Veruca Salt

Recently reunited 90s band Veruca Salt will play their first show in New York City in many years this Thursday night. They will bring their tour to Bowery Ballroom for a highly anticipated show.

Tickets for the show are very much sold out. Luckily for you, I got one *single* ticket to giveaway. To enter, leave a comment below with your favorite Veruca Salt song & album. I’ll pick a winner and notify them by midday Wednesday.

Good luck!

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1_Phox

Phox are a band out of Wisconsin, fast on the rise to stardom. Based on what I saw last night, Phox are the real deal, the sort of band that is destined for larger stages than the tiny stage that is the intimate Mercury Lounge. It was fitting that Trails and Ways (who are popular around these parts) opened the show, as they are another band who deserve your full attention.

Trails and Ways have been touring the country with Phox for the last month or so, making it a pitch perfect 1-2 combo. I caught Trails and Ways for the first time at Pianos last summer, and it was a good show. Even though it was just a year in between, the band that played last night at Mercury seemed much improved and tighter. Based on the new songs that I heard, their debut album is almost on the way, and is sounding solid. The new material had a very chill almost 80s lounge vibe with plenty of funk elements involved. It was a nice combination with the bands previous songs, “Mtn Tune” and “Como Te Vas.” Each of their four members took over lead vocals at some point, a refreshing aspect that proves that this their band is truly a collaborative effort.

I enjoyed my first listen of Phox’s (self-titled) debut album. I liked it, but totally underestimated its power. As I listened more and more, it became more apparent that this was an album that benefited from careful repeat listens. Which each play, the more that their songs would jumped out on me. This concept was even more true tonight, as the songs sounded even better than they do in recorded form. It helps to see the band on stage, working their magic, kicking these songs into gear right in front of your eyes. From the moment they walked onto the stage to the tune of “99 Problems,” I knew the show was going to be a good one.

When you see Phox, you’ll learn right away how easy it is to fall for singer/frontwoman Monica Martin. Not only does she have an delightfully impressive voice, but she has a gravitating bubbly personality that was heightened to its full effect with the help of alcohol. The band had plenty of fun on stage, eager to crack jokes in between songs at any moment. When it came time to get to business, they were all business. From the heartbreaking effect of “Satyr and the Faun” to the captivating magic of the larger than life single “Slow Motion”, Phox was here to impress. Just when I thought the night couldn’t get better, the band invited friend (and actor) John Cameron Mitchell (David Pressler-Goings on Girls) to do a lovely duet cover of Fiona Apple’s “Why Try To Change Me Now.” It was Mitchell who stole the show, holding his own and then some with Martin. It was an unexpected surprise, in a night defined by them.

I’m happy to have caught Phox at Mercury Lounge, because the bands trajectory is up, up, up. The venues will only get larger once they find the larger audience that they deserve. Trust me on this, and go see Phox, immediately.

Photos and setlist, posted below:

Setlist:

Phox Setlist
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Neutral Milk Hotel - Prospect Park

When a band such as Neutral Milk Hotel plays in your city, you go. Especially when that band is more likely to disappear forever than to return to play again in a few years. I was fortunate enough to catch Neutral Milk Hotel last night at Prospect Park, only a few months after seeing them play at Webster Hall in January. It’s still a “pinch me” sort of feeling, as there was a once a teenage version of myself that had given up all hope of ever seeing Jeff Mangum and company play.

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Fire and the Romance

Fire and the Romance is the project of New York native Dion Roy. Earlier in the year, Roy caught my attention with his larger than life cut “Way Down Below”, and we have since been waiting for more.

With the release date of his debut album Adaptations looming, Dion has shared “Rescue” the very pleasant first single off the record. “Rescue” is an easy on the ears hybrid of electronic sounds and a pop-minded chorus. His gentle vocals are more than welcoming, soaring higher and higher as the song builds towards unstoppable heights.

Adaptations will be released on August 26, and is now available for pre-order. In the meantime, enjoy the exclusive premiere stream of “Rescue”, which I’ve shared below.

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The Healing – Childhood Home

By Will Oliver, July 23rd 2014 Listen New Stream

The Healing - Childhood Home

London four-piece The Healing are gearing up for the release of their debut EP, Childhood Home.

The first single is also the title track, a melancholic and rather lovely ballad that plays around with country elements. There’s a heavy feeling of nostalgia that sits with you as you listen. The power of the song sort of sneaks up on you, but its there.

Stream “Childhood Home” below. You can also stream the entire EP over at their bandcamp page.

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Latimer House – Birdcage Walk

By Will Oliver, July 23rd 2014 Listen New Stream

Latimer House - Birdcage Walk
I first shared the sounds of Prague-based band Latimer House back in March. Their debut single “This Is Pop” won me over with devilish charm and clear cut melodies.

The group has since returned with a new single called “Birdcage Walk” and its as equally enjoyable as “This Is Pop.” They make finding a feel-good groove seem easy, with pop elements that work into your head like pure earworms.

Enjoy “Birdcage Walk” below.
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Clocks and Clouds – Aliantha

By Will Oliver, July 23rd 2014 Listen Stream

Clocks & Clouds

Minneapolis 3-piece group Clocks & Clouds explore a world where classical music intertwines with electronic music on their track “Aliantha.”

The track starts out with a haunting string section, but soon works in a world of electronic flourishes and bass throbs. Things tread a bit too closely to dub-step for me at times, but it’s an interesting combination to say the least.

It was released as a single on July 15, and can be found below.

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Death From Above 1979

It’s still hard to believe that we are actually getting a new album from Death From Above 1979, a totally “pinch me”, “is this really happening” sort of moment. Well, the new album The Physical World is on its way, with a release day set for September 9 (via Last Gang Records/Warner Bros). The band are currently offering exclusive bundle pre-orders, as well as on good old iTunes.

Our first taste of the album comes in the form of first single “Trainwreck 1979″ and its exactly what the doctor ordered. It’s a bit of a different sound from the band, but hey, it’s been a decade. “Trainwreck 1979″ is more pop-infused with a catchy chorus and back-up ooh and aahs. It still hits as hard as any DFA1979 song should.

Damn, it’s good to have these guys back! Stream “Trainwreck 1979″ below.

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Tweedy

Tweedy is the wonderful duo of Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, and his son Spencer. They’re debut album is titled Sukierae, and it comes out on September 16 via Wilco’s label, dBpm Records.

We already got to hear the album’s first single “I’ll Sing It,” and they’ve since followed it up with a music video for another wonderful track by the name of “Summer Noon.”

It’s a bright shimmering track that is perfect for a relaxing summer day. The video, directed by Allison House, can be found below.

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Alt-J – Left Hand Free

By Will Oliver, July 22nd 2014 Listen New Stream

Alt-J

Alt-J’s sophomore album This Is All Yours will be released on September 23 via Canvasback Music. We already heard the Miley Cyrus sampling “Hunger Of The Pine”, which served as our first preview of the album.

The band followed that up with the album’s first official single, a track called “Left Hand Free.” The song is nothing like the band has done to date. It’s apparently a song that the band wrote with the goal of making the “the least Alt-J song ever”, working on a “joke riff” giving it a straight run through. The rest is a sort of 90s Beck sounding track. When you learn that “Left Hand Free” is a song that the song that the band wrote after their label questioned “Hunger Of The Pine” serving as a single, it starts to make sense.

It takes a few listens to really sink into what the band are doing, but once it clicks, it makes a lot more sense. One thing is for sure, This Is All Yours will be one of the more diverse and unpredictable albums of 2014.

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fullmoonflyer

The Full Moon Fest returns to Governor’s Island on August 8 for the fourth installation of the dance beach-themed mini-festival, which takes its inspiration from the full moon parties of Thailand, set beneath an August full moon.

This year the festival sports a lineup that includes Delorean, The Knocks, Son Lux, Le Youth, The Aston Shuffle, Penguin Prison, Wave Racer, Young & Sick, Chela, Emefe, and JDH & Dave P.

Tickets are still available for the fest, and at a limited bargain price of $50. Not bad at all, considering how many acts you would get to see. Don’t wait too long, as the next pricing is set at $125 (but it’s VIP).

Below check out two mixes from the festival, cleverly titled “The Waxing Moon” and “The Crescent Moon”:
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