The Night of Nero

The night of Saturday October 27th brought the most festive Halloween party-goers to the Hammerstein Ballroom to become entranced in Nero’s set.  After Adventure Club’s set ended with the two beautiful singles, “Crave You” and “Need your Heart,” everyone was ready for Nero to hit the stage.

Smoke stacks filled the area with a foggy haze which was a fitting introduction considering the festive night.  The show began with heavy dubstep layered with loads of grimey beats.  Nero definitely brought their UK flavor to the US! Amongst the other songs they played from Welcome Reality, they also incorporated a remixed song by Drake, Justice’s “Stress,” and Daft Punk’s “Technologic.”

Once the first chapter of the set came to an end, Alana took the stage and opened with the beautiful single, “Promises.” Between Alana’s melodic voice and Nero’s signature sounds, the audience was captivated through the set’s entirety.

The light show was in full affect, the ballroom’s rafters were shaking, and spooky Halloween costumes took over the dance floor, which all created the perfect setting to a great night. Nero, you did it again.

Nero is coming to NYC October 27th

Nero is coming back to New York City and bringing their dubstep flavor to your Halloween extravaganza! On Saturday October 27th, Nero, who will also be joined with Alana on vocals, will be controlling your speakers at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom.  This incredible lineup features Montreal dubstep duo, Adventure Club, Fareoh, and Alex English.

Get your tickets before it’s too late. This is a night not to be missed so get those wild costumes on and be prepared for the ultimate Halloween experience.

NYC’s Catalpa Music Festival

New York City’s Catalpa Festival took place on scenic Randall’s Island. There was an eclectic mix of artists including some oldies but goodies.  The festival was not packed by any means (comparing it to Governor’s Ball), which made it more enjoyable to dance and jump from act to act.  It was filled with other attractions as well including Jeep’s obstacle course, silent disco, and a little white chapel you could (unofficially) get married in.

Saturday’s notable performances were Zola Jesus, TV on the Radio, and The Black Keys. Although it was pouring rain, that didn’t stop the festival goers to continue watching the festivities. The Black Keys performed all of their hits including several songs from their first album. The crowd was going strong throughout their entire performance and it was fun to see them perform with the NYC skyline as the backdrop.

Sunday was a bigger day for the music acts and also had the beautiful weather as well. The Big Pink started off the day with their electro beats and echoey vocals. Cold War Kids wooed the crowd with their new tunes as well as the favorite hits off their first record. Matt and Kim officially received the title as the most energetic duo. They began their set with their rendition of “Zombie Nation.” They incorporated comedic transitions (Kim talking about her kangle exercises) and other covers within their performance as well.  Snoop Dogg (or should I say Snoop Lion?) was a personal highlight because he played his tracks that had featured Dr. Dre, as well as, most of the songs off of the Doggystyle album.

Having Fun at the Northside Festival

This year’s Northside Festival was a year not to forget. Between it’s 20,000 square foot trade show, an eclectic mix of musicians, interesting panels, free booze (and a film festival to boot), it set the stage (literally) for summer festivals to come.

At the Northside headquarters, there were spread young entrepreneurs promoting their companies. Hangover pills, tech startups, iPhone city apps and many more businesses repped their products through free goodies and detailed explanations.

The warehouse was also the home to diverse music industry panels. The “Music Now” panels provided insight into the industry through music business leaders discussing relative topics. It’s always refreshing to hear that there is hope within the industry. In the panel, “Future Platforms of Music Technology,” the panelists discussed the importance of adapting to the business.

The following day, Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA was featured panelist. GZA enlightened the audience with his rhymes, non-profit organization, and his optimistic views regarding the education system. Hearing about the importance of education through music was inspiring and it’s important to hear that there are individuals in the business who truly care to benefit others.

As for the music, although it seemed as though it was an average weekend night in Brooklyn, there was much more offered. GZA had two shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg which were both energetic, raw, and in short, amazing. Another stand out performance came from Beach Fossils, who played a solid set late Friday afternoon at McCarren Park.  All in all, most of the bands played decent sets.

Northside represented a unique piece of local Brooklyn culture. The people, music, panels, films, and businesses all represent an exciting future for the music and film industry, as well as, the development of good ole’ BK.

1.21 Gigawatts Magazine hosts Brooklyn Warehouse Party

While the other Brooklynites were attending Northside Festival, all the “cool” kids were at a different event. Brooklyn’s very own underground magazine, 1.21 Gigawatts, hosted the party of the week at a warehouse in Greenpoint. The night consisted of 10 bands, two stages, beautiful weather, and good vibes.  Essentially, it was the perfect night to kick off summer.

10 bands were on the bill including headliners Team Spirit, The Yellow Dogs, and The Babies. The Babies ended the night with their famous Wild 2. My friends and I got wild too when we heard the song. The setting was the quintessential Brooklyn party. Cool people with inspiring outfit ensembles, talented up-and-coming bands performing, and a warehouse space with writing on the walls. My next question is, when is the next party?

NYC’s Catalpa Festival

If your calendar is already marked for the dates July 28th and 29th, erase your schedule, immediately. Get ready for two days of absolute bliss at NYC’s Catalpa Festival.

Taking place at Randall’s Island, Catalpa will feature over 40 acts from genres across the board. Some of the headliners include The Black Keys, TV on the Radio, Girl Talk, Cold War Kids, Matt and Kim, City and Colour, Matisyahu and the list goes on. Also, the legend himself, Snoop Dogg, will be performing his original debut album, Doggy Style. ‘Gin and Juice’ anyone?

Not only is there going to be the music extravaganza, but there’s more for your eyes to feast on. Between several art installations, a silent disco tent, and delicious food trucks to satisfy your hunger needs, Catalpa is at your service to provide you the ultimate dream-filled setting.

Make sure you get your tickets soon before they start selling full price. Snoop, silent disco and sun, all in one? Sign me up.

Alex Winston unites with NYC, once again

“I can’t believe it’s been a fucking year” were the words declared by Alex Winston regarding her absence from performing in New York City. To say she had a strong comeback performance would be an understatement. That night Winston rocked the Knitting Factory, hard.

Petite in physique but with a load of personality, Winston began her show with “Fire Ant.” Typically it takes the artist a little warming up to the crowd before they literally immerse themselves into it. Winston’s endearing personality didn’t require any intros before she had the audience’s hearts. With her leopard maxi-skirt, a tambourine in hand, and a charismatic personality, Winston could have sang anything and had the audience’s attention. There wasn’t a song that didn’t pass where everyone wasn’t singing along.

One of the beautiful parts of seeing a live show is seeing the musician in their raw and sincere form. Between the high and low notes, the fast and the slow paces, Winston demonstrated her true talent. After she crowd surfed, invited everyone to her barbecue at her apartment (with her provided address), and played the best variety of her songs, she ended with “Choice Notes.” A good note to end. Now I’m just waiting for more of her tracks to be released.

White Fence interview

instant obsession: WHITE FENCE

White Fence (Tim Presley’s successful solo project) recently released their new album, Family Perfume Vol. 1. He is currently touring with Ty Segall and is coming to NYC’s Webster Hall May 16th. This is a show not to be missed.

What’s your favorite part about being on tour?

Missing home.  and then while back home: missing tour. It’s a sick and twisted thing. And also to see which friends in different states have the best/cleanest homes.

What are the some of the things (musical, non-musical) that have inspired you?

Love & hate. Human interactions. I haven’t been inspired by music much lately, which is a good thing for me. Being inspired solely on music is like fishing in a trout farm.

I noticed your Blogspot, “White Fence Art Collective.” Do you create some of the poster art yourself?

I do. I love trying to out-do the last one. When I was in a punk/hardcore band I was fanatical about flyers and posters for shows. Still am kinda.

Many garage/psychedelic rock bands have came from LA/San Francisco. Do you think the location has made a large influence on your sound and style of music?

No. I would be doing the same music if I lived in Montana. I feel like Joe Montana. 

What do you like most about having a solo project? Is it ever hard to separate your style/sound between White Fence, Darker My Love and the Strange Boys?

Since I have been concentrating on White Fence, I haven’t had to separate from much other than myself. I feel like the same person musically with any band I play with. but depending on who else is there to mix with. What I mean is, I play guitar the same way for every band. I sing the same. What I like most is that I trust myself now. He’s ok.

What would you say is the main difference between your albums Is Growing Faith, and your most recent, Family Perfume Vol. 1?

Well besides the obvious, the lyrical content is more of a reflection of my life post-growing faith. And perhaps I got better at the 4-track. Physically, I got thinner. I smoked more cigarettes. But besides all that, they actually feel the same to me – an extension of the other. Or a hair, but Family Perfume Vol. 1 & 2 is just closer to the scalp. 

How has the state of rock n’ roll evolved with the resurgence of lo-fi garage rock? What do you think the future holds? For instance, is there a certain direction/type of rock that you think will dominate the scene?

I think songs dominate, the good ones will stick out. As far as I’m concerned “Lo-Fi” has been around since the blues. I don’t have a crystal ball, so its hard to say about direction. But I feel Rock n Roll,  I feel it coming again. It always comes back to the believers. Its too real to just die. There’s been a lot of trash over the years, but that’s every genres. If you don’t wash your hair it will get greasy again.<

Band Crush: The Fixers

A future act you won’t want to miss are the Fixers. After seeing them play their first New York show at Brooklyn’s Cameo Gallery, I was immediately enamored by their psychedelic pop sound.

This five member group hails from England and have been playing since 2009. With two EP’s released and one album on the way (which comes out in May), the Fixers are on the brink of having their huge break. Although the crowd at Cameo Gallery was not as large as expected, next year I wouldn’t be surprised to see this band on the North American festival circuit.

They have the recipe to success: striking riffs, catchy harmonies, and an overall addicting experimental sound.  With Beach Boys-esque vocals, and a range of contrasting tempos like Animal Collective, it’s easy to get fixated on the Fixers.

In the meantime, check out their most recent EP Pop Meat/Your Corrupter and stay tuned for their album.

Yuksek coming to Santos House Party!

Yuksek has done it again with his most recent album Living on the Edge of Time. This talented French electronic producer will playing in New York City on April 5th at Santos House Party. See you there.

The sound from Away from the Sea heavily changed from Living on the Edge of Time. What inspired you to change the sound of the second album?  Did you initially want to make a record that’s a different sound? Or did it just happen naturally through the process?

No, it’s just that I spend most of my time in the studio doing music, and doing the same for 4 years would have been a nightmare… I mean I try, experiment with things, and what I initially wanted was to sing the songs myself and not have features. 

I read in an old interview that you described Away from the Sea as “Sex and sun, love, happiness in the world.” How would you describe Living on the Edge of Time?

Sunset, friendship, journey, and tender lovin’.

How has pairing with Brodinsky changed your approach to music?

To be honest, I didn’t think it changed anything in my approach of music except putting more fun into it, and personally he helps me with “being in society.”

I love the “Always on a Run” music video.  How did you get the idea for the theme?

Most of the time we ask movie production companies to send us projects, and this one was the best! I’m not too much into violence into music videos but their vision was different, more poetic.

In terms of your remixes, do you approach the artists, or do they approach you?

They approach me, or their management or label.

Before you remix a song, are there certain features in the track which you look for that go well with your beats?  For example, tempos, bass, pitch…certain elements in a song that you look for?

Vocals, vocals and vocals… Most of the time that’s the only element I keep from the original track.

What do you like better-live or set DJ?

I’m more into doing live, really playing and singing on stage, and I’m doing 90% of live performances. But I like DJing in clubs sometimes, it’s fun and relaxing.

Any new remixes coming up?

First Serve featuring De La Soul – Must Be The Music, Katy Perry – Peacock, Gold Fields – Moves and The Young Professionals – DISCO.

Who would you want to work with?

The next interesting person I’ll meet. The last one was Stephen “The Magician” Fasano, we released few tracks on Kitsuné and we have new things coming in the next months under the name “PETER & The MAGICIAN”.

What is your musical guilty pleasure?

Playing kitsch love songs on piano.