Critical 5 Concerts in NYC this week: swing into spring, March 12-20
Well, winter managed to batter us one more time, but we're finally inching towards spring. If you live in NYC, this means roughly two weeks of pleasant sunshine and fresh budding foliage before summer comes along and the humidity makes us want to crawl under a block of ice for a few months. It also means getting out of the house to check out shows is a much more pleasurable experience.
So this week, we present five shows that will help you swing into spring. Set phasers to fun.
Sam Cohen, the space cadet you may know from his band Apollo Sunshine, makes joyful psychedelic pop that aims to remind listeners of their fondest memories of childhood. This is especially true of his new solo project, Yellowbirds, whose 2011 debut album, The Color, is a period piece about Cohen's upbringing in Houston, Texas. Imagine a caffeine-fueled sleepover with Buddy Holly, Roky Erickson, and Terry Riley, and you'll have something of an idea of the wonder that awaits you at Mercury Lounge on Friday.
It may seem like an oxymoron to describe a math rock band as mellow and unassuming, but Pinback fit that mold perfectly. A duo of Rob Crow and Zach Smith, these San Diego transplants make music not unlike an old pocket watch: the outer surface is so ornate and pretty that one would be forgiven were they not to notice the precise and complicated machinery making it run. In this way, Pinback are the epitome of a band that rewards repeated listening. Be sure to catch them at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday before they take another seemingly endless hiatus.
Savages made a name for themselves last year by being much better than the Oliver Stone film of the same name. Post-punk has pretty much been done to death at this point, but these four ladies from London approach the genre more like bounty hunters than revivalists. Their intensity is unparalleled, making tact use of relentless beats, shards of guitar noise, and furious vocals that call to mind the never-ending battle of the sexes. Savages may be newcomers, but you definitely owe it to yourself to make the trek out to The Bowery Ballroom on Monday to see what all the fuss is about.
We know what you may be thinking right now: "Seriously? The 'Stacy's Mom' band?!" While that song remains something of an albatross around Fountains of Wayne's metaphorical neck, these guys are anything but a gaggle of one hit wonders. For those of us who still believe in the power of power pop, Fountains of Wayne can make catchy, heartfelt guitar-based earworms along with the best of 'em. In fact, we'd even argue that their 1999 album Utopia Parkway deserves to be spoken of in the same breath as #1 Record, Fresh Raspberries, and Something/Anything. In short, yeah, the "Stacy's Mom" band.
While next to none of their sunny, lo-fi compatriots are left standing today, Beach Fossils have managed to avoid the fate of all those other skinny dudes in thrift-store Hawaiian shirts who seemed to turn up every five minutes a few years back. Band leader Dustin Payseur has developed a knack for exploring the full potential of his own music, tracing the subtle, dark spaces between the jangly reverb and Moe Tucker-style percussion. They're currently touring behind their "difficult sophomore release", entitled Clash The Truth, and this Wednesday night shindig at Brooklyn Bowl is free with RSVP. So unless you're helping pick the next pope, there's really no excuse for missing this.
|Yellowbirds - The Color|
Beach FossilsBeach Fossils
TV & Film News By Liam Carroll
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