1_Unknown Mortal Orchestra_Irving Plaza

On February 19, New Zealand rockers Unknown Mortal Orchestra returned to New York for a sold out performance at Irving Plaza.

The show came in support of their typically terrific new album Multi-Love, released via Jagjaguwar. The bands funk-inspired rock jams sounded larger than ever before. Somehow frontman Ruban Nielson and the rest of the expanding live lineup continue to get tighter and find new ways to impress.

Find photos of their performance posted below, along with Lower Dens, who opened the show with an abbreviated lineup featuring just frontwoman Jana Hunter and drummer Nate Nelson.

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Total Slacker

No strangers to the New York live scene, if you frequent shows out here, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen Brooklyn natives Total Slacker play at some point. The group, led by Tucker Rountree, have been going at it for some time, but based on their great new single “Turn On The Lights,” it seems like they’re only getting started.

“Turn On The Lights” is the bands most immediate moment to date, a track that kicks off hard right from the getgo and keeps on chugging with delightful riffs. The band has never sound better produced or mixed, and although that DIY style is still in their DNA, they sound cleaned up and shiny, and its a great look for them.

“Turn On The Lights” is off the groups new album Parallels which will be released on August 19, via ONErpm. It’s available to pre-order from the label here. The single is available to stream below.

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Hoops – “Cool 2”

By Will Oliver, June 29th 2016 Indie Listen Stream

Hoops

(Photo by Daniel Topete)

Hoops are a up-and-coming four-piece out of Indiana, and recently signees to the always reliable Fat Possum Records, who will release the groups self-titled debut EP on August 26.

Ahead of the EPs release the group has shared the stunning opening cut “Cool 2.” It has the shimmering quality and vocal style of Ariel Pink and guitar riffs that remind of everyones best buddy, Mac DeMarco. The track comes just shy of lasting 2-minutes, but boy do they make every second count. If the rest of the EP is this tight, we’re looking at quite the debut offering.

Stream “Cool 2” below and pre-order the EP (on clear vinyl!) over at Fat Possum.

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1_M83_Governors Ball 2016

M83 at Governors Ball 2016

After a great day 1 of Governors Ball 2016, we arrived bright an early with a whole day ahead of us. Although we lucked out with minimal rain on day 1, our luck ran dry on day 2 with the 2nd half of the day plagued by some heavy rainfall that would go on to be a bad omen for the final day of the festival, which would eventually get cancelled altogether.

We started the day off with an early set from Holly Miranda whose band eased us into the day with a graceful set full of different stylings. Things got a little bit harder with punk rockers Nothing, who weren’t too happy with Miranda’s set time somewhat leaking into theirs. I could’ve down without the aggressive comment about her set, as there’s not much to be done with so many sets happening so close to one another. Things got back on track right after with a typically powerful performance from New York’s very own Torres, who always leaves me in awe with her raw intensity that is second to none.

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1_The Strokes_Governors Ball 2016

The Strokes at Governors Ball

For me, summer is officially in full swing with the arrival of the Governors Ball Music Festival, a staple of our summer here for the last few summers, although it’s hard to imagine a time without the festival. This year the festival was once again plagued by the ominous threat of rain and storms (with day 3 unfortunately being cancelled altogether), but we still made the best of the two great days that the festival gave us, and saw many different bands and artists across all genres.

We kicked off Friday, Day 1, with a set from young New York rockers Public Access T.V., who are definitely ones to watch, along with hot rising pop singer Meg Mac who performed right after.
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Native Gold – “Fickle

By Will Oliver, June 25th 2016 Electronic Listen Stream

Native Gold

Native Gold is a LA duo comprised of longtime friends Michael Weeks and Lee Young. Last summer they shared snippets of songs that would eventually make up their debut EP A Man We All Admire, catching attention of artists such as Son Lux along the way.

They will release the EP to the world on July 5. Based on first single “Ficke,” the duo has quite a promising future ahead. The haunting track calls the mind the work of Thom Yorke’s solo album The Eraser, taking a minimalisitc approach that yields loud, memorable results that has me very interested for what the rest of the EP has in store.

Find a stream of “Fickle” posted below.

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Julianna Barwick

Tomorrow night Julianna Barwick will take her gorgeous sounds to the always reliable show space that is Bowery Ballroom for a performance with MAS YSA.

The show comes in support of Barwick’s new album Will, which was released in May via Dead Oceans. The record sees Barwick take her sound in a haunting new direction, one that will no doubt be beautiful to watch unfold in the live setting.

Tickets for the show are currently still for sale, not a bad way to spend a Saturday night.

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Mutual Benefit

Mutual Benefit, the project of Jordan Lee, released their beautiful sophomore record Skip a Sinking Stone last month via Mom + Pop Music.

He’s returning to New York for a pair of lives show this week, with the first show coming tomorrow evening at Mercury Lounge.

This will be New Yorkers first chance to catch these new songs in what is sure to be lovely live arrangements that will sound great in the intimate setting that is the Mercury Lounge. This is actually an early show, with openers Florist kicking things off around 7:30 (doors at 6:30). The very next night they’ll head to Brooklyn for a show at Baby’s All Right.

Tickets for both shows are still on sale.

The Story of KC and the Sunshine Band

By Will Oliver, June 20th 2016 Editorial

KC and the Sunshine Band

KC and the Sunshine Band are perhaps one of the best known bands of the disco era, charming fans the world over with their fun, upbeat and cheerful sound and their catchy hooks and brilliant lyrical stylings.

The band remains popular to this day, despite starting out more than 40 years ago and while changes to the line-up of the band and the changing tastes of the day mean that the band’s sound has changed a lot, they’re still well loved by those who remember them first time around and a whole new generation of fans.

The disco era in the ‘70s was one fraught with racial tensions and disco became something of a retreat for those outside of the mainstream – the genre was more inclusive than many at the time, welcoming the LGBT community, women and people of all colors and creeds with open arms.

It’s no wonder, then, that we look back on this time with such fondness, or that the biggest disco tracks of the ‘70s are still floor-fillers in the 21st Century. Keep reading to find out more about one of the bands at the forefront of the disco movement – KC and the Sunshine Band.

Bringing the band together

In 1973, Harry Wayne Casey, an employee of the now defunct Florida based TK Records decided to form a band. Originally called KC and the Sunshine Junkanoo Band, it comprised of Casey, the Miami Junkanoo Band and some studio musicians from the label he was working at.

The Junkanoo band sprun from a cultural tradition called the Junkanoo parade which occurs in the Bahamas and cities across the USA with Caribbean-American populations. It takes place on Boxing Day each year and the style of music is also performed at other celebrations throughout the year. This influence on KC and the Sunshine Band could be part of what sets its musical style apart from other disco bands.

Before long, Casey was introduced to Richard Finch, who was a skilled sound engineer working at TK records. Within weeks, a songwriting partnership had been formed and the pair wrote for other artists before eventually assembling KC and the Sunshine Band as it would come to be recognized.

The first couple of singles which were released by KC and the Sunshine band were Blow Your Whistle and Sound Your Funky Horn, and both performed well enough for the band’s label to record another single and album.

While they were in the process of recording these, a song titled Rock Your Baby which was written by Casey and Finch but recorded by George McCrae became a number one hit in 51 countries, and Queen of Clubs, a track recorded by KC and the Sunshine Band with vocals from McCrae became a hit in the UK, prompting a tour of the British isles in 1975.

KC and the Sunshine Band: the album

After such an auspicious start, the self-titled album KC and the Sunshine Band was a hotly anticipated release in 1975 and birthed the first big hit that the group had in North America – Get Down Tonight – which went to number one on the US Billboard Charts.

After that, the band’s star was on the rise; more hits came along with That’s The Way (I Like It), successes at the Grammy awards boosted the act’s profile further and the album Part 3 spawned yet more success. From this, I’m Your Boogie Man; (Shake Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty and Keep It Comin’ Love were chart successes.

Sadly, with the demise of disco as a genre the successes of KC and the Sunshine band began to wane, and their last number one single was (aptly) Please Don’t Go in 1979.

After the spotlight

The disco sound fell firmly out of favor as soon as the ‘70s were over and an acrimonious split in the early 80s, saw KC and the Sunshine Band part company.

It wasn’t to stay that way forever, though, and in the early ‘90s the band was reformed by Casey, with almost entirely new members, to capitalize on a resurgence in interest for disco music.

Since then the band has continued to gig and release occasional new music, including the critically acclaimed album I’ll Be There For You in 2001.

They’re more than capable of putting on a show, and for nostalgia it’s hard to beat these stalwarts of the ‘70s disco scene. If you’d like to book them for an event, the KC and the Sunshine Band agency is MN2S, so contact them with any enquiries you may have.





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