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by Thomas Hauner

21 Oct 2009

Mon Khmer
Cameo Gallery, Brooklyn
A quintet of shoegazers, Mon Khmer were going somewhere in their music, but slowly.  So slowly that the sometimes beautiful sounds they crafted after layering two guitars and a pedal steel guitar never materialized.  The occasional coalescence of harmonies was further diminished, however, by muddled and confused vocals.  But whenever the group did seem to hit its stride (pulsating tom-tom rhythms under blending, repetitive guitar lines) the transformative capabilities of the pedal steel stalled, the player caught looking up and just admiring his own band mates.  Hunker down and join the party already!

Photo by Thomas Hauner

Photo by Thomas Hauner

Photo by Thomas Hauner

Photo by Thomas Hauner

Photo by Thomas Hauner

Photo by Thomas Hauner

by Jonathan Kosakow

21 Oct 2009

Warpaint
Mercury Lounge, New York City
You probably wouldn’t say that the members of Warpaint came on stage looking ready for battle.  In fact, based on how they dressed on stage last night, you’d be more inclined to say they look ready for bed.  But put you to sleep is the last thing the mostly–female quartet did on Tuesday (three of four musicians are women).  Their haunting bass lines and drumbeats kept a steady groove as their ethereal guitar parts and vocal harmonies elevated above the room.  The juxtaposition between psychodelia and dark pop came together smoothly and left you wanting more.

by Vijith Assar

21 Oct 2009

Kingston
Red Bull Space, New York City
The sort of indie rock band that probably has no problem labeling itself as such, Kingston is led by a shaggy-haired frontman apparently so chosen more for his love of the attention than any other obvious qualifications.  Engaging drums, but between the words “thank” and “you” during that last climactic fill I somehow forgot literally all the lyrics and riffs from the songs they’d just performed (I know because I was trying to write this down at the time).  I give this two kiwis out of a possible five, but to be fair, I was getting pretty frustrated trying to figure out what this image had to do with New Zealand, CMJ, indie rock, or, you know, anything.

by Tyler Gould

21 Oct 2009

Little Girls
Concepts
(Paper Bag)
Releasing: 30 October (limited edition vinyl) 13 October (CD / MP3)

You can already find the latest from Toronto’s Little Girls on CD and MP3, and a vinyl edition, limited to 300 copies, will come out later this month. “Growing” reminds me of an early Asobi Seksu song stripped of its lush instrumentation and Yuki Chikudate’s voice. It is pop music, for sure, but it’s the most reclusive pop music I’ve ever heard. Beneath the dreamy guitar and muffled vocals, there’s a hook.

SONG LIST
01 Youth Tunes
02 Seeing
03 Tambourine
04 Concepts
05 Imaginary Friends
06 Salt Swimmers
07 Thrills
08 Departure
09 Venom
10 Last Call
11 Growing

Little Girls
Growing [MP3]
     

Tambourine [MP3]
     

by Tyler Gould

21 Oct 2009

Here’s another track Casablancas’ first solo effort, Phrazes for the Young, which comes out on November 3rd. Its madcap pacing sounds odd and hurried, its up-and-down riff is an earworm of the worst order—what is the appeal of this? This is montage music for a cut-rate evil robot assembling factory. Imagine it blaring with laughable urgency as glowing red eyes flick on and whirring motors propel the robots, single file, to their certain death at the bazooka of a musclebound movie star—a throwaway song for disposable henchmen.

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