose “Operate, Oh-oh” has a tinge of Caribbean accent. The sleuth behind the buttons remains a mystery. - Bianca Seidman
Twin sisters, Katie (Waxahatchee) and Allison (Swearin') Crutchfield, formerly of The Ackleys and P.S. Eliot, reunite to record a cover of Grimes' "Oblivion" for Rookie Mag's Theme Song series, which was posted earlier today. It's a noisy guitar-driven rendition of the song that still maintains the irresistible pop vocals. Enjoy!
What is merely a tease to his upcoming full length release, “Remind Me,” is the first single off of experimentalist Lee Noble’s ‘Ruiner’ LP. With a touch of drone-y atmospherics, the song dishes out a heavy does of mood while managing to maintain a sense of rhythm and melody that is more often neglected in this genre for the sake of boundary-pushing. Crunchy guitar swells drift atop lo-fi drum machine loops and ambient sound design as Noble moans with the emotional inflection found on Thom York’s ‘Eraser,’ and the affected lethargy of early Atlas Sound. Dappled with homespun distortions and hiss, “Remind Me” never ambles too far out of reach yet stays rooted in the authenticity of it’s derivatives. ‘Ruiner’ is set for release September 5 on Bathetic Records. - Jacqueline Caruso
The lovely ladies of Danger Cakes have branded their style as “punk- infused R&B,” which is true but their music also includes all the major highlights of classic Rockabilly. From their sexy wardrobe and bouffant hairdos to their horn heavy, upright bass slapping sound, Danger Cakes combines the vintage style of Stray Cats with the feminine appeal and raw edge of Amy Winehouse. They’ll be kickin’ it on Route 66 in Tucumcari, NM on June 7th-9th. Then they'll come back home and play at The Palmer Events Center, July 28th. To help this local band land a spot on the Vans Warped Tour, vote here. –Written by Jodi Lang
This Friday at 12th & Porter, Anna Haas will debut her monthly Women Who Rock showcase series. Highlighting four female-fronted bands (three local, one touring), Haas is creating a new platform for female musicians in the Nashville music circuit. "Upon moving back to Nashville from New York, I noticed that there were a lot of showcases around town primarily focusing on roots and Americana-- which is great! And the couple of chick singer nights that I hopped onto tended to be primarily country. I wanted to provide a showcase for female-centric bands who are trying something a little more progressive, and may feel frustrated at times that what they're going isn't 'very Nashville,'" says the singer-songwriter and Nashville native.
With writer's nights filled to the brim with sad girls with guitars singing songs about ex-boyfriends, Haas saw a space to create something different for female songwriters in Music City. "It's been a journey, trying to figure out where my sound fits in this scene. I get a lot of people trying to fit my band in a box, and it's difficult. I figure, instead of resisting that, I'm excited about being a part of this cultural and artistic shift that's beginning to take over the city." So she contacted some of her favorite local female musicians and started to put together the lineup for her first Women Who Rock showcase.
In addition to featuring female voices that are confident and unique, Anna Haas wants to create an environment where women don't feel the need to compete against one another to get ahead in an industry already known for being typically cutthroat. "I was talking to Caitlin from The Broadcast about how discouraging it can be when other bands or women put off this competitive energy. It's important to be strong women, but we don't need to be competing. There's plenty of room for all of us, and I want this showcase to help bring women in the industry together to help, support, and encourage each other."
Though the showcase debuts on Friday, Haas has some bad ass lineups in store. This Friday, 12th & Porter's stage will feature Frances & the Foundation, Hot Mess Loves You, Asheville's The Broadcast, and Anna Haas, along with her band, the Effect. "I'll go out and see a bill and a rock venue typically, and if there's a female-fronted band in the mix, a lot of the time there's this feeling of 'Whoa! A chick singer! Yes!' I just want a whole night of that. I think it will be really exciting."
The night kicks off at 12th & Porter @ 8 pm on May 24th. For tickets and more information, click here. –Brianne Turner
On Saturday night, Man Man’s Christopher “Pow Pow” Powell performed as his intergalactic side project Spaceship Aloha at Johnny Brenda’s. Sporting a tropical vibe with his Hawaiian shirt and tall plants set up on stage while techno-colorful palm trees were projected on the stage screen. He was also joined by Brooklyn artist, comedian, singer and rapper Tim Fite, who opened for Spaceship Aloha with a video backdrop of himself (and then some) playing in the background and singing his songs while he performed them live. Unfortunately, Powell only got to spin about a 20-minute set before the audience was asked to evacuate the venue due to a water pipe breakage (which also caused Surgeon’s release show to be moved to Kung Fu Necktie the next evening). However, we still managed to snap some photos for you from Spaceship Aloha’s abridged performance as well as the multiple looks of Tim Fite HERE.
Congratulations to the acclaimed San Francisco based indie rock band, Scissors for Lefty for winning The Deli Magazine San Francisco's artist of the month poll for the month of May! This band exudes enthusiasm in regards to their pop sensibilities, and the poll shows that Scissors For Lefty is a local favorite by The Deli readers! This band obviously has a great number of loyal fans! We wish them the best and are pleased to be able to share their music and local talent!
You can see Scissors for Lefty live in San Francisco on June 15th at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco with Happy Fangs, The Trims and The Hundred Days. Go out and support these great local bands and have a blast!
Mree's delicate voice and intimate songs have a resonating power that caught the attention of none other than mister Bon Iver. The "king of mellowness" recently shared Mree's music with his fans, creating quite a bit of buzz around this young artist. Quite impressively, this talented nineteen year old songstress and full-time NYU music student not only records and produces her own music, but also films and edits her videos (see them here). She plans to release her sophomore album, "Winterwell," on August 6. The album's first single, “Into the Well” (streaming below) features a long ethereal intro reminiscent of Enya's seas of sound, and then develops into a mid tempo electro-pop lullaby. It works. Once a cover-artist, recreating versions of tracks from Bon Iver and The Middle East, Mree seems to have found her own sound along the way. - Kristyn Potter