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Weekly Feature #216a: (The) Tony Castles

Tony Castles (with or without the The, your choice) hooked up at Skidmore College, Connecticut, before making the trek, like so many before them, to Brooklyn, just some two years after they graduated. It’s a familiar tale, but these guys aren’t just another artsy student band. Sure, their music has some world beat flavors that somewhat reflects the direction indie pop has taken towards (read: Vampire Weekend), but Tony Castles are anything but familiar. Just check out their track ‘Pirates’ that’s been circulating the web for some time now. It’s a delicious, six minute spaced out jam. Apparently it’s a demo, which suggests these guys could be scarily good, and hugely successful. According to drummer Gabriel Wurzel, this means plenty of red wine and Apple technology. - Read Dean Van Nguyen's Q& A with the band here.


TONIGHT: Kata Rokkar Presents Snob Theater @ The Dark Room 9:30pm

Tonight Kata Rokkar will be presenting their fifth, and what is promised to be their most exciting, Snob Theater with yet another host of comedians and musical performances. This evenings Snob Theater will feature acoustic sets by Ash Maynor (Ghost and the City) and Jonah Matranga (Far, onlinedrawing), and comedians Sean Sinha, Katie Compa, Chris Garcia, Ray Molina and special guest Kris Tinkle. Once again at the Dark Room, this looks like a wonderful way to spend your Friday night.


-Ada Lann


Endless Spring


Houses have released a video for their beautiful song "Endless Spring". Their debut album, All Night, will be released on Oct. 19th on Lefse Records


Ezra Furman & The Harpoons' rollicking pop tunes

As I listen to Chicago/NYC based Ezra Furman and the Harpoons, I can picture Mr Furman's childhood as aspiring indie rocker, the colorful sounds of early Beatles and the nasal voice of Bob Dylan on a portable record player filling his bedroom. You can hear these influences in the band's best songs such as “Take Off Your Sunglasses” with its harmonica reminiscent of “Love Me Do" or "From Me to You," and the expressive, pressing vocals, telling everyday stories with a two notes melody. Ezra's charming naivete is evidenced most as he squeals lyrics such as “I dove into your heart like a pool...” (it goes on to rhyme with “fool”) in “The Stakes Are High.” As their music evolves, this band needs to raise the stakes, listen to early John Darnielle and focus their energy on what they do best--rollicking pop tunes. Ezra Furman and the Harpoons next show will be in Chicago at Belmont Harbor on September 3. - Whitney Phaneuf


Best of NYC #3: Bear in Heaven

We continue our "Best of NYC Countdown", covering every day one of the artists that made our Year End Best of NYC list for emerging artists (a chart compiled by a jury comprised of local bloggers, music writers, promoters, record store personnel, DJs, and our writers and readers).

A decade ago, Jon Philpot could have made any kind of record of he wanted. He started Bear in Heaven as a solo project back in Atlanta, and although he and Wills were friendly, the two never thought they'd wind up playing together. After moving to Brooklyn, Philpot continued doing the one-man bedroom-pop thing, recording songs piece by piece on his computer. Eventually, he started jamming with Adam and two other friends, and the four found themselves writing new material, rather than trying to recreate Philpot's solo recordings. After a well received first record, the band gained a "Best New Music" tag from Pitchfork Media, which opened the doors to world touring and public recognition. Here's an interview with Jon about Recording and Audio Equipment.