Thursday, October 18, 2012

Live: Vagina Panther @ Trash Bar 10.17.12

Vagina Panther have become quite the rock juggernaut in the last year or so, playing well-received gigs from here to Columbus behind their recent Aqualamb EP Judge. The foursome returned to Trash Bar for their CMJ debut, romping through way too short of a set to a full house. I expect their Tinderbox set next month at Webster will be a tad more expansive.Vagina Panther is loud rock made in small rooms to be played on big ones like Webster Hall.

Seems like JS-NYC isn't the only one to think so. Check the interview with Vice here.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Trash Talk - 119

Love them or leave them, Trash Talk is pretty damn unfuckwithable. They have spent the last six years raising hell anywhere people would have them, from shitty basements to the New Museum. The level of youthful skater/hipster jackassery has risen exponentially in recent years, in no way helped to the cranky old JS-NYC eyes by their affiliation with West Coast hip-hop collective Odd Future. Generation gaps aside, Trash Talk have become the first non-hip hop artist to sign to the Odd Future collective.

119 is their first record for Odd Future Records (in conjunction with their own Trash Talk Collective) and shows little change from the Flag-ged up guitar thrash we've come to know and love from the fearsome foursome. Things rarely stretch past the one-minute mark, save for a brooding collabo with OFWGKTA proprietors Hodgy Beats and Tyler The Creator that seems tailored more for the after-parties Trash Talk have been playing on the recent Odd Future tour than anything people are really clamoring for. The rest is business as usual, and tracks like Reasons do make me want to hit people in the face with a shovel, so rest assured that your Sacto boys are still bringing it. Get 119 here from the TTC web presence and look out for them at Gramercy on 10/17 with Mellowhype. I suspect there will be ten or twenty underground shows for TT that day as well, so keep your eyes peeled.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Minus The Bear - Infinity Overhead

Minus The Bear are entering their second decade as forward thinking rockers, varying little in that time from their initial formula of dance-inflected, finger-tap driven guitar rockery. The years have fostered a comfortably incremental expanding of their fan base, and seen companion amounts of sales. As such, the crowds and rooms they play in have also gotten bigger, to the point where the douchey contrarian in me has seen me staying home for the last couple of tours. JS-NYC absence aside, the shows were held to be good, even with one-time MTBer Matt Bayles ending his performing tenure with band to return full-time to his production gigs for the likes of Mastodon and Mono.

Infinity Overhead is the fifth overall full length from the Seattle quintet, and the second Minus The Bear release for LA indie powerhouse Dangerbird Records, sporting ten damn solid tracks that may be the best MTB tracks since their first two releases. Things are not broken, and Minus The Bear are not trying to fix a damn thing: Knutson is pretty fierce with the tapping and all around pretty aces on the six string end of things, tearing tracks like Toska up in pronounced fashion, but still able to rein it in when the song calls for it. Vocals are the same brushed metal smooth you've come to expect, dappling the glimmering sonic underpinning of Matt Bayles nicely. Someone would do well to get these gents locked into some soundtrack work with the quickness, as I see someone licensing one of these tracks and Minus The Bear blowing up in Death Cab fashion. They do indeed make beer commercials like this.

Minus The Bear are due to jump off an run of dates with Cursive soon. Keep track of them and all things Infinity Overhead here.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Old 97s - They Made A Monster: The Noise Trade EP

Boy did I used to like me some Old 97s. It's been a hot minute since I've indulged in their live show, but I sure saw a gang of them behind the first handful of records. I'm pretty sure Alex and I were at their first NYC show at Brownies, a show notable both for being pretty aces and for first exposing a potential issue that became a much bigger deal down the line: I go up to Rhett and try to buy a copy of their first Hitchhike To Rhome and he tells me to try Tower, yet when the lovely Alex went up and asked, suddenly one appeared. An eyebrow was raised. Subsequent shows and records were consistently amazing, as were the stories and acts of douchery by a certain band member, but the songs and band were so good, you could almost let it slide.

Recent years have seen said same member desperately trying to leave the band behind for a solo career, attempts that have been met with a staggering amount of indifference by the fans and the odd precedent of Rhett opening his own shows with what I can only assume are his solo songs. Solo aspirations aside, at the end of the day, Old 97s butter the bread and as such the gents are reissuing their aces third record Too Far To Care in expanded form with outtakes and an extra disc of unreleased demo delights. This three song EP has three tracks not on the reissue, two of them unreleased, plus the acoustic demo of Salome. It also happens to be free and pretty decent, so step on over to the Old 97s web presence and grab The Noise Trade EP here.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Live: Afghan Whigs with Mighty Fine at Music Hall Of WillIamsburg 10.7.12

above stolen from Brooklyn Vegan
I was none too pleased with the eventuality of Eagles Of Death Metal opening the first announced NYC Afghan Whigs reunion show, nor the Terminal 5 venue, but was quick on the draw geting tickets regardless. I was even quicker to divest myself of them when I got tickets for this show, even if it was in Brooklyn. I missed Rev. Vince Anderson, but caught most of the typically aces Mighty Fine set. Steve Myers has reprising his role from the last AW tour and been showing up to Morris Day up the joint with the Whigs but it was nice to catch a full set from his day band as well.

Mighty Fine definitely seemed have fans in the crowd, but the room was very much amped for the Whigs. They have the all-white Boogie backline going again and seem to be only getting better, romping through a gang of hits including the top-scoring JS-NYC favorite You, My Flower. This was at the end of four or five months of regular touring and I bet a lot of bands are hoping they are hanging it up after these dates. I certainly wouldn't want to be one of the openers, even the Whigs seem to be bringing out friends for most of these dates. Beyond the music, my personal experience was heightened by the real-time disintegration of the relationship of the couple next to me, an arc that began with AW taking the stage and featured pertinent AW lyrics screamed at each other. Good times, I'll tell you. Set list is below. 
I would expect this is not the last we are going to see from Ohio's finest, but just in case step lively and see Afghan Whigs on their final announced dates for this year, especially the ones with the mighty Wussy.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Live: The Jealous Sound at Gramercy Theater 10.2.12

It had been a long minute since we had heard from The Jealous Sound, but their various web entities started stirring last year, sharing the good news that there would be a new record coming in 2012. And so there was A Gentle Reminder, which could safely be referred to as pretty fucking great. Much like their compatriots in Samiam, the benevolence of a more successful peer (Nate Mendel of Sunny Day Real Estate and more pertinently here, Foo Fighters) allowed the record to gestate over a year or so and they definitely reaped the musical benefits.

And for once I wasn't the only one. The Brooklyn show earlier this year was surprisingly well attended and I figured the reprise of the lineup at Gramercy figured to draw the same, but it was a not especially full room this time around. Granted Gramercy is a little bit bigger, and I can't say enough good things about the movie seating and great sight lines from the back, but things could have taken place in a smaller room. The breakup a couple days before of tour mates and local heroes Daytrader may have accounted for the downed numbers, but those that turn out were soundly rocked for the duration. Josh from The New Trust has been swapped for a new guy on bass and Pedro appears to still be out. Set featured a pretty good bit of the new A Gentle Reminder and most of the highlights of the early records, with Blair busting out a semi-solo Cold Enough To Break for the encore. Good times, made exceptional by the old man seating. If I could have smoked, I probably would have ended up squatting the damn place like a new school Chris Elliot, but settled for the early wrap and short ride home.

Check out the last few dates the gents have if you can and pray like JS-NYC does that we see a tour with The New Trust on the East Coast very soon.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Kreayshawn - Somethin' 'Bout Kreay

So, about Kreayshawn...

She's from Cali, Oakland, I believe, and I guess you'd have to call her a rapper. MC Lyte isn't going to have any sleepless nights over her skills, but Kreay's definitely got a pretty decent buzz going for her on the back of her internet breakthrough track Gucci Gucci and a couple of mixtapes.

Kreayshawn works the ambiguous lesbian thing pretty hard, dressing like a Borderline-era Madonna and rhyming mostly about drugs and girls. Safe money is on the college lesbians and perv dudes to be two of the big demographic that are hot on Somethin Bout Kreay'. Students of the hip-hop game probably will not turn out in numbers.

But the first two sets do still buy records, which is the only possible way we can account for this dropping on Columbia Records in 2012. As Kreay and her label's shareholders are no fools, Gucci Gucci reappears, as do another dozen tracks of varying quality, both by her lonesome and in conjunction with a raft of sub-par rhymers including, but not limited to: V-Nasty, Kid Cudi and 2 Chains. None of the tracks trump Gucci Gucci, and the lion's share of them vacillate between making me want to skip over the track with the quickness and feeling utterly downtrodden that I'm a man as old as I am listening to them. I would, however, suggest checking out the 2 Chains track at least once to hear him shout out grapes.

For those that are not fruit-rhyme inclined, Left Ey3 embodies the whole Kreayshawn conundrum. On said track Kreay lets us know that she will, in fact, wild out like Left Eye if necessary, shouting out Amy Winehouse, Courtney Love and Lorena Bobbit in the offing. Point made. Definitely not good, but not necessarily totally bad either. While there are some real steamers that should have never left Garageband here, the Diplo track does have a decent enough beat, but all in all not a lot of positives here. No real hip-hop fan is going to give this more than even a passing look, but if you are under the legal drinking age and/or if you drink enough cough syrup to enjoy Kid Cudi or 2 Chains (nee Titty Boi), maybe you'll dig this.