Monday, April 20, 2015

The Next Round - Episode 34: Ryan Montbleau

After a chance run-in with another comedian at another Jimmy's Diner, Ryan Montbleau joined me for a milkshake on the sidewalk.  (Well, maybe I should clarify that we both had milkshakes.  It wasn't one of those two-straw, one-cup situations.)  Ryan told me his tale, from a revelation he had walking around his college campus to working the box office at Boston's original House of Blues to watching his ever-growing fanbase sing along to songs he'd only ever imagined they'd learn the words to.  It's all here, including the story behind Growing Light, his band's latest album, recorded just after two of his bandmates announced their departures.

Stream below, download directly, or subscribe on iTunes like a boss.

Get tomorrow's songs today and pre-order Growing Light.
Do yourself a favor and go to the album release show at Bowery Ballroom on 4/21.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Next Round - Episode 33: Frances Cone

Happy Record Store Day!  Here's a new episode of The Next Round for you to listen to while you wait in line.

After watching a concert one fateful night in Charleston, SC, Christina Cone decided it would be fun experiment to move to NYC to write and perform music.  Fast-forward a few years, and her band, Frances Cone, has songs in television shows, Norwegian museums, and Daytrotter's best-of lists.  Listen to her tell the tale as she sips a cocktail at the Richardson in Williamsburg.

Stream below, download directly, or subscribe on iTunes to never miss an episode.

Like Frances Cone on Facebook.
See them for free at Rockwood Music Hall on 4/29.
Read my review of their EP release show at Rough Trade.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Next Round - Episode 32: Jenny Owen Youngs

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  If you're not already drunk (and really, even if you are), you should listen to the latest episode of The Next Round with Jenny Owen Youngs.  Not only is it my longest interview yet; it's a contender for the best.  Ever wondered how Jenny gets her hair to look so nice?  What about the insect that almost ruined her cover of "Ring of Fire?"  Maybe you just want to know who she'd cast in a Drunk History version of the myth of Orpheus?  Well, the answers are all here, so listen as Jenny and I "podcast the hell out of this podcast."

Stream below, download directly, or subscribe on iTunes if you're awesome.

Visit Jenny's site for tour dates.
Buy Slack Tide on iTunesBandcamp, or blue & gold vinyl.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Ex Cops Play a "Free" Show at Brooklyn Night Bazaar

If you're like me, you probably hadn't heard of Ex Cops before ten days ago.  That's when band member Brian Harding used Facebook to post an open letter to McDonald's as to why the band wouldn't be playing the multi-billion-dollar corporation's SXSW showcase for free.  The story quickly became national news, and ironically, the band now has more buzz than if they had played the showcase for exposure or if McDonald's had agreed to shell out some cash.  I'd wager it's probably the best thing that's happened to the Brooklyn indie band, and they probably secretly thank McDonald's every time they pass the one on Grand St. between Graham and Humboldt.

Ex Cops make hazy indie pop that's pleasant enough, but the fact is, it's not terribly unique.  While they definitely sound better on record than they did last night, over the less-than-optimal soundsystem at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar, I wouldn't have minded continuing to play Area 51 and listening to them in the background.  The only thing I would've missed is the beauty of lead singer Amalie Bruun, a heroin chic Danish model whose vocals recall Lana Del Rey.  Harding's vocals were incredibly thin, forcing me to contrast Ex Cops to a few male/female indie duos (The Submarines, Club 8) that have already nailed this dynamic.  Most of the songs sounded similar too, notable exceptions being the '60s California flavor of "Tragically Alright" and the shoegaze-y final number, "Rooms."

While I still think performers should be paid for their work (I've been performing standup comedy for over eight years, and have been paid seven times, so you know I'm empathetic.), I sort of wish McDonald's had picked a more original band for their showcase.  Then maybe a more-deserving band could be relishing the national attention that Ex Cops are currently receiving.  But that's behind us now.  Mickey D's has agreed to pay its SXSW performers, which is undoubtedly a good thing.  I only hope that Ex Cops will continue to grow as songwriters, so their legacy isn't just "band who wrote an angry letter to McDonald's."

EX COPS - 03.13.15 - BROOKLYN NIGHT BAZAAR (38 minutes)

Spring Break (Birthday Song) / Separator / White Noise / Daggers / Black Soap / Burnt Out Love / Tragically Alright / Wanna Be / Rooms

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Jonny Fritz & Robert Ellis Rockwood Music Hall Setlists

Review to come.
ROBERT ELLIS - 03.08.15 - ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL (54 minutes)

Only Lies / Good Intentions / Steady as the Rising Sun / The Elephant in the Room / A Good Year for the Roses / Maybe I'll Move to California / Chiseled in Stone / 1952 Vincent Black Lightning (feat. Courtney Hartman) / Sing Along

JONNY FRITZ - 03.08.15 - ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL (51 minutes)

Goodbye Summer / Holy Water / Forever, Whatever / I Love Being Ready to Go* / 15 Passenger Van / Social Climbers / Stone Cold Daddy-O / Chevy Beretta (feat. Kelly Doyle) / Fever Dreams (feat. Kelly Doyle) / Have You Ever Wanted to Die? / My Humidifier / Night Rider / Stadium Inn / Trash Day / Ain't It Your Birthday

The World/Inferno Friendship Society Brooklyn Night Bazaar Setlist

Review to come.


Tattoos Fade > If I Were a Rich Man (tease) > Tattoos Fade / Lust for Timing / Annie the Imaginary Lawyer / Aquaman (Interlude) / American Mercurial / Second Chance Saloon / The Velocity of Love / I Can't Remember the Words (Interlude) / Dolce Far Niente / The Apple Was Eve > Me v. the Angry Mob / The Elegant Solution / The Politics of Passing Out / The Faster You Go, the Better You Think / Me & the Mad Monkettes / Don't Kiss Me, I'm Running Out of Lipstick / Thumb Cinema / Ladies & Gentlemen of the Road / When I'm Gone (Interlude) > This Packed Funeral

Zen & the Art of Breaking Everything in This Room

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Next Round - Episode 31: Howard

I know we're all waiting for everything to thaw out, but it's still wintertime.  So why not hole up with the album I've listened to the most this season, Religion by Howard?  It might even tide you over until the new Radiohead album comes out.  Blasphemy, I know, but trust me.  One song even took a whopping eight months to edit!  Admit it.  You're intrigued.  Check out the latest episode of The Next Round to learn more about how the record came together.

Stream below, download directly, or subscribe on iTunes if you seek your parents' love.

Like Howard on Facebook and buy the album.
Read a review of the album release show.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Charlie Brand Mercury Lounge Setlist

Review to come.

CHARLIE BRAND - 02.27.15 - MERCURY LOUNGE (33 minutes)

Night Cactus > Baby Blue Motorcycle / Anasazi Inn / Malibu Yurt / New Highs/New Lows / Zen Whatever / Kool Aid / Temporary Comfort