screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: New York City

Introducing… Atlas Bloom

The Walls EP by NYC/NJ trio Atlas Bloom gets off to a powerful, rambunctious start for the title track, complete with heart-pounding percussion, squealing guitar and manic vocals. “The Lighthouse” adds in tightly knitted harmonies and more percussive electric guitar pummeling that gives the ensemble a progressive jazz feel due to the slick composition. “Replace You” slows it down a bit, bringing in a repeating trancelike chorus with harmonies and dueling guitar leads that, for me, makes this a standout track. “Your Silence Spoke” closes the 4-track EP with some quirky guitar and vocals, harmonies and interesting complex rhythms. It’s a solid four songs which sound like twice as many people playing on them. I see they’re playing at the Middle East Corner (Bakery), which should be quite a blowout in that tiny space!

Atlas Bloom released their debut album First Light in 2014. Their tour starts at The Camel in Richmond, Virgina on 2/4 and winds up at the Scarlet Pub in New Brunswick, New Jersey on 2/21. There are stops in D.C., Philly, Cambridge (at the Middle East Corner on 2/10), Portland and Providence. See their schedule for details.

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Introducing… all boy/all girl

photo by Ali Brant Photography

photo by Ali Brant Photography

Such a pretty start to the day this morning with all boy/all girl. This mixed-gender septet built their headquarters in a Lower East Side, New York City basement beneath a pawn shop, yet they have the vibe of a lush and elaborate Broadway musical. The sweet and glorious dual female vocals of Danielle Lovier and Jessie Rogowski burst forth from a lush string ensemble and percussive backdrop for a truly dramatic and charmingly retro presentation. Their music speaks of a simpler, gentler time. And can’t we all use that right about now?

Here’s the band performing their newest single “Andrea Amati” at the Mercury Lounge, back in July.

all boy/all girl began with the duo of vocalist/ukulelist, Danielle Lovier and double bassist, Nicholas Rahn. They performed covers on the streets of their native Philadelphia, and upon moving to New York City in 2012, assembled the rest of their ensemble, releasing their debut EP later that year. The members of all boy/all girl are as follows: Danielle Lovier (vocals/ukulele), Jessie Rogowski (vocals, guitar), Joshua Curry (guitars), Hannah Levinson (viola), Susan Mandel (cello), Nicholas Rahn (double bass) and Joey Campanella (drums).

Upon delving in deeper to their music, one hears elements of musical theater, sprinklings of jazz and something more experimental that takes them into more mysterious waters. This makes perfect sense, since Lovier’s background was as a musical theater major with punk and hardcore pedigree (strange though that seems), and Rahn’s inclination is toward the more experimental and free-form. Together and with the rest of the group, they have a spirited and quirky feel that keeps the level of intrigue high.

After releasing their debut album Tiny Inglesia in October 2013, they toured throughout the U.S. and Europe. In March of 2015, they released their Trophy EP. The recording was mixed by Machines With Magnets.

Definitely keep this experimental and vivacious ensemble on your radar!

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Pearls Before Swine: The Airborne Toxic Event (re)Visits Pianos and The Mercury Lounge (5/2-5/3/11)

The Mercury Lounge

It is an odd paradox. The Airborne Toxic Event’s audience is getting larger, the hardcore fans more rabid, so many are now singing their praises; and yet, people seem to be actually hearing them less.

At the tiny Pianos on NYC’s Lower East Side last Monday night, Mikel tried to joke about the situation – “Oh, I see the bar’s open… well, it wouldn’t be an Airborne show..”, but it had to suck for them. Eight days in to a 15-day-straight run of shows before a single day off, they were all visibly exhausted, and Mikel had observed a 24-hour “vocal silence” of no talking before the show, in order to preserve his voice. The setlist was drastically altered in favor of quieter ballads instead of vocal chord-straining all-out rockers, and that – along with sweet, sentimental introductions in between every song – should have made this an unusual and very special time for their most loyal fans. There were stories of the early days before Airborne – Mikel’s upstairs neighbor banging on the floor to get him to stop playing, and of previous band members saying “your band’s never going to make it.” Of dragging a broken amp down Ludlow Street, and thanking Pianos for “giving them a shot.” About their first single, “Girls In Their Summer Dresses,” and the tiny label that released it, Square Records. Of all the support they’ve received, the many letters, and the connection with their audience. It should have been an evening of beautiful music and shared experience. Except that the cast of Jersey Shore was in attendance that night.

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Airborne Toxic Event Night #1 @ Webster Hall, NYC 10/15/09 (pre-review teaser)

Yes, I’ve completely lost it. Hundreds of photos to review, and the Clifton Park show tomorrow. So for now, as Airborne is finishing their sold-out night #2 in NYC, I will give a little “teaser” with some photos from night #1 – which was, not surprisingly, astonishing.

Stay tuned… many photos and some video to follow.


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