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MGMT: The Band That Continues To Grow

Jessica Cui   |   August 19, 2010   12:03 PM ET

As MGMT performed last night at Radio City Music Hall, both sides of the stage felt the unremitting energy and power that reverberated throughout. A Brooklyn-based band that saw its popularity skyrocket in less than four years, MGMT appeared to be grateful and astounded to have moved from Prospect Park to a sold out show at Radio City Music Hall.
The night was full of surprises, as they played a few lesser-known songs such as "Siberian Breaks." However, one of the morning entertaining moments was when special guests from Yo Gabba stormed the stage and entertained both the audience and the band.


Rain or Shine, Dr. Dog Entertains at Governor's Island

Alex Jacobs   |   August 18, 2010    4:08 PM ET

Read More: Dr. Dog, nycbeat, indie rock

Last Sunday, Philadelphia five-piece Dr. Dog played their not-quite-psychedelic pop to a crowd of damp fans on Governor's Island. They performed with the grit and energy of a young punk band, sounding heavier and more raucous than they do on record. The band couples the riffs and rhythms of classic 60's pop with the idiosyncratic songwriting of indie rock to create a sound that's worn but not tired. A Dr. Dog song might sound like it was written and recorded in 1969, but their sound is so distinctive that you wouldn't mistake them for another band. The same cannot be said of openers Eli "Paperboy" Reed and the True Loves. The True Loves are, for all intents and purposes, a cover band. Reed does his best Otis Redding while his backing band belts out up-tempo funk with expertise and oomph. Sure, they played mostly original songs, but every beat, melody and bassline was clearly stolen from some classic R&B number.

Fisherspooner Entertains At Highline Ballroom

Roland Li   |   August 17, 2010    1:46 PM ET


Last Thursday, Amstel Light made the Highline Ballroom a playground for the well-heeled West Chelsea crowd, with flashy flatscreen TVs, flowing bottles of beer and a literal velvet rope at the entrance. The brewery sponsored a series of free concerts, in Minneapolis, Chicago, Boston and finally New York, that were supposed to evoke Amsterdam's nightlife. On the left of the stage, two artists painted their interpretations of the Amsterdam skyline, while the opening DJ spun remixes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, house bangers and the like. (Never mind that Amstel is headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., also the site of Snapple's headquarters and not far from this reporter's hometown.)

Francis And The Lights Illuminates S.O.B's

Brian Walter and Jonah Sprung   |   August 17, 2010   11:56 AM ET

"Yeah, man, there's a lot of competition tonight--Jay-Z, Rihanna, Grizzly Bear--but it looks like he's is still drawing a big crowd," we overheard the bouncer remark out front of S.O.B.'s on Thursday night. We were waiting to see Francis and the Lights, an up-and-coming band who play a kind of minimalist funk which immediately brings to mind Prince and Michael Jackson, to those of us with no real music knowledge at least. The band has a very cultivated, reserved aesthetic that stands in stark contrast to their 80's influenced sound. They are also somewhat of an anomaly in that they have all the usual trappings of an indie artist without the derivative, trend following-sound, and have at least a foot in the door of actual pop music (Francis has production credits for the recent Drake single Karaoke). Something about this lack of a 'scene' makes them still feel like a secret, even though they apparently have pretty large fan-base.

Indie Bands Including Memoryhouse Play at Mercury Lounge

Dakota Kim   |   August 16, 2010    2:36 PM ET

Young and earnest. Clean and lacking even the faintest whiff of rebellion. More liberal arts than art school. That's how the indie bands of today are pitching camp, and that attitude might be putting down stakes in New York indie culture. A refugee camp from the hardcore 00s of posturing postpostpunk, the flannel-and-cotton mafia just wants to play happy, sweet music for music's sake. Oy vey. Is Ian Curtis rolling in his grave?

Neon Indian, Miniature Tigers, Nite Jewel, the Dom and Prefuse 73 Rock Governor's Island

Alyssa Miele   |   August 16, 2010   12:48 PM ET

Tell me what's better than walking barefoot through sandy terrains to see a band so close you can feel them in your body, while being relentlessly teased by the highly flavored smells of nachos, burgers, hot dogs, quesadillas and beer, all the while being able to watch the sun set against the skyline of the best city in the world. I'll tell you: not a single thing.

The concert grounds at Converse Presents: Gone to Governor's this past Saturday night was just that - a plot of faux beach accented by food and beverage tents, all overlooking the New York Harbor. The beach concerts that have been taking place here all summer are the result of the partnership between The Highline Ballroom, The Bowery Presents & Mad Dog Presents, allowing for a seasoned amalgamation of music programming that represents a broad cross section of bands and performances. Saturday night's selection featured sets by the Miniature Tigers, Nite Jewel, the Dom, Prefuse 73 and, the band that hand-selected everyone on the bill, Neon Indian.

!!! And Lee Fields Keep The Crowd Dancing In Williamsburg

J. Cooper Marshall   |   August 16, 2010   11:08 AM ET


Ominous skies and occasional rain didn't stop fans from showing up to yesterday's Pool
Party at the Williamsburg Waterfront. Four bands, covering a wide range of musical
influence, played to an energetic crowd that slowly grew to about four thousand by the
time !!! (pronounced "chk chk chk") hit the stage. Baltimore's Future Islands kicked
things off with a curiously strange and entertaining set. Backed by bass guitar and 80's
goth-sounding synthesizer keyboard, singer J. Gerrit Welmer's crooned the crowd with
his unique baritone, while spastically roaming the stage and periodically punching
himself in the face.

Heavy Metal Concert Brings The "Inner 15 Year Old" Out In A Stadium Full of Fans

Jake Ray   |   August 16, 2010   10:55 AM ET

20 years ago, Slayer and Megadeth released their classic albums, Seasons in the Abyss and Rust in Peace. Thursday night at the Izod Center, they brought them back to life.


Maps & Atlases Surprise, Play Impromptu Acoustic Show At Mercury Lounge

Kim Gittleson   |   August 14, 2010    1:02 PM ET

I have a confession to make. Last night, the first time in a long time--perhaps for the first time ever--I saw a band without having heard any of their songs. I read no blog posts, visited no MySpace pages, read no tweets. I even had to repeatedly squint at the sign behind the bar (hey, I forgot my glasses) to remember the name of the headliner, a Chicago band called Maps & Atlases. It was great.

MewithoutYou Melds Musical Genres At Bowery Ballroom

Melissa DAgnese   |   August 13, 2010   12:14 PM ET

Around for nearly a decade, the Philadelphia-based experimental rock band mewithoutYou remains musically unclassifiable. Aaron Weiss stands apart with his half-sung, half-spoken lyrics about spirituality and philosophy. The band's fourth full-length album It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All a Dream! It's Alright released in 2009 was well-received by critics, threatening to break one of the underground's best kept secrets.

Funk Flex's Birthday Extravaganza Tests The Limits Of Hip Hop Legend

Zara Golden   |   August 12, 2010   12:48 PM ET

The mood last night at BB King's was celebratory. The evening was billed as Funkmaster Flex's Birthday Extravaganza, and the line to get in when doors opened at 11 PM (on a Wednesday night) had run all the way down the block with excited guests. For the most part, the night did feel like party, energy high and plenty of birthday hugs for the guest of honor. But it was also billed as part of BB King's ongoing Hip Hop Legends series, a celebration of hip hop's key players, a playing out of its most memorable story lines. The curious misspelling of DJ Premier, Sheek Louch and Joell Ortiz's names on the physical bill outside the venue aside, it was this celebration "legends" that left the most to be considered.

Infamous Stringdusters Delight Brooklyn Bowlers And Bluegrass Loyalists Alike

Meghan Neal   |   August 12, 2010   11:54 AM ET

Bluegrass, meet the Brooklyn hipster; Brooklyn hipster, Bluegrass. For the Williamsburgundian (or anyone else) that doesn't already enjoy this old-time, country-style music, the Infamous Stringdusters could be the perfect band to change that. The six-man group, hailing from Nashville, charmed a surprisingly hyped-up crowd at Brooklyn Bowl on Wythe Street Tuesday night.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet World Premiere at SummerStage

Jessica Cui   |   August 11, 2010    4:28 PM ET

Last night, the weather could not have been more perfect as SummerStage celebrated its 25th year with an enchanting and brilliant dance performance. With the world premiere of a specially commissioned piece by Complexions Contemporary Ballet, "On Holiday," there was no doubt that the night was going to be a spectacular one. However, before this highly acclaimed dance troupe came onstage, we were treated with the two winning dance groups of the Dancin' Downtown at The Joyce Theater competition.

Cut Copy's Slightly Dated Dance Music Delights The Crowds In Williamsburg

Alex Jacobs   |   August 11, 2010   12:20 PM ET

It's been two years since the release of Cut Copy's hit sophomore album, In Ghost Colours, and the band's popularity is rising still. Their set at the Williamsburg Waterfront this Sunday was extremely well-attended and turned out to be, by all accounts, a wild success. Cut Copy's energy onstage was infectious, and their songs sounded balanced and crisp. The audience was jumping, sweating, smiling and singing along to almost everything they played.