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by Sachyn Mital

17 Dec 2015


There are some people who can’t get past the name. Narc Twain. A simple play off the name of the celebrated author. But it might be a re-imagining of history for the band who go by the name. In the past of their dystopian future, could that celebrated jumping frog competition in Calaveras County have really been a ruse to catch people gambling illegally? Well, no matter the case, from my perspective, the band’s name is clever and fun. But I have to confess I posted on my blog ‘Felonious Monk’ for several years.

Narc Twain is a project from Jukebox the Ghost/Drunken Sufis singer/guitarist Tommy Siegel along with drummer/producer John Thayer, guitarist Aaron Leeder, keyboardist/backup vocalist Dave Cohen and bassist Brett Niederman. The band’s debut self-titled EP (streaming below) was released earlier this month and celebrated with a release show at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. Without a physical release, the merch table consisted of posters and homemade t-shirts that included downloads of the album.

by Sachyn Mital

14 Dec 2015


Glen Hansard recently earned a Grammy nomination in the category of “Best Folk Album” for his second solo album Didn’t He Ramble. The Irish singer has been touring hard to support the album and recently did two shows in New York City, the second of which, at the Beacon Theatre, was sold out (the first night at Kings Theatre wasn’t).

Hansard did much of the same set as he did at Kings, including several of the same stories, but since his music is so enjoyable, it was great to see him perform again, as he includes several of his The Swell Season favorites into the set. Check out photos, a video clip (cameras were frowned upon) and the setlist from the show below.

by Sachyn Mital

24 Nov 2015


The BBC thought Marina and the Diamond‘s Froot should have landed a nomination for the Mercury Prize which was awarded last week to Benjamin Clementine (for At Least for Now). Over the course of 2015, I have found Marina’s album to be an extremely engaging pop record, enough so that it stands in the genre as a favorite (alongside Say Lou Lou) of the year. So I had to see her once more—with the bonus of having Christine and the Queens as openers.

by Sachyn Mital

23 Nov 2015


BOOTS, the musician Jordan Asher, isn’t a household name. He isn’t even the easiest internet search. But he has made his name producing tracks for Beyoncé, FKA twigs, Run the Jewels and more. With the release of his debut album AQUARIA this month, BOOTS decided to forgo any of the celebrity connections and do a record that lets his skills as a singer/rapper/producer/guitarist shine—he’s got almost as many slashes as Grimes does. The New York Times describes the album as, “a post-apocalyptic soundscape that’s simultaneously desolate and pressured.”

by Sachyn Mital

20 Nov 2015


French singer Héloïse Letissier isn’t a known name in the United States. Neither is her group, Christine and the Queens, at least not yet. Christine performed in New York City for four nights in November, two opening for Marina and the Diamonds, one headlining Webster Hall and a final late night spot on The Daily Show. Her personality and presence could be described as a mix of Florence and the Machine and Stromae—a combination of ferocity, dance moves and Frenchness (Stromae is Belgian but does sing in French). Her song “Tilted” is perhaps the standout of her debut album Christine and the Queens (Neon Gold / Because Records) and it was one of a couple of songs she played in front of a live studio audience.

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