screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: New York

Introducing… Grand Cousin

Here’s some pretty psychedelic indie pop exuberance to propel you into your spring (though at 47 degrees, I can’t say I’m quite there yet). Grand Cousin hails from New York and Connecticut, where they attend Wesleyan University. Yes, they’re young, but they’re already jaded and cynical. Good job, boys. Their most recent singles are “Let Me Know” and “Camera,” they’ve opened for Twin Shadow and Wild Flag and they’ve been featured in Huff Post. This is a tight 3-piece machine with driving percussion and some stunning percolating and ringing guitar who describe themselves thusly: “A fledgling Buddhist, an Upper-East-Sider-Gone-Rogue, and the sensitive son of a sitcom legend.” That would be Robbby Caplan on bass, Evan Low on drums and Henry Hall (son of Julia Louis Dreyfus) on guitar and vocals. They’ll be releasing their debut EP this spring.

“I don’t trust you as far as I can throw you
that’s why I’m gonna put a camera in your room.”
– Camera

Typically I don’t much care for straight falsetto singing, but Henry’s vocals are so damaged and twisted as to be completely endearing, so I’ll let him slide. He really takes off and flies to some curious places. Henry credits his lyrical inspiration as “insecurity, euphoria, anxiety and nostalgia.” Their 4-song demo, released two years ago, has tracks entitled “I Hate People” and “I Wanna Know You.” Clearly this band has some issues, so check them out when you can and give them all a big hug.

[They’ll be performing in Hamden, Connecticut at The Space on April 10.]

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A Magical Evening with The Airborne Toxic Event in New York City

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It was an incredibly powerful evening with old friends. I’m at a complete loss for words, so don’t expect this to be eloquent, but after a performance like that, I had to stay up and post something.

It’s been over a year since The Airborne Toxic Event played in New York, and from the emotional outpouring of all their fans, it was obvious they had been deeply missed. We witnessed a dramatic unveiling of four new songs from the upcoming album, Such Hot Blood, and there were massive chanting sing-a-longs of beloved favorites (that would be everything else). They opened with “All At Once,” then moved in to “Wishing Well,” and from there, it was a breathtaking, dizzying smorgasbord of the following, in no particular order (apologies if I missed anything): new songs – The Secret, Timeless, The Storm, What’s In A Name. And also… Half Of Something Else, The Graveyard Near The House, The Book Of Love, All I Ever Wanted (with the original lyrics), Gasoline, Sometime Around Midnight, Does This Mean You’re Moving On?, Happiness Is Overrated, Welcome To Your Wedding Day, Numb, Changing, and Missy bedecked in dazzling new clothes, with snippets of Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire,” Tom Petty’s “American Girl,” and a long cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The USA.” Mind-blowing.

I will speak about the new songs when the album comes out and I do a proper review. Too much to process and absorb, and that takes some time. For now, let’s just say absolutely stunning, and there’s no doubt it’s going to be a HUGE year for them.

Here’s “Timeless,” filmed by my friend Charles (a.k.a. citybug). See his other videos on YouTube. Thanks for handling the filming duties, buddy!


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The Airborne Toxic Event and The Drowning Men: A Road Story

The Drowning Men at Terminal 5, NYC

The Drowning Men at Terminal 5, NYC

This isn’t a show review. Not exactly. It’s a story of heartfelt commitment to one’s craft, to strength and perseverance, and to the bonds of friendship. And by “friendship,” I don’t mean posting something witty on someone’s facebook page, but coming to their rescue in the middle of the night on some desolate highway after a hellish traffic accident, packing their gear into your trailer and managing to cram 19 people onto a tour bus.

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