Critical 5 concerts in NYC this week: autumn in revolt, Sept. 10-15
Autumn is a season of change, of revolt even, of not going quietly into that dark night — or leaving from whatever sunny comforts you have as summer retreats from view. This week’s Critical 5 seemed to beckon for a focus on some form of transformation, if only minor, featuring bands who have held deep-seated commitment to the ever-changing fringes in indie music -- plus others who are really just worth your time.
Chances are if you are a fan of Devendra Banhart you are going to find yourself a fan of Felix Bandcroft in the Pajamas as well. The show promises to be the perfect reprieve for Monday morning’s aftermath: finger-picked acoustic guitar, haunting vocals and absolutely indelible songwriting. Not to mention, requires zero cash dollars.
Amanda Palmer has been deemed so many things in her career: founder of the punk cabaret band The Dresden Dolls, termed “The Social Media Queen of Rock-N-Roll” by the Huffington Post, and recent wife of esteemed fantasy writer Neil Gaiman. She recently raised in excess of one million dollars on her Kickstarter campaign for her new project, The Grand Theft Orchestra. Their first album, Theater Is Evil, is set for release this week, so what better time to see them live then right before the kickoff to their extensive touring. One of their first released tracks “Do It With A Rockstar” boasts punk mentality and uncouth vocals as is their music video for “The Killing Type,” which you can check out below.
Firewater formed in New York City after frontman, Tod A, left his previous group Cop Shoot Cop in 1995. Their new album, International Orange!, is an addictive and eclectic mix of sounds, from Turkish percussion to Jamaican ska, with hits of gritty punk and mambo — translation: “world punk.” After a three-year tour for their previous album The Golden Hour, they took to their hometown of Istanbul to record this follow-up (they also recorded while stationed in Tel Aviv during the 2011 Arab Spring). The result is a wonderful, high-energy mix of culture all enclosed around revolutionary sentiment. And this week’s show is apt to stir up the same themes.
Before heading on their European tour, Islands will be making a stop at Littlefield this Friday. Their recent record, A Sleep & A Forgetting, is the admitted “break-up album” of lead singer, Nick Thorburn (who was the co-frontman of The Unicorns) — appropriately enough, released on Valentine’s Day earlier this year. Not one to ever really stick to the same sound from album to album (or band to band, or name to name for that matter), Thorburn’s (aka Diamond’s) up-tempo, indie-pop sound is a bit more subdued this time around with several somber piano ballads to escort the catchy tracks.
Most remember DeVotchKa’s music from the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack which earned them a Grammy nomination and pushed them headfast into the music spotlight; they have a tranquil, indie-driven sound fronted by the crooning vocals of Nick Urata. Having made a home in the gypsy-cabaret niche, they still remain on the outskirts, more subtle than their counterparts such as Beirut or A Hawk and A Hacksaw. Over the years, the Denver band has managed to steal influence from a wide breadth of musical inspirations and collaborations (including working with Calexico and gypsy punks Gogol Bordello), and are often described as a band that is not understood fully until you’ve witness them live.
|Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra - The Killing Type|
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