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NYC Artists on the Rise: Kordan, Live at Lit Lounge on 09.23

Electronica and Shoegaze are genres that have a lot in common - in a few words: the inclination to toy around with equipment to forge new and interesting soundscapes. Brooklyn based (via Puerto Rico) Kordan bring these two genres together beautifully in the few songs we are hearing from the band's upcoming debut album, entitled "The Longing" and scheduled for an early October release. If the fuzz-drenched guitars and the droney melodies are reminiscent of late 80s/early 90s shoegazer, the various electronic elements take the genre to a new dimension. "Mirror" is definitely the strongest track here, with a pulsating Roland 808-style drum machine, a synth arpeggiator melody that carries throughout the tune (sometimes floating, sometime drowning) and the occasionally use of the vocoder on the vocals. See them at The Lit Lounge on 09.23.

   

Qwel & Maker

One of my favorite hip hop groups of the last ten years go by the name of Glue. The group was Adeem. from New Hampshire on the rhymes, djdq on the turntables from Cincinnati, and the beats of a producer from Aurora named Maker. Glue is not dead, but each member is currently pursuing other projects. Maker has gone on to make a couple of solo album now he is back with a local emcee named Qwel. On September 14th the duo will drop their 3rd full-length album titled Owl (Galapagos4). “The Owl watches and grows wiser,” explains Maker. “As we became more aware of our environment, we gained new perspectives. This album is our way of reconnecting with everything that surrounds us.”

This is Qwel & Maker's finest and most mature release to date, and it feels like it is still only just the beginning. The duo will be performing on Sept. 10th at Reggies w/ Typical Cats, Meaty Ogre, Maxilla Blue.

   

Live Review: Apollo Run at Pianos

It’s a lot of work being in NYC’s Apollo Run. John McGrew (vocals, piano, trumpet), Jeff Kerestes (bass, vocals), and Graham Fisk (drums, vocals) test their multi-tasking abilities to achieve their resounding orchestral rock aura. A crowded Pianos glowed with the hues of on-stage projections, as the band strutted their virtuosic stuff. Supporting their new release, “Here Be Dragons Vol. 1,” AR sprinted through an impressive selection of songs, highlighting “Nightingale” and “Love Song,” which melded sonata piano arpeggios, fervent call and response falsetto, and bass-driven reggae rhythms. Seductive, jazzy keys, trumpet, and bass lines surged with impassioned vocals on “That's How It Felt,” while the audience basked in the warmth of Broadway-quality, three-part harmonies on “Wide Eyes” and (my) favorite, “Myography.” Other front row fan favorites included “City Lights,” “Devil in Disguise,” “Fireman,” “These Kind of Girls,” and “Chasing Rabbits.” Apollo Run joined the crowd for an a capella “stomp-clap song,” “All in Good Time,” to finish a visually and aurally stunning set with flair. - Meijin Bruttomesso

   

Curtis Eller plays Wnder Wheel Park in Coney Island on 09.04

Curtis Eller has proclaimed he is "New York City’s angriest yodeling banjo player,” but if you saw the fella you might agree his black, converse high tops and Chaplin moustache are doing nothing for his surly reputation. He plucks his banjo like an old bluesman but sings with the voice of a good-ol-boy. Eller is angry like a gentleman who knows that a well sung song is the best solution for a difficult situation. He mirrors Woody Guthrie’s union ballads with a side show slant: spins tales about a man on death row and a pack of drunken nerdowells. His politics shine on songs like “Sweathop Fire” which gracefully weaves a dirge for the sweatshop workers, comparing the fire to Ulysess S. Grant and the 1929 stock market crash. Eller’s banjo drives his one-man outfit like a freight train and if this doesn’t win your heart, his Mic Jagger dance moves sure will. See him live at the Wonder Wheel Park in Coney Island on 09.04. - Jenny Luczak

   

The Gay Blades: "Savages" Review - out on 10.04

The Gay Blades’ October 5 release, “Savages,” is as eccentric and memorable as their aliases, “Clark Westfield” (vocals/guitar) and “Puppy Mills” (drums). A cross-pollination of genres, this sophomore record begins with aggressive, distorted “Rock N' Roll (Part I).” The mood lightens up with “Try to Understand,” available to download for free in exchange for a tweet, and bounces with quivering vocals and peppy horns. “Puppy Mills Presents’” cabaret cadence is intensified by crunching guitars and transitions into the sultry and infectious track, “Mick Jagger,” to which the man himself would surely strut along. The melancholy of “Why Winter in Detroit?” and folksy “November Fight Song” culminates in the yearning and heartfelt “Too Cool to Quit.” “Shadow's Like A Ghost” and “Wasted on the Youth’s” howling leads and unusual melodic progressions create haunting tracks, contrasting with the frantic pace of the punky pop “Burns and Shakes.” Last but not least, “Every Night Is Like a Revival’s” lilt converts to a ballad with string embellishments, fading into a unexpectedly tranquil close. For maximum appreciation, these guys' music must be experienced live, so don't miss their show when you have the opportunity (they have no upcoming dates in NYC at this moment). -Meijin Bruttomesso