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by Sachyn Mital

7 Dec 2015


When I first heard about the Winter Hoot ahead of the 2015 event, I pictured a lot of bearded Brooklyn transplants hanging out, drinking craft beers and listening to music on wooden benches. I didn’t anticipate that it would be a family friendly affair with lots of parents and their tots in tow or in slings listening to music sitting on wooden benches. The Winter Hoot is an annual event thrown by the Mike + Ruthy Band that will be returning for its fourth iteration in January. The Hoot will have fun for all ages including, “the ever-popular blacksmithing demos, sledding, all-ages crafts in the FiberFlame room (leave your child for an additional childcare fee), an array of upstairs parent-child activities, an instrument petting zoo by Hungry For Music (please bring an instrument to donate to kids in need) and intimate mini-concerts in the Pewter Shop filmed and recorded by Beehive Productions.” The Pewter Sessions were a particular highlight, I caught David Wax Museum there and the Hoot has archived some clips on YouTube here.

I really enjoyed their vibrant folk sound when I saw them, so much so that I went to catch Mike + Ruthy perform in New York City twice afterwards including once at a Fracking awareness show at Brooklyn Bowl and another time at Rockwood Music Hall in July, where they performed songs from their newest album Bright As You Can and invited friends like Aoife O’Donovan on stage to join them. A particularly large crowd gathered on stage near the end of the show as everyone took part in a sing-along of “On My Way Home” (which I captured as video below). Their shows are fun, friendly and intimate and anyone who likes their home-spun Americana served with jollity would be wise to catch them live.

by Sachyn Mital

3 Nov 2015


The ATO Records showcase announcement of Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard doing a show from her side project Thunderbitch was perhaps the biggest surprise of CMJ week. Almost every major music reporter, photographer, blogger or industry type was there. The immediate area around the stage was basically all photographers as this was one of the first shows from Howard (as Thunderbitch). And it rocked.

by Sachyn Mital

30 Oct 2015


CMJ Music Marathon is an endurance test. You can collect as many bands as you want—on any given day you can catch way more than a dozen if you are willing to work for it. On the third (and on the fourth) nights, I wasn’t pushing myself. I wanted to see John Grant ‘s newly added set at Rough Trade since I couldn’t make his set at Le Poisson Rouge on the last day. And I wanted to catch up with Quilt who I hadn’t seen in a while. I also got to hang out at Baby’s where a team from Mute Records was on site giving out stickers and albums (I got myself ones from M83 and from The Knife).

by Sachyn Mital

21 Oct 2015


Did you miss PopMatters first ever CMJ showcase at the Tender Trap in Brooklyn? If so, you can still learn about and check out music from the great bands we had on our slate. The event served as a record release party for Autodrone's This Sea is Killing Me (which you can stream below) but before they took the stage, there were performances from Parlor Walls, Magic Shoppe, Dead Leaf Echo and Veda Rays. Be sure to click each band's name below to visit their sites and hear their music or just revisit the event page on Facebook for posterity.

by Sachyn Mital

14 Oct 2015


It’s never easy to select where to go during CMJ Music Marathon, the nearly week long event that draws hundreds of bands to New York City for a chance to play in front of industry professionals, music tastemakers, bloggers and their friends. Hopefully anyone really. Given the number of venues to choose from, I decided to hedge my bets and go to the BalconyTV Showcase at Webster Hall, an event I attended last year, so that I could also check out bands downstairs in the Studio while bands were swapping out on the former stage. Below are the acts I caught, as well as pics from Christopher Paul Stelling’s set at Rockwood as I had wanted to end my night on a strong show.

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Searching for Wholesome Online Fun: LDS Gamers

// Moving Pixels

"While being skeptical about the Church ever officially endorsing video games, LDS gamers remains hopeful about the future, knowing that Mormon society is slowly growing to appreciate gaming.

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