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by Mehan Jayasuriya

5 Apr 2010


It’s quite remarkable, really: when they take the stage, the members of the Smith Westerns project a world-weary disinterest that performers twice their age would be hard pressed to match. Everything else about them, however, screams youthful exuberance, from their willingness to strike rock god poses (an additional spotlight that was trained on guitarist Max Kakacek was turned on only during solos) down to the magic marker ‘X’s on their hands. Barreling through a set of ramshackle garage-rock that pointed, unabashedly, toward the monsters of glam, psych and classic rock, the band made no bones about their ambitions. When someone yelled out, “Play the hits!” frontman Cullen Omori coolly snapped back, “They’re all hits”, without missing a beat.

Opening act So Cow took a very different stance toward the audience, though their lo-fi indie-pop was no less rewarding. Playing mostly tracks off of their self-titled singles collection (they also have a new full-length LP, Meaningless Friendly, out on Tic-Tac-Totally), the Irish bedroom-pop act was bouncy, engaging and tons of fun. When frontman Brian Kelly’s glasses started slipping off of his face, he unhesitatingly handed them to a girl in the front row. “Can you put these in a bag or a pocket?” he asked, politely. “Just keep them safe.”

by David Reyneke

2 Apr 2010


I had no idea what to expect walking into Le Poisson Rouge Tuesday night to see Micachu and the Shapes perform.  Would this be the musical extravaganza I had hoped, or just another unmemorable downtown Manhattan hipster sweat factory?  After Tanlines’ opening set, one began to get the feeling that it would be the latter.  While definitely holding the crowd’s attention, their routine sound didn’t do much for me.

by Thomas Hauner

1 Apr 2010


Omnipresent at CMJ last fall were the xx and their white X monogram. They played the Today show, along with countless other showcases, were the critical darlings of NME, released a universally acclaimed eponymous debut record, xx, and licensing deals flourished, like the prominent 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games AT&T ad featuring Apollo Anton Ohno—a reference overheard several times as a packed Webster Hall waited for the young Londoners to commence their first American headlining tour. Their meteoric rise has been swift—possibly even overwhelming. Former fourth member Baria Qureshi left the group shortly after CMJ.

by Rory O'Connor

1 Apr 2010


Despite some turbulent years of late, which included changes to their label and lineup, it was “business as usual” for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (BRMC) at Chicago’s Metro Thursday night. And one could certainly infer from the sold-out venue that business is good. Touring in support of Beat the Devil’s Tattoo, released only a few weeks ago, BRMC wasted no time in rolling out the new material, opening with a throbbing rendition of “War Machine” and then quickly increasing the tempo for “Mama Taught Me Better”. The band, never one to shy away from the new or old in their catalog, followed with a pair, “Love Burns” and “Red Eyes & Tears”, from their very first record, B.R.M.C.. Ultimately, it was their new record that would be the foundation of the band’s two-hour long set.

by Sachyn Mital

31 Mar 2010


About 50 people gathered within the small, half-bar half-concert space, venue to take in the warmth exuded by the Icelandic band, who only now were headlining their first North American tour.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Specter of Multiplayer Hangs Over 'Door Kickers'

// Moving Pixels

"Door Kickers is not a multiplayer game, but for a while there, I couldn’t tell the difference.

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