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Friday, Nov 22, 2013
Cut Copy consistently give one of the best live performances and are my top live act of 2013.

Having seen Cut Copy earlier this year at the Governors Ball Festival, I decided they were the best act there. Well, they’re two for two now, having just outdone that performance with a gig for the NPR Music and KCRW Metropolis launch event at the intimate (le) Poisson Rouge, an exceedingly small space for the band. Metropolis DJ Jason Bentley opened the show and we have pictures from the first two songs, so you may not get the full feel of blasting lights and the dance-happy music but it’s a start. The band are celebrating the release of their album Free Your Mind which expands their already intense electro-dance-rock oeuvre with such hits as “Footsteps”, the title track and “We are Explorers”. They just performed that last song on Fallon, and there is a clip below for you to watch, a better way to see what they are up to. If you didn’t live stream the seventy minute performance the first go around, check NPR as they will probably share the video soon.


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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013
Having crafted Icona Pop's "I Love It", Charli XCX is at the forefront of the girl-pop movement.

Unlike the show I saw at Irving Plaza last week, Charli XCX knew took full advantage of the space with her oversized-pop sound. With just one album, Charli couldn’t afford to hold back the punches as she fronted an all-girl band.


She also knew she had to do her own rendition of the song “I Love It”, that she shared with Icona Pop, making them a star. She encouraged the audience in her announcement, “This is my first hit and I know you all know the words! I wanna hear you fucking sing!”. And the crowd obliged, bouncing with the same high energy Charli herself brought to the stage, jumping and waving her hair. She also performed a cover of the ‘80s pop hit, “I Want Candy”, one of her current favorite songs she said, alongside the lead singer from Kitten (who along with LIZ had opened for her). Check out the photos and video below.


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Monday, Nov 18, 2013
My only criticism of the Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit is that too much great music was programmed at the same time, forcing some difficult decisions about where and when to show up. The 2014 edition cannot come soon enough.

Asheville, North Carolina’s Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit, produced by AC Entertainment, Inc. (the producer/promoter behind Moogfest), featured a much broader variety of acts than its name suggests. Though traditional DJ sets were well represented (none better than the Friday night opener by Claude VonStroke), the rest of the bill offered acts for every taste of popular music. The concurrent performances on Friday evening illustrated the eclectic nature of the event, as veteran outsider acts like Half Japanese and Daniel Johnston played in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium while VonStroke, Purity Ring, and Deltron 3030 performed in the larger Exploreasheville.com Arena. The highlight of the evening was Deltron 3030, which is on tour for Event II but played a triumphant, orchestra-assisted set heavy with tunes from the group’s eponymous 2000 album.


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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013
Set to be a regularly occurring, touring event, Communion Music is hosting several bands, including Savoir Adore and Tennis, for their November jaunt.

The Communion Music event in New York was held at Rockwood Music Hall, a venue structured so that there are multiple stages split across its 3 or 4 rooms (with each room indicated by a # from 0-3). Stage 3 was set up as a small boutique space for a few local retailers selling such wares like cosmetics or apparel. People mingled here in between band’s sets on the neighboring and attached Stage 2, though some were queued outside in the chilly air. It was about 9:30 pm and Brooklyn’s Savoir Adore were going to come on around 10 or so but for a short time, I was concerned I wouldn’t get to see the band as people didn’t seem to exit Stage 2 and no one was allowed into the room. Fortunately, I was able to squeeze my way in and found a spot near a corner to catch SA’s set and a bit of the band Tennis, whose Small Sound EP was released that same day on the Communion label. I hadn’t had the opportunity to see this group yet, but I played their 2012 album Young & Old quite frequently and was curious to see how their drifting / shoe-gaze translated to a live performance.


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Thursday, Nov 7, 2013
Jessie Ware's classy voice is the backbone of her strong debut album Devotion, but her music might be better suited for smaller, more intimate venues.

Jessie Ware’s solo debut album Devotion was among PopMatters’ year end best-of lists in 2012 and rightfully earned a 9/10 here. The dynamic range of Ware’s vocal cords imbues her songs with a variety of emotions, from yearning to seduction to power On stage at Irving Plaza for her second show in New York City of the week, one of her many in 2013 (more shows than she had done in London this year she said), Ware demonstrated her humor and her powerful voice for the fawning crowd. The space closest to the stage was packed tight with fans not willing to give an inch. Ware’s fans are truly devoted; she gave a shout out to one girl named Gabby who was planning to wear a printed t-shirt featuring a photo of herself with the singer in the shot. Then, at the end, Ware received flowers from other adoring fans. However, Ware’s show didn’t leave much of an impression on me as a result of the venue size and the sound mix.


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