Tag Archives: New York City

Obsessed: VHS Collection

NYC-based VHS Collection shares their new track “Fire“. The track, recorded in London with Chris Zane (Passion Pit, St. Lucia), is from their forthcoming debut LP, more details to be announced soon. “We all have a devil on one shoulder and ‘Fire’ is dedicated to him,” explains the band’s Conor Cook, “The song celebrates our evil ways. It sonically blends synths and guitars in a way that is both nostalgic and modern. The groove of this tune is one that you don’t typically hear these days, which sets his track apart.” The band’s James Bohannon explains that “’Fire’ paints a descriptive vision of rebellion, religious confines, and pent up desire. It’s a seedy jam that has elements of classic southern rock, evolved into our signature synth/guitar soundscape.”

VHS Collection is a rock band from New York City that has gained a reputation for high energy live performances and a unique blend of rock, electronic, and disco influences.

VHS Collection’s songs have been streamed over 20 million times on Spotify and the band has seen festival performances at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Bunbury Festival, and Okeechobee Festival in the last year.  VHS also sold out a headline show at Bowery Ballroom in February and Music Hall of Williamsburg in June, in addition to sold out club dates throughout the mid-west and throughout the west coast.  The band has released two EP’s to date and will release its first full-length record late this fall.

“Lean” the single off the band’s first EP hit #8 on the Spotify Viral Charts last January.  “Waiting on the Summer” the single off of the band’s 2nd EP Stereo Hype hit #14 on the Spotify Viral Charts and has been streamed over 12mm times to date.  The “Waiting on the Summer Dave Edwards Remix” was also #1 on Hype Machine in April.

VHS Collection got their start in the winter of 2014 but the three members, James Bohannon, Conor Cook, and Nils Vanderlip have been playing music in one form or another together since they were kids.  Conor and James grew up across the street from each other in NYC and attended the same grade school where they began jamming on acoustic guitars; Nils and James met in high school, where they started their first band together and recorded an album.

Years later, with all three members back in NYC, VHS pulled together a collection of electronic rock-influenced bedroom recordings and posted them on Soundcloud.  Encouraged by the volume of hits the tracks received, VHS began performing a live set at friends’ parties and around NYC’s small clubs.  2015 saw multiple sold out nights for VHS at the Lower East Side’s indie-rock launching pad, the Mercury Lounge.

2016 saw the band’s first major festival performances at Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, in addition to sold out club dates on both coasts in addition support dates with Bloc Party and Powers.

VHS has remained independent and is self-managed. They are able to reach a growing audience via Spotify and other social media outlets without a label and have also built a live following by word of mouth.  The band sold out Bowery Ballroom and NYC’s 700 cap Music Hall of Williamsburg in the last 6 months and also played several major West Coast headline dates, including LA’s famous Troubadour.

VHS has created a writing process which is unique and serves them well.  It starts primarily with each member individually writing and producing dozens of bits and pieces of songs on their laptops.  The band spends months working on these initial song ideas virtually, sending each other files and collaborating via Dropbox.  Every few months, the band heads to a cabin in upstate New York where they lock themselves in for 7 days at a time to complete the songs during intense writing sessions.  During these sessions, the three members collaborate on every element of the song, with each member playing various instruments on the tracks.  The band then weeds out the best of these home produced tracks to bring into the studio.  For their upcoming record, VHS is working with producer Chris Zane who has also produced albums for Passion Pit, St. Lucia, and Friendly Fires.

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NENA’s Coming To The States!!!

nena

NENA coming to America: it’s one of the great unrequited love stories of pop culture history.99 Luftballons” was the first German-language song to enter the US charts since Marlene Dietrich, yet although the pop queen toured all over the world, she never made it over to the US to perform. NENA has continued to rule the charts in Germany with sixteen studio albums and countless hits, and now is finally her time to take America by storm.

In the 33 years since it was released, NENA’s “99 Luftballons” (“99 Red Balloons”) has had an unmatchable impact on popular and music culture.  Although NENA never stopped making music – she’s had a three-and-a-half decade career of hits and 16 studio albums behind her in Germany – and has toured in countries as far as Japan, NENA never got to tour the US. It’s one of those flukes in music history where what should have happened didn’t happen. But in NENA’s own words, “…now’s the right time. It’s always now!…When you want to do something and it just doesn’t happen, you shouldn’t be sad or disappointed because, well, 35 years later, it happens! It’s perfect timing.”

At the heart of NENA is a rock’n’roller with unbeatable stage presence and energy to spare, whether she’s playing to regularly sold-out crowds at the biggest arenas or more intimate club venues. Just take a listen to NENA’s latest outing – the excellent, energetic and rocking live album Live at SO36, recorded during a within-minutes sold-out concert at the famed Berlin club SO36. The opening rocking riffs of “Noch Einmal” NENA struck on her Telecaster sent out a shockwave of energy that carries through an entire night. From pure rockers to new-wave favorites to the touching ballads that fans sing along word-for-word, NENA can electrify a crowd with her incomparable, instantly recognizable voice and her own brand of rock’n’roll that includes influences of The Ramones, Blondie, and Talking Heads, among many others. The dancing never lets up with NENA until the lights finally go on at the end of the night. That’s what NENA is going to ultimately bring to the US – an amazing live energy that can shake an entire audience to its core.

She’s captured the hearts of Germany: her numerous top ten hits and 25 million sold records are proof of that. Now it’s time to share that with America. NENA’s most recent studio album, Oldschool, is the perfect fusion of her constant drive for artistic development and genuine authenticity. Produced and co-written by German hip-hop superstar Samy Deluxe, it blisters with a sense of immediacy and newness while especially playing lyrically with references to her past.

NENA has never been a nostalgia act; she still delivers onstage an exhilarating mix of her amazing and expansive discography. With that much spark, it’s a recipe for an utterly mind-blowing evening. American fans that missed the opportunity to see NENA when they were first introduced to her now have that chance. To paraphrase her latest single, there’s no time like “Genau jetzt” (right now).

NENA will be playing San Francisco on September 30, Los Angeles on October 2, and New York City on October 4.

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Celeb Video Version of Santigold’s “Can’t Get Enough Of Myself”

santigold

Following the release of her third album 99¢ on Atlantic Records, Santigold has revealed the standalone version of her innovative video for “Can’t Get Enough Of Myself (feat. B.C.),” one that viewers can enjoy without webcam access. The video features Jay Z, Andy Samberg, Alexander Wang, Olivia Wilde, Pharrell Williams, Yung Jake, and Santi herself, and some of her fans popping up as she walks through New York City.

The original interactive version of the video (posted here) uses the camera of the viewer’s computer or mobile device to incorporate them into the video in real time. It was directed by Santigold and Sam Fleischner and conceptualized and digitally developed by Yung Jake and Vince Mckelvie, with mobile app development by Bryan Yee. It plays on pop culture’s fascination with viewing and manipulating one’s own image. The video should be viewed on the web using Chrome as the browser and is available for mobile handheld devices via the “SANTIGOLD” app available in both the Apple/Android app stores. Experience it at Santigold.com/Webcam

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Download: Desert Stars – “Off the Cliff”

Desert Stars

A classically trained violinist, Janelle Best brings a distinctive mark to the intricately layered instrumentation, lush harmonies and atmospheric guitar implemented by her band Desert Stars.

Their newest track “Off the Cliff” invites you to take a plunge deep down into a reverb-soaked abyss, darkened by Janelle’s warm voice.

Listen/download: Desert Stars – “Off the Cliff”

Along with Best and Hill, Desert Stars is comprised of guitarist Eric Altesleben, bassist Tim Edgar and drummer Gregg Giuffré, a quintet whose music has the effect we only wish Phil Spector had produced for The Jesus and Mary Chain. With twelve tracks of languid harmony and reverb, Habit Shackles (available on July 16th) is certain to resonate with fans of Nico and Cat Power.

You can see Desert Stars at their album release show on July 16th at Cameo in New York.

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Video: Caveman – “In The City”

Caveman has released their first music video off their sophomore album for the track “In The City”. Director Philip Di Fiore made a thrilling portrait of a tourist couple visiting New York City for the first time. Check out the video to see what happens when the couple, played by Julia Stiles and Fran Kranz, discover what lies underneath the surface of the playground of the city…

Caveman released their first album in 2011. As first albums go, CoCo Beware was something akin to a moody statement of intent, a blueprint for a band quickly learning how to create horizon-wide rock songs that were equal parts intimate and expansive. Initially self-released and later snatched up by Fat Possum for re-release in early 2012, the record brims over with four-part harmonies, crystalline guitar lines, and tracks that see-sawed between echoey lullaby (“A Country’s King of Dreams”) to shoegaze-by-way-of classic-FM-radio sprawl (“Old Friend”). The album quickly elevated Caveman from local band to watch to a sizable touring draw and formidable live act, as evidenced by stints on the road with the likes of The War on Drugs, White Rabbits and Built to Spill. Despite being the work of a brand new band, CoCo Beware displayed a kind of Zen-like ease. It was the sound a five friends settling into a nice groove; the music that happens when, for whatever reason, a lot of seemingly disparate elements finally fall into place.

The guitars on Caveman are bigger and more expansive, the rhythm section is tighter and more adventurous, the keyboards more opaque and pronounced. Like a marriage between Tangerine Dream, late period Slowdive, and Lindsey Buckingham, tracks like their new single “In the City” and “Ankles” boast synth lines that sound simultaneously retro and futuristic, while “Pricey” and “Never Want to Know” overflow with guitar sounds that could have miraculously floated off an old Cure album. It should be noted that James Carbonetti, the band’s primary guitar player, also happens to be one of the most highly regarded guitar makers in New York City.

Caveman tour dates (more to be announced):

* w/ Rogue Wave
# co-headline w/ Night Beds

5/25 – George, WA @ Sasquatch Festival (on stage 5:15pm-6pm)
6/13 – Akron, OH @ Musica
6/14 – Champaign, IL @ Highdive
6/15 – St. Louis, MO @ Old Rock House *
6/16 – Indianapolis, IN @ Radio Radio *
6/18 – Charlotte, VA @ The Southern #
6/19 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat *
6/20 – Cambridge, MA @ the Sinclair *
6/21 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg *
6/22 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *
6/23 – Millvale, PA @ Mr. Small’s Theatre *
6/25 – Toronto, ON @ the Mod Club *
6/26 – Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre *
6/27 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall *
6/28 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall *
6/29 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Cafe *
7/01 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
7/02 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
9/27 – Cincinnati, OH @ Midpoint Music Festival
9/28 – Champaign, IL @ Pygmalion Music Festival

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Download: Track and Mixtape from Gemini Club

Indie-electronic dance band, Gemini Club, are pleased to announce their new tour dates for this September.  The three-piece have wowed their hometown of Chicago for the past two years with their unique live shows and now, for the first time, are expanding their live performance to North America’s North East.  The band will be performing songs from the Future Tidings EP as well as their lastest EP release, Here We Sit.

Part of the band’s live allure lies within their tech-savvy nature. Known for their innovative techniques, the band have developed their own “rigs” which allow on-the-fly remixing of the songs, creating one-of-kind performances unlike any other.

In addition, the band will be carrying out a new mixtape series every month.  Pigeons and Planes has just premiered the first of the series which can be heard and downloaded here.  Furthermore, the band has recently released their third single from the Here We Sit EP, “Sparklers”.

Download: Gemini Club – “Sparklers”

Gemini Club Tour Dates:

  • 9/5 – The Bishop – Bloomington, IN
  • 9/6 – North Star Bar – Philadelphia, PA
  • 9/7 – Pianos (Lounge) – New York, NY
  • 9/9 –  The Bell House – Brooklyn, NY
  • 9/11 – The Middle East Downstairs – Cambridge, MA
  • 9/12 – Brillobox – Pittsburgh, PA
  • 9/13 – Beachland Tavern – Cleveland, OH

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Download: Giant Giant Sand – “Detained”

In anticipation of Fire Records’ June 12th release of the country rock opera, Tucson, and Howe Gelb‘s May 10th performance at Joe’s Pub in New York City, Giant Giant Sand release the new track “Detained.” The track, which just premiered on Brooklyn Vegan, was inspired “by the clutch of cumbia that fevers the many particles of this album,” says Howe Gelb.

As a sort of homage, he’s named the album Tucson after the town he’s called home for forty years. Taking place in the town of Tucson, the story revolves around a “semi grizzled man with overt boyish naïveté” who sets off to escape the trappings of hometown life and embarks on a life-changing road trip; eschewing all his worldly goods and leaving behind what he has loved, encountering jail at the Mexican border, finding new old love at a train station saloon, all while ‘the end of the world’ provides the landscape game changer. The album is a dusty work of art, conjuring images of the all knowing desert and a confused river inside the cacti-strewn sound scape.

Download: Giant Giant Sand – “Detained”

Giant Sand – 2012 Tour Dates

05/20/2012 – New York City – Joe’s Pub: Howe Gelb


05/17/2012 – The Netherlands – Maastricht, de muziekgieterij: Howe Gelb


05/20/2012 – The Netherlands – Amsterdam, Paradiso: Howe Gelb


05/22/2012 – The Netherlands – Ottersum, Roepaen: Howe Gelb


05/24/2012 – Ireland – Dublin, Whelans: Howe Gelb


05/27/2012 – Austria – Linz Festival: Giant Giant Sand


05/31/2012 – UK – London, Village Underground: Howe Gelb


06/03/2012 – Switzerland – Zurich, El Lokal: Howe Gelb


07/06/2012 – Norway – Egersund Visefestival, Grand Scene: Howe Gelb

08/12/2012 – UK – Wilderness Festival: Giant Giant Sand


08/13/2012 – The Netherlands – Amsterdam, Paradiso: Giant Giant Sand

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Video: Hollis Brown – “Ride On The Train”

NYC natives Hollis Brown make music that is lush, raw and full of heart. The band’s Nothing & The Famous No One EP will be released digitally on April 3rd.  For an early taste, the band has released a video for album track “Ride On The Train,” a triumphant song of new beginnings lead by warm, crackling guitar over booming piano.

Nothing & The Famous No One opens with the emotionally charged, bluesy love ballad, “Gypsy Black Cat.” The classic rock & roll track “Spoonful” features guest vocals by Deer Tick’s John McCauley. The band recorded Nothing & The Famous No One with producer Adam Landry (Deer Tick, Middle Brother) in Nashville during the summer of 2011. Taking great care to create a warm, vintage sound, the tracks were recorded live, straight to analog tape.

Catch Hollis Brown Live

4/13: New York, NY @ Pianos

4/14: Canonsburg, PA @ Jay’s

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New: Rene Lopez – “Shing-a-ling Is What I Bring”

In honor of the iconic boxing film’s 35th Anniversary, Native New Yorker Rene Lopez is proving that he is “in his prime” with the release of the new video for “Shing-a-ling Is What I Bring”. Inspired by the movie Rocky, and his determination to succeed, Rene has encompassed the drive and passion of the character as he strives for a KNOCK-OUT album!

This month Rene will be performing at Nublu every Thursday. He will additionally be appearing for a performance at Arlene’s Grocery on February 28th. Rene will be playing old favorites as well as tracks off his latest album, ELS.

ELS stands for Electric Latin Soul, a term Rene has coined for the new style of music he has developed. A mixture of Latin soul and Boogaloo with elements of rock, hip-hop, and R&B – Rene’s sound is one that is distinctly Nuyorican. ELS features co-producers Mario Caldato Jr., a.k.a. Mario C (BeastieBoys, Jack Johnson, Bebel Gilberto) and Jason Lader (Julian Casablancas, JennyLewis), as well as special guests Joey Altruda, and Money Mark (John Butler Trio). The album as a whole is a nod to Rene’s Latin roots, with an eye on modern electronic music and good ol’ rock-and-roll.

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Teaser: Telephoned – “Ring Ring”

If you consider “pop” a dirty word, Telephoned are the filthiest act you’ll hear all year. Somehow, frontwoman Maggie Horn and producer / DJ Sammy Bananas still manage to turn even the guiltiest of radio pleasures into indie-approved party jams we can all be proud of. Ring Ring is their first EP of originals on Fool’s Gold, harnessing the good-time energy of the group’s cover-heavy mixtapes and live sets to fuel three brand new songs that gleefully hopscotch from new-wave inspired r&b (“Last Time”) to shuffling funky house (“The Vow”) and the title track’s roller rink disco vibes. There is a smoke machine. Get involved…
Telephoned will be celebrating the release tonight with a live performance at Hotel Chantelle in NYC, showing off the moves they honed opening Chromeo’s sold-out Business Casual tour, and the infectious stage presence Pitchfork called “the most fun thing we saw at SXSW.” Win Win (Vice) and Skinny Friedman will also be DJing the party.

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