Saturday, January 28, 2012

Shang-A-Lang - Waiting For The End

Shang-A-Lang hail(ed) from Las Cruces, New Mexico and purveyed the power trio punk rock that the bearded Razorcake massive eats up with a spoon. I have been known to tenure in those ranks, but Shang-A-Lang never really caught on with me.

Waiting For The End is evidently the band swan song. I though the split they released with Jonesin' was pretty ok, but I never heard the full-length or any other of the million splits they dropped. Historically, that would mean total obsession with their last release and/or having just missed them play live, but for better of worse that is not the case with Waiting For The End. Five songs, with the closing Stinky Shoes probably being the best of the lot. I like them kinda ok, but think I'll stick to the Old Neighbors. This is evidently a joint release between seven (?!) labels, so either get your Google on or investigate via the Shang-A-Lang web presence.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tenement - The Blind Wink

Regular readers are no doubt aware that JS-NYC likes themselves some Tenement. The Figgs meets Dinosaur Jr.-indebted rock stylings of last year's Napalm Dream found itself in heavy rotation and the prospect of a demos collection prompted much rejoicing at the HQ. It's a wise move, as the lack of a regular touring drummer makes Tenement a recording project a lot of the time. The Blind Wink gets you a dozen tracks for your indie rock dollar. Collector nerds should be aware that there is an exclusive track on the cassette version (?) that you can get here from your friends at Dead Broke Records. Those that have embraced a 21st Century technological sensibility should be aware that it comes with a download code. Of the twelve tracks, Dreaming Out Loud is reprised in alternate form, but the others are heretofore unreleased, to the best of my knowledge. I'd say Lost Love Star Lust is probably the best of the lot, but tuneful indie-pop fans will not be disappointed with any of the tracks on The Blind Wink.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wussy - Funeral Dress II

When I saw Dave Bierling at Christmas, he mentioned that he and his lady would be down for a Wussy show. You would think that the mention would burn through my lifestyle issues and get me to check on what was going on with Columbus' finest, but I spaced and only recently found that Team Wussy has been a wee bit more active lately than I would have thought, with a new record called Strawberry coming down the pike. While that is great news, further perusal of the Wussy web presence has brought to light that the band has re-recorded Funeral Dress in its entirety acoustically. 500 copies were pressed up for Record Store Day and sold through Shake It! I'm still working through the new record, but the acoustic Funeral Dress II is without question pretty fucking aces. No radical rearrangements, just further assertion that Funeral Dress is a great record and Wussy a great band. Find out for yourself here and look for them here in NYC on 3/3.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Statik Selektah - Population Control

After 25 years of hip-hop fandom, I can safely say that the current scene is pretty terrible. Sure, there are some young, promising cats like Ortiz and your boy Weezy, but by and large things are shitty with a capital E. The interwebs have fostered a worldwide presence that has helped those that are old-school and metal as prodigiously as those down with the hip-hop, but at least on a local level it's not a great time if your jeans fit and you're not into rocking zircons and a face tat.

Statik Selektah has been holding it down for at least a decade, repping for the caucasian hip-hop set out of Boston. He's dropped a handful of projects like Population Control since 2008 as well as collabos with the likes of Bumpy Knuckles and Saigon, to name but a few, but arguably his biggest presence is his Shade 45 show on Sirius. I bet he DJs out a fair bit, as well. Selektah gets props, and Population Control features enough of the likes of Sean Price and Styles P to keep me mildly interested, but by and large is a lot of new school crap-ola that is definitely backpacker only from where I'm listening. Not full-on Odd Future Asbergers Rap, but definitely Adderall familiar. If that's your thing, peep it here at the double S web presence. I think I'ma stick with the Blastmaster on this one.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Night Birds - The Other Side Of Darkness

New Jersey punks Night Birds love themselves the twangy surf punk purveyed by Agent Orange and The Adolescents, playing nasty single note lines over a pounding rhythm section that has without question incited a circle bit on more than one occasion. Equal parts Biafra sneer and Ramones whoa-oh, The Other Side Of Darkness is a go-to win for the lover of garage and beach punk in your life. Get it here from your friends at Grave Mistake.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nicki Minaj - Love Pink

They don't get much bigger than Nicki Minaj in this day and age. She's definitely got the female Lady Gaga thing going where she gets love from much more than just the hip-hop set. Pink Friday has moved some serious numbers and the follow-up Roman Reloaded seems poised to do the same. In the interim, we have Love Pink, comprising 20 tracks that work the same crossover angle that made its predecessor such a success. Bully for her, but there is a real club vibe to most, if not all, of the tracks that I am evidently way too old for. Mary J., Katy Perry and Willow Smith all make appearances, as do Gucci Mane, for what that's worth. The Wayne track is pretty aces, but at the end of the day, I'm going to put Love Pink firmly in the meh column, with the hope that the next mixtape is a little bit more gutter.


Monday, January 16, 2012

KRS-One - The BDP Album

Your boy KRS has definitely made the most of the digital age in recent years, dropping digital collabo releases right, left and center with the likes of peers like Buckshot and Bumpy Knuckles, not to mention Marley Marl. Those who felt those releases should be over the moon with the news that his newest release is called The BDP Album.

As you should have rightfully surmised by the title, Kenny Parker is behind the boards making things fresh for 2012 on The BDP Album (you suckers). And yes, the pairing is straight bananas. After a quick Kenny Parker drop, the opening Tote Gunz loops a B.I.G. hook you may remember, setting things off hard and keeping it there for the duration. Not too much in the way of guest spots, although Channel Live do resurface a couple songs in. Heads with any sense would do well to sell a Drake record or two and snap The BDP Album up with the quickness.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Chixdiggit - Daytrotter Sessions

Having redeemed themselves with their recent seaborne rock fest a couple months ago, I will dispense with my tired old complaining of perceived slights from the men of Chixdiggit and cut straight to the chase: there is a new Chixdiggit session on Daytrotter.

It's kinda ok. Five tracks, with Found Love from the new EP being the newest, along with three chestnuts and Kepi doing The Highway Man to close things out. Nothing that's going to spike Chixdiggit fanbase numbers in 2012, but well worth checking out for the already infatuated.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Craig Finn track and pre-order

JS-NYC Massive:

The new Craig Finn record has got everyone around the JS-NYC HQ interested. It's called Clear Heart Full Eyes and you can preorder it here.
Do it soon and get a free bandana.

The first single is called "New Friend Jesus" and you can hear it here.



Monday, January 9, 2012

Live: Lifetime with Title Fight and Iron Chic @ Europa 1.7.12

Tickets for this show evaporated almost immediately on the heels of the Lifetime/Iron Chic factor. That was enough for me to pony up, and the rumor of Title Fight sweetened the pot, as they had been getting a fair amount of buzz and I hadn't gotten around to listening. Despite an egregious amount of neglect, my bike got me to Europa safely and bought me some decent real estate for Iron Chic.

Iron Chic have been a local success story for a couple years. The latest record Not Like This has moved some units and garnered them their first overseas touring this Summer. The crew has been laying low since their return and these shows marked their first in a bit outside of Long Island. The kids were excited as usual, churning up a maelstrom of bodies that doesn't exactly match up with their drunk pop-punk. Their customary seven song set made it easy to hit the high points of the catalog before demuring Dwarves-style after about their usual twenty minutes (and about as many beers).

Title Fight were up next. I had been mildly intrigued as they kind of hailed from where I grew up, but didn't figure on their being the worst parts of Fall Out Boy and Rise Against. Sound was pretty bad for most of their set and when things did clear up vocally, I realized the sound guy had been doing us a favor. Color them uber-meh and ask the silly bass player kid to stop his stupid Wentz jumping. Lifetime were up shortly thereafter. They are old. Not that I'm not, but they are looking a bit long in the tooth. The set was solid though, covering most, if not all the high points of their canon. Lots of stage presence from the crowd, but for the first time in a while no scamp pissed Ari enough to cut the set short. Check the set list (courtesy of and live in regret.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Live: Tenement @ The Acheron 1.4.12

It's damn shame that it's been the better part of three years since we have had Tenement in our fair city. Their last Brooklyn show was one of the better shows I've seen in recent  years, but the time-honored lineup changes have hampered touring. Last year's Napalm Dream was one of the best indie rock records of 2011 and fate has smiled upon us to get them a touring drummer and make it out Brooklyn way. While I was excited as hell at the prospect of seeing Wisconsin's finest, I was somewhat less chuffed at the idea of riding out to nowhere Bushwick in temperatures that finally turned 'seasonal'.

I managed to blunder my way out to The Acheron in fairly short order and was pleased to find it was pretty legit in a Death By Audio sort of way. The room where the bands played is narrow and not especially long, kind of like the Khyber in Philly, begging the question how fucking Youth Of Today played there last Fall. Even with Coke Bust and Tenement on the bill, it made for a room that seemed full with maybe fifty people in it. Opening with a squall of feedback that got the kids shoving, Tenement romped through a half-hour of Dinosaur meets Figgs rock that satisfied pop and drunk punks alike. Mail me if you want a recording of the set.

All in all, the drummer for hire kid could have been more into it, and to that end I'd love to see what kind of damage Mikey Erg could in the Murph slot. I am not sure what the future holds in touring for Team Tenement, but you would be well-served in seeing them if you are able. In the absence of that, if you have not yet heeded the JS-NYC clarion call and purchased Napalm Dream, I suggest you do so with the quickness. Keep track of all things Tenement here.


Live: Lucero with Lionize @ Brooklyn Bowl 12.30.11

Word is that there is a new Lucero record looming called Women and Work but these shows were a holiday run culminating in a New Year's show in Boston (no fights there, I'm sure). This was my first time to the Brooklyn Bowl and I was pretty pleased at its upscale Fireside vibe. Showed up three hours past doors to still have to see the opening Lionize, a bunch of Charm City dudes who seemed solid individuals, but the Pearl Jam meets Dave Matthews vibe was nothing that rocked my world. An emphatic meh.

Lucero were decent, starting a little more sober than usual and dealing with the every-growing population of Brooklyn ex-pat douches who seem to think our friends from Memphis are a hardcore band with a fanbase that loves being doused in thrown beer. The boys are always quick to tell kids to calm down, but dealing with a bunch of douches that wouldn't last a minute in a real pit has been getting more and more wearisome over the last couple years. The new songs sound promising, but a little half-baked, most featuring horns ala 1372 Overton. Tour dates are booked in the Spring, with a record soon to follow. Check the set list below for a taste of what's in store.


  1. (Jawbreaker cover)
  2. (Partial)
  3. (Unknown)
  4. Ben with Todd and Rick
  5. Mom 
  6. Full Band Returns
  7. Encore:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Live: For Every Story Untold @ Mercury Lounge 12.19.11

It's always a relief when you go see a friend's band and they aren't terrible. As all my musician friends seem to be drummers currently, the kit was the initial reason for me posting up, but its always a pleasure to go to NYC's Finest Rock Space. This was the second FESU show at Mercury, the last one featuring a bit of a different line-up. Show number two had a bit of a smaller crowd, but was still a pretty decent showing.

Musically, For Every Story Untold is damn solid. Drummer is aces, guitar guy a little wanky (and definitely in need of some fucking Sperzels) but still pretty aces. Bass is a little unobtrusive, but it leaves more space for the equally decent keys and Beth Gibbons vocals that the average FESU song sports. Problem is, unless there's a tune where the drummer is really mixing it up, the stage presence is sorely lacking with this crew, as is the crowd interaction. It would appear some mood lighting and visuals are in order. I understand I missed a real-life symposium on the weakness of Gibson headstock joints, which would have livened things up considerably personally, but save for that and the closing banjo number that kind of gave me heart palpitations, the kids need to work on the stage part of performance.

If you're intrigued, what I believe is the first recorded release from For Every Story Untold is available here via their web presence. Check there for video and word on live dates in 2012.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Live: The Hold Steady @ Brooklyn Bazaar 12.17.11

So The Hold Steady decided to wrap up the year with a couple of shows, pre-Craig solo record duties. After a cold jump across the bridge and Drew saving my stupid ass with a lock loan, I posted up at the Bazaar warehouse space down on Kent.

Man alive is that a big fucking space. So big that I literally had to ask directions to find the ginormous space the rock was being held in. Found Eric and that I had missed the seemingly-decent-personally-but-snooze-o-rific-every-time-I've-seen-them-live Titus Andronicus. Looking at the calendar, I'm bummed that this show wasn't with Fucked Up, but either way they got points for starting on time.

Wasn't the best Hold Steady show I've seen, but this one was remarkable for being a bad Craig show. Not bad bad, but there were some dropped lyrics and the whole vibe was a little off. Sound was good for a cavernous pre-fab space, as was the set. I will continue to carp about the lack of keys in general and Franz in particular, but The Hold Steady are quite a rock force to be reckoned with even on an off night. I'm intrigued to hear what the Craig solo set is like. I hear maybe we'll get some new THS fourth quarter. Stay tuned for details. Set list is below.


  1. Encore:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

JS-NYC Massive:

Happy New Year!

A number of forces internal and external have conspired for me to scuttle the year-end 2011 wrap-up/hyphen-fest. If you still want a year end mix, holler and I'll send.

Thanks for everything in 2011.

Let's keep it moving...