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Monday, Nov 26, 2012
The White Light Festival performance of 'Vertical Road' may have allowed the dancers to transcend the earthly plane, but its audience might be stuck wondering how it happened.

“This work includes a strobe light, smoke, and loud sound” read the disclaimer on the front of the Playbill for the performance of ‘Vertical Road’ by the Akram Khan Dance Company. But the powerful effects in this performance flowed from the dancers fluid motions, as choreographed by Akram Khan, garbed in earthy-toned, loose attire. His production was supported by music from Nitin Sawhney, the UK composer whose most recent work includes a concept album with William Hurt entitled Last Days of Meaning and the score for the movie Midnight’s Children, though neither were present for the US performance.


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Tuesday, Oct 23, 2012
One can never see everything at CMJ, but I did make it out to one last late night showcase for Black Taxi as the 2012 marathon drew to a close.

Having stopped in three venues in one night on the first night of CMJ, and stepping away to take in the White Light Festival at Lincoln Center, I found myself out on the last night of CMJ at the Mercury Lounge for a packed showcase with several bands going into the early morning.


For full disclosure, I came to this showcase with the intent to meet some people, and I only really got to see one band, Black Taxi, one I had seen before as they put on a wild show. The band’s immediate live sound drew comparison to Kings of Leon and the band seemed just as close as the Followill Brothers. But Black Taxi do have more variety—throughout the set elements of other bands were apparent and the wild vocalist Ezra Huleatt jumped up to sing, sat down for the keyboards, wailed on a trumpet and dragged out a bullhorn to supercharge his voice. The audience ate it up. And if you can’t check out the live show, the band has a Live EP stream that will allow you to make comparison to other bands yourself.


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Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012
It’s the week of the CMJ Music Marathon in New York and that means you can’t walk two feet in the Village without running into some band, or a hipster or even worse, a music critic.

It’s the week of the CMJ Music Marathon in New York and that means you can’t walk two feet in the Village without running into some band, or a hipster or even worse, a music critic. But this is after the music conference has wound up for the day, when attendees find themselves freed up and can take in a show afterwards with their colleagues. It’s just too easy to see new music and most of it is free with the stylish CMJ badge around your neck. On one hand, unfortunately, many of these music showcases feature abbreviated sets by many bands. On the other, the many small bands means you might hear something new way before anyone else does. At least you would like to think so. In my case, I had my camera strapped around my neck and went to take in and capture some performances.


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Wednesday, Oct 10, 2012
Frank Ocean's unfortunately abbreviated set was likely the main draw for the first night of All Tomorrow's Parties in NYC.

All Tomorrow’s Parties NYC event, ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’, had a wide variety of genres covered with its scheduled artists. It’s first venture into Manhattan, the Pier 36 space, was located right underneath the F.D.R. Drive but, at least inside, the roar of traffic didn’t interfere with the music. If you were on the boat watching a movie, it may have been otherwise. Friday’s lineup included the comedians Kurt Braunholer, Hannibal Buress and Janeane Garofalo who led the night off early (7 pm) for an event with its main draw not scheduled till near midnight. Frank Ocean was the last act on the main stage, following performances from Lightning Bolt, Edan the DJ and Philip Glass and Tyondai Braxton. For those fans that came just for Ocean, they might have been puzzled by the instrumental pieces from Glass and Braxton. But the ATP festival isn’t defined by any one genre. You just take it as it comes. And the same applies for the event too. Ocean’s set was supposed to begin at 11:45 pm but got delayed till after midnight and then, due to an imposed curfew, he had to cut off just before 1 am.


Ocean’s set was excited but sounded a bit muddled in the back. He mixed up songs from his official album Channel Orange and his mixtape Nostalgia/Ultra backed with a full band. Someone in the audience tested the band when he or she requested the song “Lovecrimes”, Ocean believed his band knew how to play it, after the Coldplay-stealing “Strawberry Swing”. That song began a stretch of three strong hits that closed out the night, with “Novacane” and the lengthy “Pyramids” jam following. All in all, not enough from the man though he did release a new song online a day or two after (that you can hear below).


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Tuesday, Sep 4, 2012
by John Beringer
As the flagship location, Riot Fest Chicago's lineup reigns supreme in quantity and quality.

From September 14th to the 16th, Chicago will once again host Riot Fest, a punk music festival that originated in our fair city eight years ago and has since expanded to Philadelphia, Toronto, Dallas, and Brooklyn. As the flagship location, Chicago’s lineup reigns supreme in quantity and quality, showcasing a wide range of artists that satisfy the musical appetite of at least three generations of fans with varying levels of punk credibility and taste. This is what makes Riot Fest different from, say, Warped Tour.


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