Sure, there's nothing more alt-appealing then, say, a folk-metalcore band from Bauxite, Arkansas (little breeds a good review quicker than a niche town/good band combo- and hell, if there's two bands, we've got a movement, right?). Omaha is the next Portland is the next Seattle is the next Silverlake is the next....
But what about our own backyard? Yeah, bands gravitate to New York like ants to an old banana, and sometimes the "local scene" gets lost in a flurry of huge-selling acts and Gossip-girl actor/singers with their "surprise" club appearances.
So, in the theme of good things grown in New York, a couple local bands for your hearing pleasure:
I imagine nothing pisses off a band more than calling their music some incarnation of "folk dash" - i.e, freak-folk, alt-folk, etc. Jana Hunter and her brother's band, Inocultist (sharing two sides of a 7' split released by New York based HeartBreakBeat records) probably get a little share of this. Call it whatever variation of folk you want, the songs toy with the idea of harmony and dissonance in a unique way, mixing cool, mellow melodies with a steady sense of unease, just enough to keep you listening (Mellow yeah, sleepy, no). Go Ask Alice-folk? Maybe. Order their record here and check them out tonight at a release party at Bruar Falls.
Cymbals Eat Guitars
I'll admit it - I've never been to Staten Island. Yeah, I know. Shame, shame. But that's where Cymbals Eat Guitars are from, and their debut record might be enough to convince a trip to the oft-ignored borough. (I've thought about it, at least). Their album, "Why There are Mountains," somehow is full of rurally influenced landscape-rock completely void of too much New York (sure, there's such a thing), presenting just a bunch of pretty great, smartly produced songs that incorporate the best parts of Pavement, Modest Mouse, and even Sufjan Stephens into something completely unharnessed but totally controlled like watching a bucking bronco writhe safely in the ring. Great songs, just dangerous enough.
However you feel about The Strokes, no band quite reinvented New York music in a way that is recognizable to the masses like the skinny foursome. Their influence is still dripping down to bands like The Postelles - acolytes of none other than Albert Hammond, Jr. Fresh off a set at All Points West and due for an album in January (ish) they're like if Herman's Hermits spent a week recoding songs in a dirty come-hipster basement on Ludlow Street drinking cheap whiskey and smoking two-packs a day using Julian Casablancas' microphone tricks. They take doo-wop to indie rock the way Vampire Weekend took Graceland to Cake Shop. It's fun swagger, controlled recklessness. And yeah, they sound a little bit like The Strokes. Get over it.
Obits is a Brooklyn band, which they want you to know right away. They're also a Brooklyn band on the Seattle-based Subpop, which is about as reliable as a record label can get (Nirvana, Soundgarden, and my recent favorites, Fleet Foxes). Comprising a bunch of indie rock veterans you may or may not know depending on your level of Brooklynophelia, their music is a little punk, rock (not, notably Punk Rock), a little soul growl and a little bit of that super-forward style with Rolling Stones roots but The Hives modernism.
A few other upcoming shows of note (fueled by OhMyRockness, and not all from New York, but playing here for you and you alone):
Sun 8/09 - Vandermark 5, Union Hall (one of the best shows I've seen, jazz or otherwise).
Fri 8/14 - Attack Release, Mercury Lounge
Tue 8/18 - Diane Birch, (le) poisson rouge
Mon 8/24 - Young Lords, The Studio at Webster Hall
Thur 8/27 - Motel Motel, Mercury Lounge (from New York! and pretty great, sweeping, alt-country rock)