60 NYC Showspaces That Closed in the 2010s

New York wouldn’t be New York without its creative community. And yet, even with this long-standing cultural identity, it’s incredibly difficult to open an event space with all the required licenses and permits. On top of this, New York’s rate of gentrification prices out venues and show-goers, creating a landscape where places open and close constantly. Thankfully, this doesn’t stop people from doing it anyway – most without a monetary goal in mind, creating spaces for the love of music, art, activism and bringing people together to party. As this decade comes to a close, it does feel like the assault on New York’s nightlife has become more severe, but like our beloved cockroaches and rats, DIY and the punk ethos are resilient. Here is a list of 60 show spaces – venues, bars, and community-run DIY spaces, that have closed their doors in the 2010s.

ABC No Rio (1980-2016, building new location)

The story of ABC No Rio offers some hope. After operating at their 156 Rivington Street location for more than 30 years as a community center for arts and activism with a show space, art gallery, zine library, darkroom, silk screening and computer lab facilities, ABC No Rio vacated their original location (which was demolished) and are building a new center. Over three decades, ABC No Rio cultivated the punk/hardcore scene in NYC with their Saturday matinee shows, and served as a home for organizations like Books Though Bars, the NYC Food Not Bombs Collective and COMA: The Citizens Ontological Music Agenda. ABC No Rio’s show space was entirely volunteer run and created a safe space at a time when punk and hardcore shows were so violent that other venues banned those genres.

This happy ending didn’t come easily. They fought legal battles from their inception on New Years Day 1980, when 30+ artists occupied the basement of an abandoned building with an art show that made a statement about NYC’s housing policies titled ‘The Real Estate Show.’ The show was raided by police, but the city negotiated and later gave the collective the storefront and basement of 156 Rivington Street. In 1994, when the city planned to sell the building, activists squatted in the vacant floors of the building, causing the eviction process to go on for years alongside protests and a petition to raise money and legitimize their collective. Ultimately, the city sold the building to ABC No Rio for $1 in 2006 in an agreement that the organization would bring the building up to code, requiring them to demolish and rebuild the structure.

Despite not having a current space, ABC No Rio volunteers “in exile” are continuing their programs at other venues. Their hardcore/punk collective books matinees at the People’s Forum, their Zine Library is now located at the Clemente, and their screen-printing shop is open every Thursday in Bushwick. Support the re-building of ABC No Rio by donating here, and visit their exhibit “No New Jails NYC – The Art & Design of a Movement” running through January 15th at MoRUS (155 Avenue C).

Big Snow Buffalo Lodge (2011-2013)

Run by Yoni David, Jeremy Aquilino, RJ Gordon, and Daniel Arnes, Big Snow Buffalo Lodge was located in Bushwick at 89 Varet Street at Graham Ave. Big Snow was entirely volunteer run (aside from hired security), and prided themselves on paying every band that played. The booking duties were shared between the founders, plus Luke Chiaruttini (before he left to focus on booking Shea Stadium full time). Ava Luna, Baked, Bueno, Lost Boy ?, Leapling, Celestial Shore, and The So So Glos were among the bands who frequented Big Snow, and the venue occasionally provided a space to record demos for bands as well. Big Snow unfortunately decided to close due to safety concerns after co-owner Yoni David was shot in the arm outside of the venue.

Cake Shop (2005-2016)

Opened by brothers Nick and Andy Bodor in 2005, Cake Shop was a long time staple stop for touring bands from all over the country and felt like the last cool place in Manhattan that your crappy lo-fi band could play at. My favorite part about Cake Shop was that they had vegan pastries and there was no cell service in the basement (sorry I missed your text asking for a list spot). Andy and Nick briefly opened a sister venue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called Bruar Falls from 2009-2011, which turned into Grand Victory (2012-2016). At their last show on NYE 2016, they talked about opening a new location, and in 2017 Andy opened a venue called Wonders of Nature at 131 Grand Street in Williamsburg.

Death By Audio (2007-2014)

Located at the Williamsburg waterfront on south 2nd and Kent in an old warehouse, Death By Audio was not only a venue, but also an effects pedal workshop, recording studio, record label, and living space. Originally founded in 2002 by Oliver Ackerman of A Place to Bury Strangers as a space to build his handmade effects pedals, with the help of Matt Conboy, they turned Death By Audio into a venue in 2007 that was booked by Edan Wilber. Bands that lived at the space included Grooms, Coin Under Tongue, Fuk Ton, Sister, The Immaculates, French Miami, Dirty on Purpose, Famous Amos and A Place to Bury Stangers. A fun fixture of their living space was a giant military surplus net that hung from the ceiling and connected to the lofts on the second floor, with a hammock hanging from the ceiling above it. In 2014, Vice bought the building to turn it into their headquarters, forcing DBA and Glasslands, who also shared the building, to move out. Death By Audio’s effects pedal factory moved to Ridgewood and still makes gear that’s used most notably by Nine Inch Nails, U2, Wilco and Lightning Bolt.

Matt Conboy directed the documentary “Goodnight Brooklyn: The Story of Death By Audio,” that you can watch here, and Famous Class Records released a 26 track compilation of live bands recorded at DBA called Start Your Own Fucking Show Space including many of the bands who lived there, plus Deerhoof, Parquet Courts, Shellshag, Screaming Females, METZ, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees and more.

photo by Walter Wlodarczyk

Glasslands Gallery (2006-2014)

Housed in the same building as Death By Audio on the Williamsburg waterfront, Glasslands Gallery was created by Brooke Baxter and Rolyn Hu, who owned the space until they sold it to PopGun’s Rami Haykal and Jake Rosenthal in 2012. Glasslands’ origin story begins in 2004 with Glass House, an experimental show graffiti covered warehouse space at 38 south 1st street in Williamsburg, run by Baxter and street artist Leviticus. When they moved into a larger space they renamed the venue Glasslands and from 2006-2012, the venue held some of the first shows for bands like The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MGMT and Dirty Projectors.

When ownership changed hands in 2012, Glasslands became a solid stop for touring bands such as Angel Olsen, FKA Twigs, and Grimes. Their signature clouds were installed above the stage, replaced at some point by a light installation made of plastic tubes (though I personally prefered the clouds). They booked more DJ nights and late night parties around this time, and their final show was New Years Eve 2014, closing out their run with the secret line-up of DIIV, Sky Ferrera, Smith Westerns (final show), and Beverly. Popgun Presents continued to book shows at other venues like (le) poisson rouge and Warsaw, until they opened their new, much larger space, Elsewhere, in 2017.

photo by Sophia Louise

Goodbye Blue Monday (2005-2014)

Named after a Kurt Vonnegut reference in “Breakfast of Champions,” Goodbye Blue Monday was opened by Steve Trimboli at 1087 Broadway in Bushwick in 2005, after he closing his previous bars Be Bop Cafe in Tribeca and Scrap Bar. Goodbye Blue Monday began as a cafe / junk shop of things that came “mostly from dead people” and soon turned into one of the most underrated music venues in Bushwick. Due to their free open booking policy, it was a venue where many musicians had their first show ever. They never took a cut from the door (if there was a cover), fed bands that were touring, and held ‘Teacup Tuesday’ open mics every week. Goodbye Blue Monday was the perfect space for NYC’s misfit musicians and those starting out who didn’t know enough people to be booked at a more curated DIY space. Trimboli sold the bar post-bankruptcy in 2010, but lived above the bar and set up a few crowdfunding campaigns to help save the space. Goodbye Blue Mondays closed in November 30, 2014 when their lease was about to end and the landlord tripled the rent. The Looking Glass Bar opened in its place, and Nyssa Frank at The Living Gallery took over hosting Goodbye Blue Monday: Tuesday Open Mic The Way Y’Like Open Mic.

Monster Island + Secret Project Robot: Kent Ave (2004-2011) / Secret Project Robot: Meserole Street (2011-2016) / Secret Project Robot: Broadway (2017-2019)

Founded by Rachel Nelson and Erik Zajaceskowski in 2004, Secret Project Robot is a not-for-profit artist run space that has lived in three locations and is currently looking for their next home. Before Secret Project Robot, there was Mighty Robot, a loft on Wythe Ave in Williamsburg run by Zajaceskowski, where they held art parties at the space as well as at the waterfront junkyards. Shows included large abstract visuals and hosted some of the first shows for the bands Liars, TV on the Radio, Lightning Bolt, Acid Mothers Temple, Panda Bear, and many more. In 2004, Zajaceskowski and Karl LaRocca found a larger, three-story space on Kent Avenue and named it Monster Island. The new building housed Kayrock Screenprinting, Live With Animals, Oneida’s O-Cropolis, Todd P’s rehearsal studio, and the new Mighty Robot space, then renamed Secret Project Robot. In this incarnation, Secret Project Robot teamed up with Rachel Nelson to focus on art installations and hosting events, including black light installations, drawing brunches, poster shows, and regular art shows along with their regular concerts. Monster Island was demolished in 2011 and was rumored to become a hair saloon, but the lot is still vacant.

Post-Monster Island in their “living art phase,” Secret Project Robot moved twice in Bushwick and created a bubble in their yard where artists could “recreate the world according to their liking, people could be free, comfortable and able to reimagine a further more perfect realm.” Rachel Nelson and Erik Zajaceskowski also founded Happy Fun Hideaway, a bar on Myrtle Ave in Bushwick, in 2013, and Flowers for all Occasions, a cafe/gallery/bar in 2015, both of which are still currently open!

Shea Stadium (2009-2017)

Shea Stadium was an all-ages venue founded in the spring of 2009 by producer Adam Reich and the band the So So Glos (who also helped build Market Hotel) with the mission to document the DIY scene by recording every set performed there. Nora Dabdoub and Luke Chiaruttini booked countless bands and the Shea Stadium website has over 1,000 sets archived, with the most popular including King Krule, FIDLAR, Frankie Cosmos, Wavves, Speedy Ortiz, and Diarrhea Planet. Their second floor loft at 20 Meadow Street in Bushwick felt like a second home for many artists, and when they were forced to close in March 2017 Aaron, Nora, and Luke launched a Kickstarter campaign that raised close to $100,000. Their landlord at Meadow street declined their request to re-open an up-to-code Shea in the original location, and they have been searching for a new home ever since. This has been a grueling task, with their last update explaining that they have “toured 30+ spaces, called hundreds of numbers and looked through thousands & thousands of real estate listings” so far, and as of “the second week of Sept 2019, we’re in negotiations on a space and if all continues to go well a lease could be in hand soon.” In the meantime, they are booking shows as Shea Stadium Presents. They recently hosted a benefit show at Trans Pecos for The Mark Fletcher Studio, a studio that will provide free analog studio time for musicians.

@PHOTOGRAPHYALEX

Silent Barn (2006-2018)

Silent Barn collective began in 2006 as a co-living space for artists in Ridgewood, Queens at 915 Wycoff (now the home of Trans-Pecos). They threw shows in their kitchen and basement (which was also a home for the video game collective Babycastles). When they were shut down due to coding issues in 2011, they launched a Kickstarter soon after that raised $40,000 to fund their move to a legal all-ages art space. In 2012 they moved to a three-story building at 603 Bushwick Avenue run by 70 volunteers, called “chefs.” The new location had a huge yard with a sculpture garden and a bar/cafe in their performance space, along with art spaces for Disclaimer Gallery, Casa Experimental, Vital Joint, the Title:Point theater company, Gravesend Recordings, Aftermath Supplies, and many other artist-in-residence studios who lived in the higher floors of the building. Educated Little Monsters (ELM), a program that provides “resources, artistic outlets and economic opportunity for youth of color,” particularly those who are local to the Bushwick neighborhood, met at Silent Barn since 2014.

When Silent Barn closed in 2018 due to financial strain, they felt a responsibility to help the ELM program find a new home with their community partners Bushwick Street Art, The Lab Recording Studio and Color Scenes. In their closing statement Silent Barn explained “Over the years, we’ve seen the role that D.I.Y. music venues play within the greater machine of gentrification, and how often the communities who would most benefit from these resources—the neighborhood’s native communities—are excluded from them entirely,” and encouraged their supporters to donate and become a supporting member of ELM.

The Glove (2016-2019)

The Glove was an all-ages experimental art space founded by a group of musicians and artists from a previous DIY space called Bohemian Grove. Along with their venue, the space had gallery exhibitions, a vintage shop, guitar shop, was home to the Bad Seeds by Stonie Clark hair salon, and a permanent psychedelic dungeon lounge art installation by ESTU Fabrication. Like many DIY spaces, The Glove fell into the bureaucratic hellhole of NYC coding laws, and temporarily shut down in 2018 after the city cut their power. They launched a GoFundMe and kept their doors open until their lease ended the summer of 2019, forcing them to close. Co-founder Dean Cercone, in an interview for Dazed, explained what so many other showspace owners feel: “Running a space like this in New York is as annoying as it is beautiful. As fruitful as it is scary. It takes precedence over a lot of things we do in our normal lives now.”

Every show space has a unique legacy. Support small and community run venues that are still open today & walk down memory lane with this list of 50 more spaces that have closed in the 2010s:

94 Evergreen (2012-2014)

285 Kent (2010-2014)

AVIV (2014-2016)

Body Actualized Center (2011-2014)

Brooklyn Bazaar (2011-2019)

Brooklyn Fireproof East (2006-2014)

Bruar Falls (2009-2011) / Grand Victory (2012-2016)

Cameo Gallery (2009-2015)

Cheap Storage (2010-2015)

Coco 66 (2009-2011)

Delinquency Blvd (2012-2012, re-opened as Sunnyvale in 2015)

Don Pedro’s (2001-2017)

Emet (2013-2014)

Fat Baby (2005-2017)

FreeCandy (2012-2015)

Galapagos Art Space (1995-2014: relocated to Detroit)

Hank’s Saloon (2005-2019)

IDIO Gallery (2014-2017)

Kings County Saloon (2006-2015)

Leftfield Bar (2012-2017)

Legion Bar (2005-2018)

Little Skips (2009-2019)

Living Bread Deli (2012-2013 renovated + reopened as Rosegold in 2017)

Lulus (2010-2014)

Manhattan Inn (2009-2016)

Market Hotel (2008-2010, reopened in 2015)

Matchless (2002-2017)

Nola, Darling (2014-2015)

Palisades (2014-2016)

Party Expo (2010-2013)

Passenger Bar (2013-2015)

Public Assembly (2008-2013) / Black Bear Bar (2014-2016)

Radio Bushwick (2010-2014)

Ran Tea House (2011-2014)

Santos Party House (2008-2016)

Showpaper 42nd street Gallery / Babycastles Arcade (2010-2011)

Sidewalk Cafe (1985-2019)

Spike Hill (2005-2014)

Suburbia (2011-2017)

Surreal Estate (2010-2011)

The Acheron (2010-2016)

The Continental (1991-2018)

The Flat (2012-2015)

The Gateway (2016-2018, re-opened as The Broadway in 2019)

The Hive (2011-2018)

The Living Room (1988-2015)

Tandem Bar (2008-2015)

Trash Bar (2010-2015)

Zebulon (2002-2012, re-located to LA 2017)

CMJ 2015: Top 10 Parties Not To Miss

cmj

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or completely off the grid since fall started, you know that CMJ, possibly the best festival for discovering new music, is taking over NYC next week. There’s no way to see everything, but here’s some CMJ parties you definitely cannot miss (including ours):

10/13 – 7:30 pm – Good Room – Garage Land CMJ Showcase

The Garage Land CMJ showcase features some of the best acts to perform at the Good Room this year, including Watermelon Sugar, Gods, Casey Hopkins Duo, Acid Dad, Navy Gangs, Worthless, Savants, Surfbort and Tall Juan (bands listed in order of appearance, from first to last).  For a preview, check out Acid Dad: 

10/14 – 7 pm – Baby’s All Right – Brooklyn Vegan + Collect Records Showcase

Baby’s All Right is turning two soon, but before they reach toddler status, they’re throwing some awesome CMJ parties. One of those is hosted by the Brooklyn Vegan and Collect Records, with artists such as No Devotion, Wax Idols, Creepoid, and Foxes In Fiction.

10/14 – 7:30 pm –  Santos Party House – NME+PopGun+House Arrest Present CMJ Party

Two floors of acts, including Perfect Pussy*, Protomartyr*, Yung*, Seratones*, Hooten Tennis Club*, Dilly Dally^, Downtown Boys^, Shopping^, NICO YARYAN^, Car Seat Headset^, Yak^. RSVP on Facebook here.

(* upstairs, ^ downstairs)

cmjjj

10/15 – 8 pm – Palisades – KXLU FM + Burger Records CMJ Showcase

The cool California record label Burger Records is hosting the showcase with Michael Rault, Cool Ghouls, Dirty Ghosts, Slim Twig, Modern Vices, Howardian and UNSTOPPABLE DEATH MACHINES. RSVP here, and check out a psychedelic track from Cool Ghouls below.

10/15 – 7 pm – Cake Shop – Thursday Night Showcase

Featuring Robbing Millions, S, Tricot,  Shopping, Diet Cig, , Sweet Spirit and Weaves at Cake Shop in the Lower East Side. Listen to all the bands quickly in the event’s creepy promo video:

10/16 – 1 pm – Palisades – Exploding In Sound Records Official CMJ Showcase

One of the best, most interesting record labels around, Exploding In Sound is throwing their CMJ showcase  at Palisades. Go and see Palehound, Big Ups, The Spirit of the Beehive, Greys, Palm, Stove, Washer, Kal Marks, Dirty Dishes, Swings, Flagland, Leapling and LVL UP. 

10/16 – 7 pm – Pianos – The Deli Magazine/Pianos CMJ Showcase

The Deli Magazine and Pianos have teamed up to bring you Vunderbar, The Fluids, Controller, Stolen Jars, Diet Cig, Eternal Summers, Beverly, Weaves, mild high club, ohnomoon, Paperwhite*, Yes Alexader*, MY BODY*, Solvey*, and The Golden Pony* (* means free/upstairs, the rest of the bands are in the main room for $10).

10/17 – 6:30 pm – Cameo Gallery – Audiofemme + Atypical Beasts Agency Showcase

We can guarantee this party will be amazing, because it’s being thrown by us! Come to the Cameo Gallery (which is unfortunately closing soon) to see some great acts like TOW3RS, Von Sell, The Prettiots, Lena Fayre, Beverly, and Monika. RSVP here, and get your tickets here!

10/17 – 12 pm – The Shop – Stereocure + Drunken Piano Showcase

Featuring Flamingosis, Moon Bounce, SUI ZHEN, A Sol Mechanic, Novelty Daughter, My Body, Bollywood Life, Crystal Ghost and more TBA. RSVP here!

10/18 – 3 pm – Palisades – Father/Daughter + Miscreant Records CMJ Showcase

Come to one of the last of the week’s events to hear Hiccup, Nicholas Nicholas, Bad Cello, i tried to run away when i was 6, Downies, Romp, Comfy, Vagabon, Fern Mayo, Bethlehem Steel, Diet Cig, SPORTS and PWR BTTM.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BldOLNcbeGo

ARTIST INTERVIEW + LIVE REVIEW: Happyness @ Baby’s All Right

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

photo by Madison Bloom
photo by Madison Bloom

How did I get here? I’m sitting on a trash bin in the backstage bathroom of Baby’s All Right. Across me, or rather, encircling me, are the three young gentlemen who make up Happyness, arguably one of England’s best new bands. They’ve just released their debut LP Weird Little Birthday, played South by Southwest, and are shaking the last leg of their first American tour. What better way to commemorate it than with a powwow in the john?

To my right, vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Benji Compston is perched on the toilet. Bassist/vocalist Jonny Allan is cross-legged on the floor in front of me, and drummer Ash Cooper is leaning on the sink. It feels more like I’m cutting gym to smoke cigs with my middle school buddies than it does a professional interview, but I’m instantly at ease. It’s nice meeting other people who feel as at home on a bathroom floor as I do.

I could never have guessed that this was where we’d chat. The evening started as many do, neurotically watching the clock until the exact minute the interview was actually scheduled. Of course, this is never when they occur. Sat at the bar, I witnessed a man fully costumed as a taco run past me into the green room. No explanations, just some very fast food. I finally saw Benji and abruptly sprung at him from my stool, explaining the meet-up we had scheduled.

“Oh, ok, cool-do you mind if I go for a cigarette first? Do you want to come? Do you want one?”

Sold.

Outside I met Jonny, Ash, and their tour manager, Mark. They told me of the deli sandwiches they’d eaten, and that they were due to order more. I urged them to order a chopped cheese. They didn’t. We entertained the idea of doing the interview in their van, but the boys warned me it was far too messy and musty. (If they only knew…)

To the tiny lavatory then.

 

…………

Jonny Allan: We could do it [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][the interview] in the mirror!

Madison Bloom for Audiofemme: Yeah, take a long look at yourself while you answer these very basic questions. No one’s sitting on the toilet, which is a little disappointing

JA: Sit on the toilet, Benji.

Benji Compston: What?

JA: Sit on the toilet.

(Compston slowly settles sideways on the lidless throne.)

JA: That was so dainty! Look at you!

MB: I like what you did there. You’re doing sidesaddle on the toilet.

BC: This is how I always sit. Is this not how you’re meant to?

JA: No, that’s exactly how you’re meant to.

MB: So, this is you’re first U.S. tour…how’s it been?! Do you have any crazy stories of anything that happened?

BC: We got in a hot tub when it was raining and people outside the hotel window stared at us and laughed at us because traditionally people don’t go in hot tubs in quite cold weather in Dallas in March.

Ash Cooper: There’s more hot tubs in America so we were just excited to get in.

BC: Yeah just the idea of having a hotel with a hot tub was like, “Oh my god, we’ve arrived.”

MB: Not a lot of hot tubs in England?

JA: No.

MB: Why?

AC: Less pools.

JA: I don’t know, it’s kind of an item of luxury I guess, and I had not seen a hot tub in a while, so, being in a hotel with a hot tub was the BEST thing ever, and so we all went out there, smoked cigarettes and were pale, and people looked at us, it was kinda fun.

MB: So the craziest thing you guys did was get in a hot tub?

JA: Oh yeah then we met a Neo-Nazi Texan man who forced us to hold his loaded gun at ourselves, but….

MB: That’s somehow not surprising to me, like yeah, that’s America. And Texas. What’s been the funnest city to play? Or just to be in? You seemed to have a lot of fun in Portland; you went to Voodoo Doughnut!

JA: Oh they came to us. They delivered a box.

BC: Cleveland. We had a very fun time in Cleveland.

MB: What happened in Cleveland?

BC: (expectant pause) We…played a fun show….

JA: Hung out at America’s Best Value Inn.

MB: Wow, you guys are CRAZY! Hot tubs and…

JA: We fuckin’, we were like running around the hotel and someone set off an alarm…

AC: Yeah we were playing Sardines.

JA: Do you know the game Sardines?

MB: No.

JA: Sardines is basically hide and seek but instead of everyone hiding, one person hides and you go and you try and find them, and if you find them you just hide with them…

AC: Until there’s one guy left wandering around…

JA: …going like: “Has everyone else just left me?”

BC: We hid in a water closet thing.

JA: We hid in a laundry closet thing. A water closet’s a toilet.

BC: Oh is it? Sorry, I thought that was a waste closet.

MB: That’s also fitting.

BC: We stayed in a Motel 6 in Salt Lake City, and, I watched Ash-I thought Ash was getting violently assaulted and I watched out the hotel window and was just kinda like: “Ah, ok, let’s just see what happens next and then deal with it afterwards.”

AC: Story of my life really. Leave Ash outside and see what happens.

BC: Well I thought out of all of us you’d probably deal with it best. I thought you’d probably come back from it kind of.

AC: This isn’t the first time this has happened to me.

BC: Because if I was assaulted in a Motel in Salt Lake City I think I’d just, you know, I think I’d just give up.

MB: What was actually happening? You weren’t being assaulted…

JA: The Mormons were taking over.

Compston and Allan get down.  Photo by Austin Sandhaus
Compston and Allan get down. Photo by Austin SandhausMB: You guys played in Seattle, I was actually in Seattle when you guys played but I couldn’t make it.

MB: You guys played in Seattle, I was actually in Seattle when you guys played but I couldn’t make it.

JA: Ooh, that was a fun show.

AC: Actually I think Seattle was my favorite city.

MB: Really?! I’m from Washington so, a bit of pride there. I was emailing with Cheryl Waters from KEXP and she wanted me to tell you guys hi because she had a really good time.

All: Awwww!

JA: Yeah, we really liked Cheryl! She was really cool.

AC: We got a lovely photo with her.

BC: Yeah she’s awesome, that session was really fun.

MB: Well I’m glad you guys liked Seattle, just had to kind of rep it and tell you guys hi for Cheryl. You guys did SXSW too, how was that

BC: It was all quite intense.

JA: It was kind of hectic.

All: We didn’t have much time to do anything.

AC: It’s so hectic that you don’t see Austin. It wasn’t until the day after, when we did like a hangover show, that we actually realized that there was a city behind South By.

MB: Yeah I’ve heard a lot of mixed things from musicians, but it’s like a thing that’s really honorable to do.

JA: Yeah it’s nice to be asked to do it.

AC: It’s nice to have the wristband.

MB: Yeah? You gonna frame it? You’ve kept them?

BC: The CMJ one we could wear as like a lanyard, but the South By one was constantly on our wrists and we started to kind of look like fourteen year old festival goers because we just had wrist bands going all up our arms.

JA: Do you know what it does to a person having a shower with the same thing on your wrist every morning? It’s very stressful.

MB: It’s gets very smelly too.

JA: Well, I made a point of shifting…

MB: So it didn’t get the gross watch smell.

JA: Yeah, I didn’t have the kind of, arm decay, because, ‘aint nobody got time for that.

MB: I read an interview that said that while you guys were writing and recording your first EP and album you were working during the day. What were your day jobs?

BC: Um, I worked at a restaurant in South London, which I quite promptly got fired from.

JA: You painted canvases white!

BC: Oh, I was an artist’s assistant in London, and then after that I worked in a restaurant as a waiter and I was probably the worst waiter they’ve ever had.

JA: He got fired because he didn’t know what was in the risotto bowls.

BC: I’d just make stuff up, people would be like, “oh, what’s this?” and I’d kind of go (glances sideways, mumbling) “oh, ch-ch-ri-chorizo, with a bit of…rice and cheese and cream and paprika…..” and then I kind of would say things like: “oh, they put paprika in everything here.” Which they did.

(All laugh)

JA: Make that the tagline!

BC: There were some complaints about me…and I’d forget things and a woman once asked for cheese on the side because she was lactose intolerant-

AC: Why would she still get cheese on the side?

BC: And then I grated loads of Parmesan on top of it-

JA: At the table!

BC: Yeah, I put it down and was like (makes grating motion) and she was like: “What the fuck are you doing?” and I was like: “Parmesan! On your risotto!”

JA: I just worked at a pub. I basically served these guys. I would just kind of like hang out there all day and nobody else would come in and they’d come in and be like: “Can I have one of the soups?” and I’d be like: “Yeah.” I got to wear a nice shirt though.

MB: Oh!

JA: It was short-sleeved, and it was kind of maroon-y

AC: I visited you and you looked very fetching in that shirt.

JA: I did. Yeah, I did, I looked nice. I looked like a nice boy.

MB: Ash, what about you?

AC: Um, I draw baths for children.

(Silence)

MB: I don’t believe you.

JA: No, he does, it’s true.

MB: I’m sorry, you what?

AC: I draw baths for children.

BC: Please explain a little bit.

MB: Yeah, can you, um, that sounds, just, creepy.

AC: I’m a glorified manny.

JA: What’s worse is there like, 14.

AC: These kids can’t fend for themselves.

MB: But that’s all you did? You didn’t like, feed them, or take them to the park? You just bathed-well, you didn’t bathe them…

AC: No, I took them to the park

BC: You took them to the fish restaurant and made a fuss.

AC: I took them to the fish restaurant, well, that wasn’t me that made the fuss – I took them on a run in the park, I took them to the drum shop because we had a free day, I took them to the, eh, oh, what’s that bike race called that goes through Paris?

All: The Tour de France?

AC: I took them to the Tour de France because it came through London and we had a day out, it was great. But yeah, glorified manny. Put glorified manny.

MB: Ok, so, glorified manny, bartender, and shitty waiter. No offense.

BC: Oh, no, it’s fine.

MB: So I’ve read that there’s kind of a movie concept thread running through the new album, but what was the inspiration for the lyrical scalping of Win Butler?

BC: I was walking with Jonny like years ago and I just kind of said the lyric to Jonny and was like…that’s a thing.

JA: We used to talk about Win Butler’s hair. We used to be very, uh, we used to dress kind of, wonderfully in a just appalling way.

MB: Like in suits?

JA: No, we were part of the whole London teenage thing where everyone would wear very tight jeans and really fluorescent shoes.

MB: I don’t know that movement.

JA: Oh, it was a real thing. It was the underage scene in London and we used to really like Win Butler’s hair.

MB: So you don’t actually dislike Win Butler, in fact, you loved him.

JA: Yeah, we loved him.

BC: I just thought one day it would be quite funny, because Win Butler at that point had a hair cut, and it was the haircut and it was part of his thing, and I thought it would be quite funny to cut off part of his head, and wear it.

(Silence)

Cooper between beats.  Photo by Austin Sandhaus
Cooper between beats. Photo by Austin Sandhaus

MB: So in interviews you guys are often pretty self-deprecating of your own music-I’m guessing that’s mostly an act? Or do guys actually kind of feel like: “How the fuck did we get to this place? How are we successful?”

JA: Are we successful? That’s news to us!

All Laugh

AC: We’re doing an interview in a toilet.

BC: So you’re asking, are we actually surprised? Yeah, I think we probably are.

MB: Ok, because I figured, oh, they’re self-deprecating, they’re just British, whatever.

AC: Yeah, it’s partially the British thing I guess…

BC: But lastly, when you leave, we’ll all stand in this mirror and go: “We’re very famous. We’re very famous.”

AC: There’s a story in there somewhere.

MB: So, I’m not going to ask you guys about the “Y” in the spelling of your name because I know you guys get asked that all the time-

JA: The Beatles is the answer to that question.

MB: No! That’s not the question! It’s an announcement actually, because I know you guys mentioned that there’s a band in Finland (Happiness), the hardcore band that is spelled normally, but-

AC: Are you going to start the lawsuit? Is that what you’re announcing?

MB: I will, but I need to start two lawsuits because there’s another band in Rhode Island that’s called Happiness, normal spelling, and it’s three guys from Deer Tick…

JA: Fuck. Them. When did they start that?

MB: I don’t know, but they’re just in Rhode Island, so if you guys wanna just take a car like, a bit north, you can kill them while you’re here.

AC: But wait, now we can start the lawsuit!

JA: It would be very hypocritical of us to start the lawsuit.

BC: That’s very interesting you told us that.

MB: I just felt like I needed to tell you; I didn’t want to start any drama but-

JA: The drama is RIFE.

BC: I think we may have started before them.

JA: I really hope. Cuz like, if you just google the word ‘Happyness’ band

MB: Well, which spelling?

JA: Oh, that’s a good point… Well, they must have found the Finnish heavy metal band…so they’re fucking assholes.

BC: I’m going to pretend this conversation never happened.

MB: I’m still going to put it in…

BC: You’re like God.

MB: Are you from London proper, or are you just based there?

All: No, we’re from London.

MB: Well, you never know, you could be from…

BC: Greater…

JA: Croydon…

MB: Devon…

JA: My Mum and Dad live in Devon!

MB: I hear it’s very nice.

JA: It is nice!

MB: Do you find that that’s a big part of your identity? Like I feel like there are bands that really identify as an American band or “We are a British band. That is intrinsic to our identity.” Or do you just happen to be from there.

JA: We just kind of happen to be from there. The amount of people who when we started were like: “Oh! The scene in London is so great right now!” We were kinda like “uhhhhhhhhh…..”

BC: There were a few people who were really trying to make the South London thing happen, and were like “South London band Happyness, from South London!” It was like…ok.

MB: I’ll just put “general English band.”

JA: (chuckles) Yeah, “Non-descript English…”

BC: “Non-descript, trans-Atlantic band.”

MB: I had a question about your song-I listen to BBC6 like, everyday when I’m at work, and Marc Riley’s my favorite, but I never hear him play “Marc Riley in a Karesansui” and I’m always really pissed off! Like, “why won’t you play this?!”

BC: He never has! Can we speak to him about this because-

MB: I want it to be his new intro song!!!

BC: I think he might have not found it very funny….

MB: But he takes the piss out of himself all the time!

BC: The session we did with him was actually really fun, and we actually did really well.

MB: He just seems like such a sweet dude…

BC: No he was really sweet, he bought us some beers and chocolate, which was really nice.

JA: I think it was too long for the radio, but they asked us to make a jingle, and we did it, and that’s why we did it, and then they never put it on the show, so we were just like…

MB: Wait, so you actually made it for them?!

JA: Yeah! And then they never put it on the show.

MB: I’m gonna have a word; I mean, not like we know each other, but maybe….

JA: Email him! Say: “Marc, big fan. Where’s that song?”

MB: Ok. I’ll do it. I’m glad you guys were worried about that, because I was. If you guys had some kind of freak accident and could not play music, what would be your fallback plan, aside from waiting tables?

BC: I’d probably quite like to run a small delicatessen somewhere?

AC: City farm.

JA: Like a petting zoo.

MB: We need those.

BC: Actually, my deli could be part of the city farm.

MB: You could slaughter the animals and use them as the deli meat!

JA: That’s the only reason we’d be growing them in the first place.

BC: Ooh yeah, and we could name it, we could say (puts out hand as if to serve a sandwich) “this is Persephone the pig…”

JA: Angelo, the camel.

BC: Peter, the boa constrictor.

JA: Hey, I’ve got a penny from the floor of the toilet!

MB: Oh! That’s good luck.

JA: Yeah that’s good, urine-y luck.

MB: Do find there’s a big difference between the audiences you play to at home and here?

JA: People make more fun of our accents, which we like, in a kind of masochistic way.

A fully-focused Allan.  Photo by Austin Sandhaus.
A fully-focused Allan. Photo by Austin Sandhaus.

MB: You’ve been on tour for weeks and weeks now; what have you guys been eating mostly?

JA: Bad stuff. Sonic.

BC: Can you tell???

MB: No, no, I just like asking this question because you’re on tour and basically on wheels for a month.

BC: Here’s (NYC) been the best food we’ve had on tour.

BC: Yeah, the food here’s been unbelievably good. Really good.

JA: I had pork belly eggs benedict.

BC: We’d mainly been eating, like, really processed fast food.

JA: We went to a Sheets.

MB: A what?

JA: A Sheets. It’s like a gas station where you order on the-Mark knows about Sheets, he showed us.

MB: Sheets? I don’t know about Sheets.

Mark Miller (Tour Manager): It’s the coolest truck stop. They have a bunch of different food and you order on a screen and then they hand it to you, rather than like, going into a truck stop and eating like, a hot dog on a roller. You can get wraps.

JA: I have a confession to make about Sheets, now remembering: very impersonal.

MB: So that’s a full statement?

JA: Yeah, that’s right.

MB: What are you guys most excited to do while you’re in New York?!

BC: I’ve got a friend, several friends, who live in Central Park Zoo, and, we’re going to go see them.

MB: They live in the zoo?

BC: They live there. They’re sea lions.

MB: Right.

JA: We’re going to go see them; we didn’t see them last time.

BC: We didn’t see them last time, we didn’t have time, but we know them quite well.

MB: I’ve actually never been there, I’ve lived here seven years and I’ve never been there.

BC: You should come!

JA: Do you want to come? Monday.

BC: Peter, Andrew, Angela and Nigel. My friends from Central Park Zoo.

JA: They smell worse than our van.

 …………

 

For all their jest and cheeky remarks, these three get very serious on stage. Of course there’s a level of welcome banter and rambunctiousness, but their focus is admirable. The brief set at Baby’s was fun and full of messing around. Allan and Compston smooched each other’s cheeks en route to switch instruments, and finished off their final song with a good tumble on the ground, tangled with their guitar cables and dodging the inevitably sloshed beer.

I can’t say I’ve ever met a pack of musicians as kind or as clever as this lot-they’re as laid back as they are hilarious. As long as you don’t ask them why they spell their name with a “Y,” you should miss the snarl. Seriously. It’s like asking a crust punk if he knows he’s got holes in his jeans.

I hope to hear news of many more albums and American tours to come. And I hope that one day I can talk Happyness into ordering a chopped cheese.

[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

LIVE REVIEW: Slim Twig + U.S. Girls @ Cake Shop

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Photo by Meg Remy
Photo by Meg Remy

All I want is a hot toddy, but the more patient half of me says now’s not the time to order one. Despite my polite efforts and hacking cough, something of greater urgency than a breathing statistic of flu season needs tending to.

The bartender zips along the length of the counter clamping a cordless phone between her ear and shoulder. Her bar back frantically cleans tumblers and disappears periodically. Meanwhile Max Turnbull and his wife Meghan Remy (aka Slim Twig and his wife U.S. Girls) are schlepping amplifiers through the front door of Cake Shop 20 minutes after opener Ryan Sambol-who is sitting right next to me-is supposed to start.

It’s been a rough night for everyone.

Things settle down. The bar is calm. I have booze; the warm, honey and lemon accessorized kind that allows you to be a lush and say “this is good for me!” at the same time.

I am now wedged between a Tinder date and a semi-bilingual French-lesson date (how you say, Tinder?) taking notes in my journal, which I’m sure doesn’t look odd at all. I might as well be chiseling a stone tablet and wearing badger fur.

Collecting cash and stamping hands for the evening is Cake Shop co-owner Andy Bodor, perched on a stool by the venue door. Ryan Sambol emerges from downstairs, despondently shaking his head:

“You know what man, I don’t even wanna play tonight.”

Bodor looks shattered.

“What do you mean???”

“Y’know, it’s just, I come all the way from Texas and I just don’t think….”

I realize that though the dust from earlier has settled, a whole new sandstorm is about to kick up; and then Sambol cracks a smile.

“I’m just kidding!!!” Bodor sighs: “Jesus man, you really got me there.”

Two warm alcohols deep I make my way to the show space. I’m met by a hush crowd politely watching the tricky Texan. It’s not easy to captivate audiences these days, and it’s even harder to do so with such modest and arcane things like a guitar and microphone, but Sambol seems to have this covered. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a good lookin’ boy from the Lone Star State with a voice like Nashville Skyline era Dylan.

­­

His stage presence reminds me of a less-tortured Jeff Buckley…a more lighthearted, plucky Buckley, if you will.  Buckleyness aside, Sambol’s ability to work a room makes sense: he’s been in the biz for over a decade. He helped form The Strange Boys as an eighth grader and subsequently toured with everyone from Julian Casablancas to Spoon. After Strange Boys dissolved in 2012, Sambol and co. reemerged as Living Grateful releasing two LPs in 2014.  I’ve yet to find anything about a forthcoming solo record from Sambol, but if one ever surfaces it will probably sound like his live set: sweet, melty and melancholy.

Sambol played a mix of originals as well as a few covers, announcing them with familial ease: “You can thank Sly Stone for that one.” And I guess we can thank Mr. Sambol for coming all the way from Texas and playing after all.

During the set, I couldn’t help but notice Meg Remy and Max Turnbull at the end of the bar. It made me wonder if it’s difficult to tour with your spouse. Do you bicker over who’s headlining? Take turns on merch table duty? Get jealous when your better half’s record sells more copies than yours? I guess it depends, but judging by the highly collaborative artistic relationship Remy and Turnbull have had, they seem pretty supportive. They lugged the gear together, and played integral roles in each other’s performances for the night.

U.S. Girls was up next. For those unfamiliar with Remy’s music, it is paradoxical in many ways. She goes by a plural, so you’d expect a full band, or at the very least a duo. You wouldn’t guess it was just her by listening to GEM, her FATCAT release from 2012, which is full-bodied, textural and pleasantly schizophrenic.

The self-sufficient musical project is far more achievable these days given the ease of home recording and distribution, but it does make for an interesting dilemma; how does one perform live?  According to Meg Remy: with a Moog and a microphone

It doesn’t sound great on paper, but it’s difficult to describe someone like Remy, who might be made of charisma. A bit dazed while performing, she is focused and calculated. Her body language and voice seem siphoned straight from the 1960s, and I wonder if she really is in trance-watching a mirage of Nancy Sinatra at the back of the room and mirroring her every shimmy.

An equally enigmatic musician, Max Turnbull recorded his sinister pop-opera A Hound at the Hem all the way back in 2010 as a contract fulfillment to Paper Bag records. Unfortunately Paper Bag deemed it too weird, causing Turnbull to shelve the LP and record Sof’ Sike instead.  Hound did have a limited co-release via Pleasance Records and Remy/Turnbull’s own imprint Calico Corp, but it was reissued last year thanks to New York’s own DFA records. DFA saw the album’s brilliance and pressed 600 copies-100 of them on Pepto Bismol pink vinyl.

Hound is a complex and beautiful record. It’s been called chamber pop, psych rock and garnered many other comparisons.  As an impulse evaluation I’d say there are heavy notes of Nick Cave and Van Dyke Parks throughout.

If you didn’t know the chronology of Hound’s lifespan, you might be surprised to see Slim Twig live.  On the album’s sleeve is a clean-shaven kid with a pompadour. Behind the microphone at Cake Shop was a mustached matchstick with long tangled hair. Ever evolving, Turnbull’s look wasn’t the only thing drastically different from his Hound days.  His set didn’t include any songs from the album, which I must admit bummed me out a little.

That’s not to say the music wasn’t exciting and well played, but it was much more straight-forward seventies rock n’ roll- a far cry from the bizzarro orchestra of Hound.  That being said, I can sympathize with a musician not wanting to play songs written five years ago.

Slim Twig’s set was both humble and satirically contradictory. “This song’s about not fetishizing the past” was an intro that struck me as aggressively ironic, since fetishizing the past is what millennials, including myself-are best at.

Though the set was more melodic than I’d expected, there was no shortage of precision and energy.  And fortunately, any deficit of strangeness was made up for by the little eccentricities that can only be experienced at a live show.  While introducing one song Turnbull curtly quipped: “This song is about Jesus Christ.”  To my left a middle-aged Hasidic man clapped and cheered in his seat, occasionally using his cocktail straw as a conductor’s wand; other times bringing it to his lips to take a long drag.

I guess the night was a success after all.

 [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

LIVE REVIEW: Low Fat Getting High @ Cake Shop

low-fat

 

Grow your hair. Throw a beer. Break a bridge, chuck a cymbal. Hold your Jazzmaster with its busted bridge up to the foam ceiling insulation to get more feedback. Play through stacks jacked up so loud you drown the house PA. I don’t know if Brooklyn’s Low Fat Getting High read a book on how to be the most rock n’ roll, but they sure as hell could write one.

 

Low Fat has been making strides in the underground rock circuit as of late, receiving praise from the likes of Brooklyn Vegan and the Village Voice, the latter calling them NYC’s Best Rock Band. Now while that’s a hefty medal from a source past its prime, Low Fat certainly do kick ass. The proof was at the Cake Shop last Thursday, where the trio shared a record release party alongside label mates The Black Black. Both groups have fresh vinyl out on NY’s own Money Fire Records, Low Fat’s being a self-titled 12 song ear-ripper that could sit on a shelf next to 90’s Queens of the Stone Age; no shortage of muddy bass and aggro drums here.

 

The Money Fire boys split the bill with Dead Stars and recent Seattle transplants Iska Dhaaf who opened the evening. Iska Dhaaf, whose name roughly translates to “to let it go” in Somali, is made up of Ben Verdoes, formerly of Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band and Nathan Quiroga of the much-maligned Seattle “rap” outfit Mad Rad. To let it go, indeed. To the credit of the band’s reincarnation, Iska Dhaaf put on an entertaining show that revealed their diversity and technical ability as musicians and songwriters.

 

Verdoes sang harmony, played drums with his right hand and diddled a miniature keyboard with his left. Meanwhile Quiroga sang lead and riffed on his battered 335, duck-walking and playing footsie with an 8-pedal effects shelf. If multi-tasking is a necessity of the era, these boys will survive just fine.

 

Next up was The Black Black, whose latest record Boogie Nights brings to mind bands like Minutemen and Mclusky. Lead singer/guitarist Jonathan Daily’s vocals could hardly be heard over the band’s pushy breed of post-noise rock, but his attitude rang loud and clear. A bastion of blasé, he sneered while mouthing sarcastic lyrics such as “what the world needs now is one more band.”

 

But while Daily had a self-deprecation dilemma on his hands, the rhythm section seemed to be having a blast. The bassist, who looks and sounds like he stepped out of the 1980’s New York hardcore scene served up tendon-trembling riffs with no hesitation. Smiling wildly behind the drum kit was Tomo Ikuta, whose grinning enthusiasm is something rarely seen in a rock band. An exceptionally skilled drummer, he filled out the band’s set with as many solos he could squeeze in.

 

Co-headliners Dead Stars steered the evening in a more melodic direction, though I found their sound to be less exciting than that of the previous groups. They’re a talented group of musicians, but exude a commoditized presentation of grunge and shoegaze, complete with ripped jeans, laissez faire hair and flannel button-ups. Jeff Moore’s vocals are a bit on the whiny side, and the music isn’t groundbreaking enough to spark much conversation.

 

Low Fat Getting High, on the other hand didn’t seem to be wearing anybody else’s outfit. They’re true entertainers, packing more into the first five minutes than most bands do in 45. By their second song a cymbal had flown off of the drum kit and lead singer/guitarist Michael Sincavage had broken the bridge of his guitar. No matter though, it only seemed to add to their air of “who cares?”

 

The band played a full-throttle set that was nothing if not entertaining (and of course badass). Artie Tan hammered out fast-paced sludgy bass lines, bouncing around the stage with a recklessness that defies his waifish build. Sincavage didn’t disappoint with face-melting solos, taking his performance into the crowd from time to time.

 

For all of Low Fat’s serious rock ‘n’ roll, they had an admirable sense of humor about themselves while they played, cracking jokes and smiling through their curtains of hair. It didn’t hurt that it was their record release party, and that the crowd was full of friends and Money Fire brethren. At the end of their set, the audience shouted for more songs, to which Sincavage quipped:

 

“We’re too young for encores.”

 

Can’t blame them for that.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][facebook]

[retweet]

 

 

 [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

TOP PICKS: Record Store Day’s Black Friday Releases

Record-Store-Day-Black-FridayHere’s another reason to love the holidays: Record Store Day’s Black Friday event—an opportunity to snag special vinyl and CD releases, re-acquaint yourself with your local record stores, and get a head start on the season’s general merrymaking. This Nov. 29 will be RSD’s third annual Black Friday celebration, which aims to subvert the prototypical, corporate-run Black Friday model by providing us with “pieces of art in the form of limited special editions” and “an excuse to celebrate both the pieces themselves and the special indie record stores who carry them.” Basically, it’s a chance for an ethically justifiable vinyl shopping binge, and a perfect way to stock up on some truly unique gifts for your friends and family (and yourself). Here are our top picks for this year’s Back to Black Friday bash, and our recommendations for where to find them:

Mystical Weapons — Crothesque

418455676641

A rare recording of an improvisational collaboration between Sean Lennon, Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier, and multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily, originally captured for WNYC show “Spinning on Air” and featuring original illustration by Sean Lennon himself.

 

Nas — Halftime

418455677027

Nas’ debut single, “Halftime,” was released in 1992 under his original moniker, Nasty Nas. This reproduction of the original 12” LP includes the song’s LP version, instrumental version, and a remix version.

 

Chocolate Milk — Action Speaks Louder Than Words

418455675575

Released in 1975, Chocolate Milk’s debut funk/soul album was later sampled by some legendary hip-hop artists like Eric B. & Rakim, the Geto Boys, and Stetsasonic, among others. Now the classic album is returning fully remastered and in limited edition colored vinyl (chocolate colored, of course)—a definite gem.

 

Dawes — Stripped Down At Grimey’s

418455674222

A 6-track live recording of Dawes’ intimate performance at Nashville’s Grimey’s in March 2013. Includes four tracks from the band’s third full-length album, Stories Don’t End, released earlier this year, and the LP comes in a pretty orange color!

 

Anti-Records Fall 2013 Compilation — Hot Wacks

418455674426

Designed after classic “loss leader” LPs of the ‘70s, this compilation offers an intro to a few of Anti-Records’ new artists as well as demo versions and unreleased tracks by some of the label’s well-established acts (Dr. Dog, Man Man, Mavis Staples). This is a fun purchase at a very low price ($5.99!).

 

Elvis Costello & The Roots — Wise Up: Thought — Remixes and Reworks

418455676313

Produced by Elvis Costello and ?uestlove alongside Steven Mandel, this collection of remixes is sure to take Costello and The Roots’ collaborative, genre-blending album, Wise Up Ghost from earlier this year, even further than it already went.

 

Sondre Lerche — Rejection #5

Sondre

This 12” single is the first of the Public Hi-Fi Sessions, a series of limited edition releases from Spoon’s Jim Eno’s new Public Hi-Fi Records. Eno plays drums on the single as well as B-side “Screen Door.” Once the series takes off, this debut is sure to become highly sought-after.

 

Our picks of participating record stores:

Rough Trade NYC

64 North 9th St., Brooklyn NY

Cake Shop

152 Ludlow St. , New York NY

Rebel Rebel

319 Bleecker St., New York NY

Academy Records Annex

83 Oak St., Brooklyn NY

Earwax Records

167 North 9th St., Brooklyn NY