This year’s New Music Seminar (NMS) expanded into the night with a New York Music Festival, presenting live music at 17 venues over four nights. NMS partner eMusic selected three quartets for their showcase at Tammany Hall: Yellow Dogs, Hooray for Earth (both sharing the “eMusic Selects” spotlight recently) and Anamanaguchi as a special guest headliner.
Yellow Dogs: Photo Credit: Eric Groom
Yellow Dogs embraces the tightly wound punk aesthetic with short songs of frenetic beats and indecipherable lyrics. The band members are all young guys from Iran, but the group is now based in Brooklyn’s new band haven. This full on sound amped up the volume appropriately yet with little acknowledgement of the audience in front of them, a disservice to their ambitions in the tight quarters of the packed venue. Things loosened up as they proceeded into their set, as welcome dance moves on stage began to be reflected in the crowd. Adding synth inflections over the deep grooves of the music also provided an extra layer of interest to the music.
Hooray for Earth: Photo Credit: Eric Groom
Next on the darkened stage, Hooray for Earth took the volume to blistering levels. As they launched into “True Loves,” a song plucked for the New Music Summer 2011 Playlist, things were barely decipherable. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Noel Heroux moved from the Boston area to New York City a few years ago, reinventing his synth rock band with a debut release of the same name last year. He makes a natural frontman with his arty good looks, even when surrounded by such distortion and aloof band members concentrating on their own contributions. For one song, he went down on his knees to sing with dramatic effect and gave a heartfelt thank you to the crowd before leaving the stage.
Anamanaguchi. Photo credit: Jane Jansen Seymour
Anamanaguchi’s chiptune approach uses Nintendo gaming systems for a sonic foundation under their speedy post-punk songs. With a skater dude vibe in hair, hats and outfits, along with vintage video game footage behind them, the band presented an instant male enclave. Their cultural reference extended into irreverent announcements, for example how they were actually The Beatles. The crowd was more than ready to let loose with this sky-high energy on stage. Not surprisingly, Anamanaguchi’s music has been plucked for actual video game soundtracks as well as remixes from their 2009 debut release, Dawn Metropolis.
Hooray for Earth. Photo credit: Jane Jansen Seymour