Seratones

Louisiana soul-rockers Seratones will release their anticipated debut album Get Gone on May 6th via Fat Possum Records. Today they’ve shared the energetic and sun-soaked new single,”Sun.”

Imagine Alabama Shakes pissed off and playing the diviest bar imaginable. There’s an unshakable urgency to the main guitar riff of “Sun” that hits hard as all hell and doesn’t look back for even a second. Those who claim that rock and roll are dead clearly just need to look a little bit harder.

Stream “Sun” below and check up Seratones upcoming tour dates, which include supporting dates for The Dandy Warhols in New York later this month.

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Frankie Cosmos

Frankie Cosmos releases her delightful new album Next Thing tomorrow via Bayonet Records. She’ll celebrate its release this weekend with album release shows this Friday and Saturday at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium.

Not only will the performance feature a heart-warming performance from Frankie Cosmos and her band, but both nights will also feature an opening set from the wonderful Eskimeaux. Anna McClellan will open Friday’s show, and Jonah Furman Saturday’s.

Both shows are sold out online, but there may be some tickets if you show up early enough at doors day of. If you can find a way to make it out, it would be a good idea, I’m sure the days of these guys playing these smaller DIY venues are numbered.

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Cass McCombs delivered one of the first great shows on 2016 with his performance at Bowery Ballroom on January 7. The show served as both a support run for his 2015 compilation release A Folk Set Apart: Rarities, B-Sides & Space Junk, Etc., as well as a chance to share some new songs.

I anticipated a set that leaned towards mostly new material, but no my surprise only three new songs were played (“River Of Blood,” “I Want To Know,” and “Why Does It Rain”). The rest of the set was classic Cass, which he and his band (now featuring two drummers) delivered with the precision and finesse that you come to expect.

The night come to an epic conclusion with a 13-minute delivery of “County Line” and then an even more epic 14-minute encore performance of “Dreams Come True Girl,” dual drum solo and all. The way he was able to stretch these songs into completely new arrangements was truly a thing of beauty, a testament to the power of live music.

You can find some more photos from the performance below, and stream the performance thanks to our friends at NYC Taper who recorded the entire show.

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On January 6, the ever-rising Spanish rock group Hinds kicked off my year of concerts with an intimate record release show at Brooklyn venue Palisades. The show was put on by Hype Machine’s “Stack Live” in celebration of the release of Hinds’ fun debut album Leave Me Alone, released via Mom + Pop Music. Admission broke the bank at a truly unreasonable $3 at the door.

Half a show, half a release party, the first half of the show featured a performance from Hinds, while the second invited fans to join them on stage to sing their songs karaoke style, all while the band was playing behind them. This loose atmosphere definitely fit the stylings of Hinds, who have won so many fans over with their live life by the moment atmosphere and raw style of garage rock.

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Their regular set got the (very) young crowd going wild, doing a bit of mosh-shoving (not quite moshing) to the front, something I didn’t expect, as it didn’t occur when I saw Hinds at Baby’s All Right last April. The night was definitely a shared celebration, with the band bringing out guests such as John Eatherly of Public Access T.V., Alan Palomo of Neon Indian, and Shamir.

The karaoke section of the show didn’t quite work out as they hoped, as not all of the young intoxicated fans who snuck up on stage actually sang along, or knew the actual words. But as with most things, it was the thought that counted, and Hinds set out to give their fans a memorable night, and ultimately succeeded.

Find some shots from the performance posted below.

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The New York music scene has long been one of the most vibrant and diverse in the world. Well established along with up and coming artists from every genre, including some which haven’t even been named yet, perform daily in spaces ranging from dive bars to posh nightclubs.

Performance calendars, like here, illustrate this concept well. However music fans who are planning their first visit to NYC might want to consider planning their vacation around one of the city’s music festivals.

Traditional and Showcase Events

The Governors Ball is one of the longest running festivals around and has definitely earned the title of “Best New York Summer Music Festival.” The three-day festival kicks off June 3rd and features a diverse lineup including Beck, Kanye West, Courtney Barnett, Eagles of Death Metal, Death Cab for Cutie, Killers, and Bat for Lashes.

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The producers of Coachella are also planning to bring the Panorama Festival to the City in July. The festival has run into a number of obstacles, including being forced to change the dates and location due to opposition from the Governors Ball organizers. While the Coachella producers have managed to make camping in the California desert cool based on the festival’s lineup, art installations, and general vibe, the Panorama Festival seems to be a bit up in the air. The lineup for Panorama has not yet been announced, but is well worth watching if you are planning to travel in July.

If discovering new artists is more your thing, consider the CMJ Music Marathon which happens in October. The weeklong event, which is celebrating its 36th anniversary, features concerts and showcases at venues throughout New York along with conferences, parties, and other events.

Record Shopping

New York remains one of the best destinations for music lovers, including record shops as well. While some of the fabled shops have unfortunately closed their doors, there remain a number of excellent choices for those who prefer discs over downloads.

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The Thing in Brooklyn is more like a garage sale than a shop. There is no organization, no labels, no prices, just boxes and stacks of music from polka to obscure rock and hip hop singles. If a slightly more organized approach is more to your liking Rebel Records has one of the best selections of vinyl, including imports, that you will find anywhere. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly.

If you prefer a more traditional shopping experience, Rough Trade boasts a great selection of CDs with the bonus of a having a venue in the back that often features local and traveling artists. Classical and Jazz fans should include a visit to The Academy which is well known for its unsurpassed inventory of jazz and classical recordings on CD and vinyl.

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New York hotels rank in the top five in the US in terms of costs, which can seriously eat into you music budget. Visitors can save a bundle by booking their stay through sites like Owners Direct   and AirBnB, which feature everything from efficiency apartments to brownstones suitable for large groups.

Even with the uncertainty of the Panorama Festival, the 2016 vacation season includes many reasons for the music fan to include NYC in their plans.

We All Want Someone’s Best Songs of 2015

By Will Oliver, March 18th 2016 — with 1 comment Best Of 2015 Best Of List

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Artwork thanks to our very own Anthony Bauer

We look back 2015 fondly, one of the best years of music in some time. There was almost too much of it, making it nearly an impossible task to come up with my top albums of the year. Even worse, was choosing the best songs of the year.

Many albums had multiple offerings that deserved recognition, but I tried my best to limit it to one song per artist, except for a few special cases. It wasn’t easy to do a top 100 list, but it was fun to reflect on 2015 with all the sounds that helped soundtrack my life throughout those months.

Below you can find the list posted in countdown style from 100-1, and I’ve created a handy Spotify playlist in countdown order for your listening convenience and pleasure. I’ve posted the embeded playlist below.

Until next year
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Artwork thanks to our very own Anthony Bauer

We’re certainly far enough removed from 2015 now for me to properly look back at the year and realize how remarkable it was. I meant to get this list up in January, but as it does, life got in the way and things got delayed. Sure, I may have missed the “list” cycle, but that’s ok. Now with some more time I was able to catch up on albums I wasn’t able to get to during the 2015 calendar year, as well as give some albums the chance to further reveal themselves to me over time.

2015 saw an abundance of great artists converge to release new material, almost to the point where there was a consistently too much great music on a week-to-week basis. Worlds smallest violin playing, I know.

I already shared my honorable mentions for best albums of the year, and many of these albums were good enough to make a top list any other year. But 2015 was a really great year, and this top 50 list really demonstrates how much quality stuff was released.

Without further ado, here are my top 50 albums of 2015.

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Hop Along

Hop Along make their return to New York this Saturday night, opening for Dr. Dog at Terminal 5. The show will be a much larger performance than their last stop here, a great performance at Bowery Ballroom in December.

The band are currently in peak form live, delivering the tracks of their terrific 2015 album Painted Shut in an incredibly passioned manner that you can’t help but get swept up by. They’ve killed it every time I’ve seen them, so getting to see them play before Dr. Dog is as good as it gets.

Tickets for the performance are still on sale at the moment, but don’t wait too long, as night one of Dr. Dog’s two night run at T5 just sold out, so this show may be sold out come the weekend. If you get tickets, be sure to get there in time for Hop Along. You don’t want to miss out, as they’re bound for an even bigger breakthrough with their next release.

The Last Shadow Puppets - Aviation

With new album Everything You’ve Come To Expect looming, The Last Shadow Puppets are back in full force. Months ago they gave us our first taste, the jarring and seedy late-night scuzz anthem that is “Bad Habits.” Then a few days ago they unleashed the music video for the experimental title track, which they told me was their favorite song off the album when I interviewed them (which is coming very, very soon). Both releases were definitely different from what fans were expecting after eight years of silence, causing some listeners to be worried.

I’ve had the album for a little over a month now (as prep for the interview), so many friends and fans have been vocal to me about their concern with the new album as a whole as the two tracks weren’t what they wanted. I assured them all that the material shared so far worked much better in context with the rest of the album, and that the best was yet to come.

This morning they surprised us again with yet another music video, this time for the opening track and stone cold stunner, “Aviation.” It’s been an instant favorite since my very first spin, fighting with “Miracle Aligner” (the second track) as my favorite song from the album. It doesn’t take long for it to take flight with those stirring strings and a seductive as all hell guitar riff. The was originally meant to be a solo song for Kane, but thankfully he was willing to share with Mr. Turner, creating one of the finer opening tracks you’re bound to find on any record this year.

Check out the music video for “Aviation” below (created by Saam Farahmand / Black Sheep Studios), which features the guys digging their own graves on the beach, a companion piece of sorts to the “Everything You’ve Come To Expect” video, featuring the same character played by Michelle Dawley.

Enjoy it below.

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