RSVP HERE: New Myths Play Our Wicked Lady + More

Welcome to our weekly show recommendation column RSVP HERE – your source for the best NYC shows and interviews with some of our favorite local live bands.

New Myths are a Brooklyn-based alt rock power pop trio comprised of Brit Boras (guitar/lead vocals), Rosie Slater (drums/vocals), and Marina Ross (bass/vocals). In 2019 they released three new singles (including a cover of “Unbelievable” by EMF), made two music videos, and  went on tour with The Joy Formidable. I saw a lot of great New Myths shows last year, but my favorites were their direct support slot for Crazy Town at Sunnyvale and their Halloween cover set as The Go-Go’s, where they dressed as The Beauty and The Beat album cover, complete with their hair wrapped in towels and white face paint to look like face masks. Their first show of the decade is on 1/6 at Our Wicked Lady with Looms, Jelly Kelly, and Color Tongue, and we chatted with them about their favorite gas station food, Brooklyn bands and future plans.

AF: How did you meet? What was the first movie you all watched together?

Brit Boras: We met a long time ago individually – Marina and I went to middle and high school together and were on the same school bus, but didn’t become friends till after high school. Rosie and I met at music school; we were two of only like six females in the whole program which is part of why I really wanted to start a band together. Also ironically, Marina and Rosie played in a band together throughout high school. I don’t know if we’ve ever watched an entire movie together honestly… If the three of us are in a room together we are usually chatting, writing, rehearsing, recording, playing shows, or dancing.

Rosie Slater: Marina and I had been playing together in another band through high school and college, and then Brit and I went to college together. I’m not sure what movie? We talked about Spinal Tap a lot?

AF: Who are your favorite Brooklyn bands to play with? Who is your favorite band that you opened for?

MR: Oh my god, Wet Leather, Jelly Kelly, Ash Jesus, Mother Feather, Yella Belly, Power Snap, Lola Pistola, Desert Sharks, Catty, Max Pain and the Groovies…we’re just surrounded by endlessly talented people.

BB: All of the above plus Darkwing, Grim Streaker, Monograms, Stuyedeyed, Sharkmuffin, Slow Caves… My favorite bands that we’ve opened for are Metric, Warpaint, and The Joy Formidable.

RS: My favorites are Jelly Kelly, Wet Leather, Sharkmuffin, and The Muckers! Opening for Metric was wild… I’ve been a huge fan since high school.

AF: What are your favorite gas station snacks? 

MR: Smart Food popcorn, git OUTTA here with anything else.

RS: Peanut M&Ms and the red Doritos.

BB: Cheetos, Cheez-Its, Goldfish all the way. Basically anything with cheese…

AF: I love your cover of “Unbelievable.” Why did you decide on that one and are there any other covers you plan on recording?

RS: Thank you! “Unbelievable” kind of just happened… Brit suggested it when we were in the studio recording something else, and Marina and I were super into it but thinking about making it really sludgy and then we recorded it the next day! There may be some other top secret covers coming soon…. maybe!

MR: It was the one we were all stoked about! Years and years of middle of the night texts of “Wouldn’t it be funny if we covered…” and this was the one we were all, like, yah…yah, that would be sick.

BB: Yeah we were in the process of recording our original songs and I was listening to “Unbelievable” on the way to the recording studio, thought it’d be a cool cover, brought it up to Marina and Rosie, they suggested we slow it down and sludge it up, we worked on it, and then recorded it the next day. We are in the process of recording another cover but that is in the vault for now!

AF: What were your favorite moments of the past decade and what are your plans for 2020 and beyond?

MR: Christ, there’s so many good ones. Our first show ever was of course one of my faves – opening for Lucius at Cameo Gallery. We played a street fair in Worcester YEARS ago which has grown to be one of my favorite moments because we still to this day get support from them and everyone has just been lovely. Watching Metric up close and personal after opening for them at Music Hall of Williamsburg was amazing. There are so many “moments” that I love so much that are so small but so indescribable.

BB: Yeah this decade has been really fun. I love the weird shows; dressing up in towels and face masks and performing as The Go-Go’s for Halloween was super fun. SXSW festival is always a blast to play every time. Going on tour with Cindy Wilson of the B-52s and The Joy Formidable were also times I’ll never forget. We have a lot of new music that’s still unreleased so we are looking forward to putting those out. A new music video and single are currently in the works. We’re playing Treefort Festival in Boise Idaho in March which I’m really looking forward to as well.

RS: The last decade was a doozy! I don’t know if there’s anything specifically planned except to keep doing what we love, making music, and seeing what happens next!

RSVP HERE for New Myths, Looms, Jelly Kelly, and Color Tongue @ Our Wicked Lady Monday 1/6. 21+ / $10

More great shows this week:

1/3 AVSE, Pocket Protector, Holy Tunics, Monster Furniture @ Gutter Bar. 21+ / $8 RSVP HERE

1/3 Colleen Green, Unkle Funkle, Free Weed, Cassie Ramone (DJ) @ Alphaville. 21+ /$15-$17 RSVP HERE

1/3 Deitre, Shadow Monster, Castle Rat, Johnny Dynamite @ The Broadway. 21+ / $12 RSVP HERE

1/4 2nd Annual DIY Band Lottery @ EWEL. $5 RSVP HERE

1/4 Shelter Dogs, The Next Great American Novelist, Wave, The Unders @ The Gutter. 21+ / $5 RSVP HERE

1/4 Duke of Vandals, Darkwing, Shred Flintstone @ Our Wicked Lady. 21+ / $10 RSVP HERE

1/7 Best Baby, Jess of High Waisted (DJ Set), Tenderheart Btches, Jeerleader @ Knitting Factory. 21+ / $10-12 RSVP HERE

1/8 Shop Talk, MPHO, No Ice @ Our Wicked Lady. 21+ / $10 RSVP HERE

1/9 Toth, Mal Devisa, Beau @ Rough Trade. 21+ / $16 RSVP HERE

RSVP HERE: Combo Chimbita and Sun Ra Arkestra Play Knitting Factory + MORE (Holiday Edition)

Welcome to our weekly show recommendation column RSVP HERE – your source for the best NYC shows and interviews with some of our favorite local live bands. This week we’ve doubled up and listed the best shows from 12/20-New Years!

My favorite show of 2019 was Combo Chimbita at Ace of Cups in Columbus, Ohio, so I’m so happy to be ending this year’s RSVP HERE column with an interview with them! The NYC-via-Colombia tropico-psychedlia meets cumbia rock band has a live set that takes you to another dimension of afro-futurism punk. Combo Chimbita consists of vocalist Carolina Oliveros, Prince of Queens on analog synths, Niño Lento on guitar and Dilemastronauta on a drum set that includes unique percussion instruments and crazy looking cymbals. Frontwoman Carolina Oliveros’ voice is so powerful it will make you cry and the way she plays the guacharaca is so intense it’s almost scary – I seriously thought she might slice someone’s head off. On their latest release Ahomale, which is a Yoruba word that means “adorer of ancestors,” Oliveros set out with the intent to connect with ancestral cosmology, a spirit that becomes animated in their live show.We spoke with the band about their Sun Ra Arkestra, music in Colombia, and inspirations behind their live show…

AF: What were some of your favorite cities you visited and shows you played while on the road in 2019?

Dilmeastronauta: LA, San Juan, NY

Niño Lento: San Juan, PR/Chicago/LA

Prince of Queens: This year we went to so many places! Playing in San Juan in January was amazing, LA, Chicago and Austin is always great for me – so many friends and the crowds are always amazing. One of my favorite shows was in Berlin for Día de los Muertos with Turbo Sonidero; that was an incredible party.

Carolina Oliveros: Berlín, Barcelona e Italia, LA, Chicago

AF: What are your favorite records to listen to while on the road?

D: SunRa “Nuclear War is a Mother Fucker,” Concha Buika “Don’t Explain”

NL: Bocanada (Gustavo Cerati), Lejos de Mi Amor (Polibio Mayorga)

PoQ: When you spend so much time on the road you listen to too much music sometimes… I like silence honestly! But I think always at some point during tour we hit that moment where we listen to classic rock and español and we all sing soda stereo really loud with the windows down.

CO: Me gusta mucho escuchar mucho afrobeats. Me pone alegre y contenta.

AF: What are the differences in the way the direction of music is going in Colombia vs the US?

D: Both cities offer something unique. I feel like NY provides me with access to witness more of the Caribbean diaspora music while Colombia offers its own roots plus, rock, metal etc.

PoQ: I think music in the US might be driven more by the diaspora and the immigrant experience. A lot of amazing music coming out from Colombia feels more focused on re-imagining and inspired by tradition and roots music. I think they are both super relevant and in many ways crossover.

CO: Se que colombia musicalmente en este momento es un gran referente, siento que se está haciendo mucha música que está conectada a las raíces.

AF: What are your favorite percussion instruments to use during your set?

D: Timbal!!!

PoQ: I don’t play it but the Carolina’s guacharaca is special.

AF: What is the inspiration behind the synth sounds you use?

PoQ: I love techno and sound design in general. I always try to approach synth playing more as a sound design tool than a traditional keyboard per se. I love analog sound and just unexpected freak out moments of synth.

AF: What are some of the biggest inspirations and influences on your live show? What are you looking forward to most about your show with Sun Ra Arkestra?

D: I look forward to witnessing the legacy of Sun Ra among the members of his band, their ability to improvise and to be colorful.

PoQ: Too many inspirations! I’m inspired by artists than transcend time and generations. Sun Ra Arkestra, los Wemblers, tabou combo, BIG sound on stage and full on rhythm. I’m not really a religious person but music is spiritual and powerful sound and stage presence can take you places far and deep. That’s what I am into. Honestly just meeting them and hearing them play. So much to learn and experience.

CO: Me gusta muchos lxs artistas que son únicxs y espontánexs y que proponen algo diferente en vivo, que no tienen miedo a explorar y dar creatividad para sus shows. James brown, Janis Joplin, mayra Andrade, La Lupe , celia cruz , concha buika. Tocar con Sun Ra será una de las experiencias más impactantes de mi carrera. Agradecida con tu interés de tocar con el combo .. sera una noche memorable, para ser feliz y hacer vibrar al público. Si quieren candela, candela le vamo a dar !!

AF: What are your plans for 2020 and the next decade?

D: I wanna tour in Latin America, it has become a dream I would like to fulfill.

PoQ: Travel to South America, write some new music and keep exploring, searching and interpreting those energies that keeps us together making music.

CO: Seguir poniendo sabor en el fogón. Haciendo beats poderosos , mucha letra que conecte y retumbe , muchos lugares para conquistar y mucha Alegría y nuevos amigxs

RSVP HERE for Combo Chimbita & Sun Ra Arkestra @ Knitting Factory on 12/28. All Ages / $25-$30

More great shows this week:

 2/20 Tall Juan (single release), Future Punks @ Knitting Factory. All Ages / $15 RSVP HERE

12/20 Surfbort, Bodega, Weeping Icon @ Market Hotel. All Ages / $15 RSVP HERE

12/20 Dinowalrus, Clone, It’s Over @ Trans-Pecos. All Ages / $10 RSVP HERE

12/21 Varsity (NYC debut), Emily Reo, Winter, Lunarette @ Market Hotel. All Ages /$15 RSVP HERE

12/22-12/30 The 8 Nights of Hanukkah with Yo La Tengo @ Bowery Ballroom. 18+ / $40 RSVP HERE

12/27 Veda Rays, No Ice, The Due Diligence @ Alphaville. 21+/ $10 RSVP HERE

12/28 GWAR @ Warsaw. All Ages / $25 RSVP HERE

12/28 Death By Sheep Holiday Party: Deli Girls, Dreamcrusher, Grooming, & more @ Trans Pecos. All Ages / $10 RSVP HERE

12/29 Deer Tick: Tick Tock @ Brooklyn Bowl. 21+ / $35 RSVP HERE

12/29 New Bomb Turks, The Atom Age, Spite Fuxxx @ Saint Vitus. 21+ / $25 RSVP HERE

12/20 Godcaster, Fantasy, Bug Fight, Water From Your Eyes @ The Broadway. 21+ / $12 RSVP HERE

12/31 The Strokes, Mac DeMarco @ Barclays Center. All Ages RSVP HERE

12/31 Priests (last show before hiatus), Russian Baths, Anti Ivry-Block @ Rough Trade. 18+ $25 RSVP HERE

12/31 Wavves @ Baby’s All Right. 21+ / $40 RSVP HERE

12/31 Gnarcissists, Native Sun, Max Pain and The Groovies, Sunflower Bean (DJ set) @ The Broadway. 21+ /$20 RSVP HERE

12/31 The Jesus Lizard @ Brooklyn Steel. 16+ / $65 RSVP HERE

12/31 Cloud Nothings, Field Mouse, Patio @ Knitting Factory. All Ages / $35-$40 RSVP HERE

12/31 Rubblebucket, Guerrilla Toss @ White Eagle Hall. 21+ $25 RSVP HERE


Credit: Andrew Bordeaux

NYC-based alt-pop artist PETRA started playing piano before she could walk and got her first electric guitar when she was six, after she complained to her mother that she wanted to be her “own kind of musician.” Today, this philosophy of independence is still in her music, which contains empowering lyrics about embracing singlehood and not settling. She made her debut in 2015 with “Glamour Girl,” a playful and flirty love sing with lyrics like “You hit my radar like a blazing laser.” Her latest single “Just Stay” is a little different, showing a more vulnerable side of who she is in relationships. She plans to compile her music into an album that she’s releasing on November 12, titled Dancing Without You. We talked to her about her latest music, future plans, and the trials and tribulations of modern dating.

AF: So what’s the story behind your new single “Just Stay”?

P: It’s definitely one of my more heartfelt songs on this album, and it’s mostly inspired by this conversation I had with a former partner. It came at this really critical time in our relationship where we seemed to be at this crossroads, and it was really hard to talk about how we felt because somewhere down the line, the love faded, and instead of addressing it, we waited until this final moment. But even though things got bad, I was still telling him, “I want you to stay.” It was interesting because I’m a hopeless romantic, and I think love is so powerful, love can fix all these things — and it was the first time I doubted that thought because love is not always strong enough to keep things together. That song was me pleading to him to stay and saying we can fix things, but he felt otherwise, so that’s where the conversation came from.

AF: A lot of your songs about being self-sufficient and not relying on relationships. How do you balance that with being a hopeless romantic?

P: When I’m in a relationship, I can be quite prideful sometimes, and there’s a line in the pre-chorus that goes, “Forgive me for I know I’m weak, but I’ve shredded all my dignity on you.” I can be independent — I run my own life — but in that moment, it was just this overwhelming sense of vulnerability that I just faced head-on. And usually, I’m not somebody to give in to that feeling, but in that moment, it was so intense and hard to ignore, and I was accepting a moment where I feel so weak and feel I need someone, and even the most independent of people can feel vulnerable in those moments.

AF: Your previous single, “Luckboy,” sort of embodies that fiercely independent attitude. What inspired that one?

P: It’s funny because “Just Stay” and “Luckboy” are pretty much the opposite of each other, but it’s kind of interesting to think that this is the next single because this album is such a good example of the different parts that encompass my personality. And with “Luckboy,” it definitely dug into that fierce boss lady attitude that I always carry myself with, going to the idea that I just don’t need anybody, that I can function on my own, that sort of “screw guys, who needs them” attitude. This song came after “Just Stay” in a way because I needed to get myself back into the game and feel like I was in charge again after going on so many terrible dates, especially one specific one where I was like, “I don’t need anybody. I can do this on my own.” I do think of myself as having these different sides of my personality. I lean to more the fierce PETRA idea, but “Just Stay” goes into my more vulnerable side.

AF: So what was the date that inspired “Luckboy”?

P: I was seeing a guy. He was pretty cool. We went on a couple dates, and I was just more interested to see where things were going. And after one date, we were sitting down, and he said things were not working out for him on his end. But instead of it being a nice conversation, it was like he said his piece then gave me a high five and said, “Are we still gonna be friends?” And I was just in that moment like, “Cool, this is an interesting way to have this conversation.” Then I got up and left, not wanting to have this conversation. I was like, that took me by surprise. Just let that one go.

I sort of had this emotion because I went on a couple different dates, and some New York guys have a similar one-man-for-themself, don’t-have-the-time-and-energy-to-invest-in-someone-else attitude, and that was unfortunately the type of guy I was seeing at the time. And I sort of took the experiences I had from these various dates and constructed “Luckboy,” which is a play on the word “fuckboy.” I like to think I can be very coy with words, so instead of “fuckboy,” I said, “You’re running out of luck, boy.”

Credit: Andrew Bordeaux

AF: How does being a woman of color play into it for you?

P: In the past, in the pop world, I feel as though there weren’t so many women of color at the forefront. Nowadays, Lizzo has changed that perspective. Yes, she raps, but in terms of being accepted by the pop world, she’s one of the biggest stars of the moment — also super body-positive. When I started my music journey, people were like, “Are you sure you want to do pop? Because it sounds like you should be doing more urban-based music.” And I love that kind of music, but it’s not what I identified with. So, with my music, I wanted to hone in on, “Yes, I’m a woman of color. I sing pop music. But I can still sing about the same subjects as my counterparts and be part of that world.

Nowadays, it’s much more accepted, and there’s more visibility and inclusivity in the pop world, so the perspective I can give is talking about the same subjects, like love, romance, heartbreak, death, and loss, in a way that hasn’t been addressed by other pop artists — so, taking back the idea that this is an inclusive genre and including that there are different races and ethnicities, so I can be that person i didn’t see growing up on television or on the radio.

AF: Who are your biggest influences?

P: I would say I’ve always been influenced by a lot of ’60s and ’70s rock and roll, a lot of Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Who, I would say Queen was a big influence, but also I love Fleetwood Mac, Cher, my list can go on and on. So, I’d say a lot of ’60s and ’70s music was the core of my sound because that’s what I grew up listening to via my father. Then, some old-school pop. I’ve always loved Britney Spears, how can you not? I’ve always melded these old-school songs with modern-day pop, so that’s where the balance of my songs comes from.

AF: What are your next plans?

P: There’s going to be this really awesome album release show at Knitting Factory at the end of this month. The album comes out November 12, and in spring 2020, I’m planning on going on a cross-country tour. The details of that are still in the works and will be announced early next year. I’m really excited because I love performing live and can’t wait to get back out on the road.

Follow PETRA on Facebook for ongoing updates.

LIVE REVIEW: Dead Leaf Echo @ Knitting Factory

There is no doubt about it – Brooklyn band Dead Leaf Echo’s brand new LP Beyond Desire is a fabulous stew of shoegaze, ’77 punk, pedals and reverb. Released late last week by PaperCup Music, the band’s sophomore album is expertly produced and mixed, resulting in a sonic meal you can really chew on. It was for this reason I was excited to attend their record release gig at Knitting Factory Brooklyn last Friday (the 13th, of course).

Opening band Parlor Walls – a local duo led by the charismatic Alyse Lamb – were a delight with their art rock set reminiscent of Talking Heads, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The Slits. Lamb bounced around the stage in black sequin hot pants like a delinquent Rockette. The band’s most recent LP Opposites was released in March, 2017, and is certainly worth a listen. Glancing at their Bandcamp page, I notice a genre tag more relevant to their sound (and far catchier) than any I’ve mentioned or thought of: “trash jazz.” It’s just a shame it wouldn’t work as knuckle tats.

Dead Leaf Echo took the stage and plunged into their web of sound. Unfortunately, the mix for the evening was a bit murky, and it was difficult to distinguish front man LG’s 12-string guitar from Ana B’s six string riffs. This of course, was not the band’s fault, and is a frequent setback when playing New York’s smaller venues (and sometimes its bigger ones, too. See: Terminal 5).

As much as I enjoy their new record, Dead Leaf Echo’s stage presence left something to be desired on Friday night. Their performance seemed a bit stilted and self-important, which surprised me given the inherent silliness of their music videos. Then again, one less-than-rapturous gig doesn’t say anything about Dead Leaf Echo’s career as a whole, and it certainly doesn’t tarnish the fantastic collection of songs that is Beyond Desire.

LIVE REVIEW: Honduras @ The Knitting Factory


Minutes before the band gets on stage, I watch the crowd come together. For some reason at Knitting Factory, it’s always a mix of people you wouldn’t imagine listening to the artists playing that night, trickling in from the bar or stumbling upon a cheap show with nothing else to do.

Brooklyn’s own Honduras took the stage, only a couple of months off the release of their first full-length, Rituals

They’re a punk band who sound something like the Sex Pistols with a dash of Blur (I keep feeling surprised Honduras aren’t from London), or perhaps their contemporaries, Parquet Courts, with that similar lo-fi feel.

The sound translates uniquely to the stage. There’s nothing too flashy about the performance, making you appreciate how clean Tyson Moore’s guitar work is juxtaposed with Josh Wehle’s gritty drums and Pat Philips’s muffled vocals.

It’s easy to pick up on the band’s subtle nuances. Paul Lizarraga likes to play his bass with the strap down low. Moore makes the most of his curly mop of hair, playing his Flying V with a ton of energy. And lead singer and rhythm guitarist Philips is the lovechild of Bradford Cox and Alex Turner. Tumbling on stage, his guitar strap falling off, there was something carnal about the way he clearly didn’t give a fuck.





The boys will be playing Knitting Factory again on December 14th, and Mercury Lounge on January 9th. Check out the music video for their first single “Paralyzed” here:

All photos by Ysabella Monton for AudioFemme.

SHOW REVIEW: Kitty Pryde w/ Deniro Farrar

After having my mind blown by Tinariwen, I was probably better suited for laying around on some grass looking at stars than catching another show, especially one so hyped as hip-hop chanteuse Kitty Pryde’s NYC debut at the Knitting Factory. Opener Deniro Farrar hit the stage late, his style classic and mostly laid-back with spurts of aggressive rhyme. The true highlight of his set was his ultra-chill DJ, whose jams tempered Farrar’s more unabashed outbursts. Even if Farrar, who has been plugging away at the rap game for a while now from his home base in Charlotte, North Carolina, was a bit stung that he had to open for a teenage white girl from Daytona Beach, there was no sign of it; Kitty related a story in which Farrar gave her a backstage pep talk and he was actually far better at hyping her performance than her hype man (who was actually her brother).

Kitty appeared onstage in a pink ruffled prom dress that she claimed to have bought at Kohl’s and a pair of black patent leather combat boots adorned with diamond studded cats.  Even during her more awkward moments, Kitty has that attitude specific to nineteen year olds in which they feel they can pretty much do whatever they please without a second thought of being judged. Kitty Pryde is actually very aware of what judgements are passed on her and simply doesn’t let it affect her; even her raps are rife with jokes made at her own expense which has got to cut down on plenty of naysaying right off the bat. In fact, she’s so self-aware and so good at tongue-in-cheek references to things like online dating and Justin Beiber that it’s hard to believe she’s only nineteen. She looks and acts like it, sure, but could someone that young make such acerbic and often very funny observations about pop culture? A healthy teenage bravado and her awkward Skillex-haired brother tagging along are really the best pieces of proof that she is as young as she claims, and besides that I guess it would be a pretty silly marketing ploy to fake your age and not make yourself old enough to drink even if you’ll get served alcohol regardless.

We weren’t really sure what to make of Kitty Pryde’s flirtatious anthems. Sometimes they border on scandalous, and considering her (supposed) age and coquettish attitude that leaves us just a wee bit queasy. As a rapper she’s not nearly as talented as other ladies in the biz, relying more on her wit and cutesy personae more than anything else. It was hard for her to get through a verse without giggling, some of which is actually written into her lyrics, but most of which was probably an “adorable” way of covering her fuck ups.  She basically exists in a sweet spot created by Kreayshawn, the only heir apparent to that particular throne, though she cites a slightly wider range of influence that includes several members of Odd Future and Kid Cudi among others.

The one thing that really irked me more than any other detail was the laziness behind her production. Granted, she’s been sitting in her bedroom making YouTube videos and basically only has access to beats not made specifically for her. If you have to borrow from someone, you could certainly do worse than the genius of Madlib, but that’s a guy who digs through crates upon crates of 45s and has an encyclopedic knowledge of soul and funk that would probably rival Wikipedia itself. So it’s kind of cheating when you just nonchalantly coo over “Accordion” or whatever (and also call that song “Accordion” on your demo). On the latest EP she’s posted to bandcamp, entitled Haha I’m Sorry, she gets some production help and samples some Carly Rae Jepsen, so maybe the lack of imagination will be less of a fault as DJs come out of the woodwork to get a piece of her pie, which hopefully doesn’t have to be a sexual innuendo.

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What Kitty has going for her (other than tons and tons of buzz) is her fearlessness and her clever charm. For someone who essentially raps about getting a crush on everything, her delivery is slightly more badass and a lot smarter than Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera were able to provide ten years ago (when Kitty Pryde was nine, for those of you not-so-quick with the math). According to the demo for “Thanks Kathryn Obvious” her trajectory went something like this: “I thought I was Sheena – you know? A punk rocker… til I grew into wanting to be Flocka” so maybe being a pop sex kitten was never totally her thing, but she’s certainly feeling out similar territory. She’s also been very quick to build friendships with influential artists, which of course won’t hurt her hype.

After Kitty’s set we moseyed over to a Lazerpop party at Glasslands where Pictureplane was DJing some not so choice cuts, but when he announced he was playing a show at a warehouse pretty damn close to Queens if not actually in it, we thought that we might as well attend. The loft was super sweaty and crowded with kids who had likely waited all night to see him perform. Once he started the floor felt like it was going to cave in so we pretty much called it a night just a few jams in. Then again it was close to 4am at that point so I guess we were actually calling it a morning.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

SHOW REVIEW: Here We Go Magic w/ Glass Ghost

Here We Go Magic are crowd pleasers. When they released the video for “Make Up Your Mind” (in which a variety of women suffer seizures instigated by frontman Luke Temple’s mystical musical powers), they unwittingly unleashed a maelstrom of indignation from a some overly sensitive viewers. Rather than embrace the controversy or use the subtle sexual undertones (some YouTube commenters noted that the “seizures” were rather orgasmic) to generate buzz for their third album, A Different Ship, out May 8th on Secretly Canadian, they shelved the video entirely. This decision seems baffling for a band whose video projects often skew a bit bizarre and push some boundaries, but the choice was made to avoid any conflict that might take attention away from the music. That music was front and center on Thursday when the band played its sold-out record release party at The Knitting Factory. And once again, their crowd-pleasing nature came into play, with a nicely rendered set that showcased the newest album and offered surprising takes on old favorites.
Openers Glass Ghost, a Brooklyn-based band who have cultivated a creative friendship with Temple, were a nice compliment to the set. Offering a contemplative batch of eerily unspooling tunes, Eliot Krimsky’s otherworldly falsetto swirled through Mike Johnson’s ephemeral synths and diffused beats, then over an unusually reverent audience. The power of Glass Ghost lies in moody disconnect, which they achieve through an elevated sense of fragility and a slightly autistic manner of delivery. Both players were stoic to the point of coming off as robotic, interacting with the audience and each other minimally, while retro video projections flashed on the screen behind them. Though the subdued nature of the set was unusual for an opening band, whose typical responsibility is revving up an audience for the headliners, this wasn’t necessarily a detractor. As testament to how powerful ambivalence and alienation can be, the tragically gorgeous “Like A Diamond” served a perfect thesis statement, and somehow television talk-show host Marc Summers (of all people) became the poster child for that lost feeling.
Marc Summers is famously known as the wise-cracking host of Nickelodeon’sDouble Dare, which ran from the mid-eighties into the early nineties and pitted kid contestants against the likes of a giant ice cream sundae and some water balloons filled with tomato sauce; if they failed to answer trivia questions correctly they had to take a “Physical Challenge,” the end result of which often involved getting covered in some sort of goo. There were a bunch of spin-offs, including “Super Sloppy” and “Family” editions of Double Dare, which caused my parents to buy a second television when I threw a fit because the evening news theywanted to watch aired at the same time. Summers also hosted What Would You Do? in which guests were regularly doused with slime.
What does this have to do with Glass Ghost? Well, the irony in the fact that Summers spent the better part of his adulthood getting slimed and sliming others is that he suffers from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, a mental illness which can manifest itself in a frantic need to stay immaculately clean. That dichotomy – the disjointed sensation of wanting to participate, be involved, stay there, to feelversus the failure to do so despite having these emotions and knowing what is normal, even doing what is normal but remaining out of place – is at the crux of it of Glass Ghost’s music, a lá seminal Radiohead track “Fake Plastic Trees”. So when the projections shifted to a distorted video recording of Double Dare(including many shots of Marc Summers grinning through his despair) it brought not just a wave of nostalgia, but also served as a peculiar illustration of a much deeper theme.
the beguiling Jen Turner

For all the removed grandeur of Glass Ghost’s set, Here We Go Magic brought just as much intensity to the stage, though it was of a different variety. Backed by bandmates Jen Turner (bass & keyboards), Michael Bloch (guitar), and Peter Hale (drums), Temple’s enigmatic voice soared through renditions of “How Do I Know” “Hard To Be Close” and old favorites like “Fangela” and “Casual”. The new record was produced by Radiohead’s Nigel Godrich, who became interested in the band after seeing them play at Glastonbury. For most of the tracks Godrich employed a live recording technique with few digital flourishes meant to enhance but not perfect the recordings. It’s hard to say whether that emphasis came from his initial, inspiring exposure to the band, or if the in-the-moment improvisational methods utilized in the studio have infused their latest performances with a newfound go-for-broke energy. But something magical indeed happens when the band is playing together as a cohesive whole.

It was not uncommon to see the band extend normally unassuming musical breaks into spiraling, extravagant jam sessions more apropos of arena rock bands, or hair metal even. But instead of cock rock, the audience was treated to the plaintive, dreamy “Over The Ocean” rendered epically, in all its shimmering glory. Even if it seems overwrought for more a genre of pop that is typically more humble, make no mistake: this is exactly how these songs are meant to be experienced, with all their dormant power front-and-center. It’s a bold move in these times; as the influence of technology on indie pop becomes more and more ubiquitous, it’s become increasingly uncommon to see a band who can actually rock out but that’s exactly what Here We Go Magic do, and do well. Though Temple started this project as a solo one, he’s found some tremendously talented players whose skill is so assured that they make each other look even better. And their confidence in the new material truly gives these tunes a worthy showcase. So maybe they don’t need a gimmick or a controversy to propel their own hype. No one at the show went into seismic convulsions, but the crowd was very, very pleased indeed.

SHOW REVIEW: Frankie Rose w/ Dive and Night Manager

There’s a certain art to being cool. It requires equal parts detachment, judgement, untouchability, andflippancy. Being cool might make you the envy of your less-than-coolcounterparts, but it’s ultimately an empty, lonely act. Because being vulnerable isn’t cool, being cool entailskeeping others at bay, elevating yourself to a level above theuncool, refusing to let anyone in, and never showing emotion orexcitement because it is somehow unbecoming. It’s a problem that isunique to my generation; though real “cool” barely exists anymoreexcept as a marketing concept many of us have been posturing eversince, fearful of ever revealing the uncool sides of ourselves,deprived of true connection in order to maintain the illusion ofcoolness, feeling pain only when the facade fails us. In the realworld, this looks like a dimly lit bar in which everyone nurses PBRfrom a can and no one talks to anyone. And in that bar, Frankie Rosefills the jukebox.

As a drummer for Vivian Girls, Dum DumGirls, and Crystal Stilts, Frankie Rose was at the forefront of theresurgence of a noise pop movement that took its cues from theintertwining jangle and grit of sixties garage rock and girl groups. In recording her first album as Frankie Rose and the Outs, she neverstrayed far from this sound. Her vocals had begun to take on adreamy sort of submerged quality with her first solo album, recorded under the moniker Frankie Rose and the Outs. But by and large the album, whileexpertly crafted, was nothing new. It was perfect in terms ofcontinuing the sound and vibe that made Frankie something of ahousehold name in indie rock circles. To some, the resume she’dbuilt was not only impressive but impenetrable, unapproachable. Butto be honest, it felt cold and rehearsed and well-worn to me, not arecord I could get behind on an emotional level. It wasn’t bad, butit it wasn’t life-altering and ultimately I lost interest. To jointhe Frankie cult I would have had to buy dark sunglasses and aleather jacket and thrown away all my clothing that wasn’t black, andI probably would have had to spit on anyone who talked about how intoAdele they were. But what I really wanted was license to feel andshare freely with my peers, not judge them or their tastes, not actlike mine are better than anyone else’s.

Here is what I like to imagine happenednext. Frankie was walking through the graffiti-scrawled streets ofWilliamsburg when a white light enveloped her and suddenly, the Earthwas no more than a blue speck far below. Her abductors, benevolentalien beings with glowing solar plexuses, took her on an epicinterplanetary voyage in which she witnessed incomprehensible formsof life and their bizarre customs, each of which held more meaningand beauty than her indie-rock royalty act. She was shown the errorof her ways and told to go forth to the earthly masses and write analbum with some heart, lest she be re-abducted and dissected. No longer obsessed with being cool and furthering her own reputationas purveyor of such, Frankie Rose came back to Brooklyn and wrote hergorgeous sophomore album, Interstellar.
While this may be a fanciful version of the truth, the end result is the same.  Interstellar, out now on Slumberland Records, gives having your head in the clouds a whole new meaning.  Frankie’s vocals sparkle and swirl like gauzy nebula gasses, the stuff of galaxies being born. The gritty guitars have been replacedby poppy riffs and spacious synths that reveal yearning and hope anda red-hot emotional core. Every second feels expansive, reminding usthat the big bang is still happening and that even as we rotate onthis rock we are hurtling through space. The lyrical content isn’tparticularly heavy and remainsrelatively carefree, but that’s not to say it suffers from any of that.  Rather, it feels much more relatable thananything she’s written to date. There areinstances (particularly “Know Me” “Daylight” and “NightSwim”) that recall the most impassioned moments of new wave, thoughthat heartfelt artfulness permeates each new song. Tracks like“Gospel/Grace” are still informed by the jangle pop of Frankie’sformer work but here she has made everything bigger, warmer, moreurgent and airy. Closing track “The Fall” is like listening to adream – the kind you go back to sleep for so you can keep dreamingit. Its hushed vocals unspool over a simplistic but indelible guitarline, diffused synths and a droning cello reminiscent of Arther Russell’s “This Is How We Walk On The Moon”. Listening toInterstellar basically made me reevaluate every snap judgement I’dever made about Frankie or her tunes. There’s a line in title trackand album opener that sums up the whole endeavor perfectly -“weightless, free from predictable ways”. Amen, sister, amen.

I got tickets to attend the releaseparty for Interstellar at Knitting Factory, expecting somegrand announcement, an ushering in to a new age of Frankie Rose. She’s one of the most influential musicians in the Brooklyn indiescene, so perhaps we’d all be given a crystal and told to let ourhearts breathe, to embrace each other and stop worrying about ourhaircuts. Night Manager opened with an enthusiastic batch of precocious noise pop anthems.  Somebands get on stage and act like it’s the most boring thing in theworld to be on stage, which is always annoying becauseeveryone at one point or another wants to be a rockstar. Night Manager can’t have had long to fantasize about such things –I’d say the average age of the five band members couldn’t have beenmuch over twenty – and that youthful exuberance was their strongestpoint. Their lead singer’s vibe was somewhere between Bethany Cosentino and Anne Margaret but I probably only make that connectionbecause I’ve been watching the third season of Mad Men while battlinga head cold.

I had high hopes for Dive, a(nother)Beach Fossils side project whose reverb-drenched singles are catchyand evocative of epiphanies had while staring at clouds. From thelooks of it, these guys really struggle to get dressed (evidenced by the rubber bands utilized to hold the guitarist’s pants in place) and speakingof haircuts – yikes. While their shoegazey tracks have a just-woke-up sort of haze, Dive’s performance was so boisterous it could have been a commercial for 5-hour energy shooters. The kineticset was incredibly fun to watch and included an unrecognizable take on a Nirvana song and a pornographic tee-shirt.  Dive’s debut EP is scheduledfor release next month on Captured Tracks, and seeing them play the material in such a spirited manner has me psyched for it.

Frankie Rose took the stage just after11PM with four band members, opening with the title track from the newrecord. The stage was bathed in starry projections, but there wereno house lights at all on Frankie or the majority of the band, whichreduced everyone but the drummer to indistinct silhouettes. Thatmight have been cool for a song or two, but they played the entireset that way, and it was slightly off-putting. Much like when youspend a hot day at the zoo and all the animals are sleeping insidefake caves, the lack of anything to rest eyes on was disappointingand disconnecting. Perhaps the lighting guy was in the bathroom,thinking he’d have plenty of time to light the stage once the bandreally got going. But he never had a chance – the show was overpractically before it began. The crowd, myself included, was justsettling in to Frankie’s performance, and then it abruptly endedafter they’d played for just under half an hour.
I’ve seen some short sets, but this oneleft me stunned in terms of its brevity. You’d think that with twoalbums of material she could have fleshed it out for another fifteenminutes, even with stage banter or something. I didn’t evenrecognize the new songs; I assumed she’d not played many of them butwas later informed she’d played seven of the ten new tracks fromInterstellar. The thing is, they were interpreted for the stage insuch a way that they might have belonged on older albums, in the workshe’d done with bands prior to striking out solo, in the detached,too-cool-for-school manner of everything that had come before. Therewas no trouble taken to document the evolution and preserve theopenness that makes Interstellar such a great album; instead Iwas reminded of all the reasons I’d felt put off by Frankie in thepast. She returned to the stage apologetically to play one moretrack (video of the encore is below) and finally asked for the house lights to beturned up a bit, though it was done begrudgingly by the house.
My overall impression was that Frankieis somehow afraid to bring her newfound sincerity into the spotlight bothliterally and figuratively. She was hiding the entire time –playing in the dark, rushing through the set as if nervous orembarrassed, and masking the intimate vibe of the new record behindthe practiced ways of her rock-n-roll persona. Perhaps this was aneffort to make the material more stage-ready but for me it had a numbing effect. I can only hope that in time she’ll figure out howto parlay the stirring ardency that makes Interstellar so salient, will becomecomfortable with letting any pretense fall away and be truly presentin the new material. I can imagine that day – Frankie stands onstage in a halo of white, assuredly plucking each note from herguitar strings, backed only by atmospheric keys and somber drums,letting Interstellar truly explode – vulnerable, earnest and farbeyond the trappings of coolness.