Thursday
Oct302014

[Night Out] OMG CMJ 2014 Day Five: Soko @ United Palace Theater Theater 

Soko @ United Palace Theater 10/25/14 (with our boy Matt on guitar!)
Saturday night Kibbe and I trekked up to the United Palace Theatre to cover Soko (who opened for Foster the People.)  Honestly, I'm glad we didn't try to stick around after Soko because I'm not really a fan of Foster the People. I was still interested in covering Soko nonetheless, especially since one of our friends Matt was going to be playing his gothic heart out on guitar and keyboards to make it worth the commute. For those not in the know, Matt is half of the Los Angeles band VOWS (formerly WAZU). The other half, his gorgeous partner with the hauntingly velvet voice, Rizz, was there supporting him in the wings. So win win, we get to cover an artist that was new to us, and catch up with super talented and genuine humans we know (and love) as Matt and Rizz. 
May I dare say United Palace Theater doesn't have the friendliest security staff and some of them obviously haven't been to photo pit hospitality class 101 but, that's a story for another day. I held my own under their fascist "photo pit" rules and managed to get some fun shots.
Soko entertained us with upbeat rhythms intertwined with hyper banter about her suicide attempts and reminders that "she would be old tomorrow" because it's her birthday. She playfully slipped out of articles of clothing on stage because "it was hot" and then made mention that the crowd from the night before was a "better audience".  I'll agree that the crowd was not as present as they could have been but, I don't know, maybe they just weren't in the mood or their adult sippy cups of overpriced beer ran dry.
Soko's spirited set ended and I swiftly maneuvered up the aisle (in my awesome hot pink Dr Marten boots) to meet up with Kibbe in the lobby. She was talking to some random people and I approached them with my not so happy Sprout pout (which is a rare occurrence, mind you).
Deciding it was time to make like a tree and leave, we headed round back to meet up with Rizz to briefly exchange hugs, catch up on life, and then say our goodbyes.  We were saddened to hear that the big move to Los Angeles hadn't been as fruitful for our friends as they had hoped, which is unfortunate given how talented these two are. It really got to me while Kibbe was on the verge of tears after we parted ways with Rizz. 
We left the venue with a mixed bag of emotions and a laundry list of nuances such as: the not so friendly security people, lack of photo pit hospitality, and a fan base with a pretense so thick that it penetrated the theater's every molecule.
The cab ride back to Kibbtopia provided a forum for the "WTF" convo and I believe an epiphany which inspired the manifestation of a brand new SKoA mission statement (coming soon).I'm going to call this revelation "the big picture". It's not easily noticed sometimes but, it's definitely there if you're willing to really see. This particular 'SKoA Night Out' presented an opportunity for Kibbe and I to truly get a glimpse of the big picture. A scenario that involves our love of music, truly talented artists, and their connection to the music industry.  This combination has become the catalyst to our commitment in changing the way music is revered, celebrated and showcased. We love music and we need it to love us back again. 
We'll be making a big announcement in the next few days sharing our new mission and vision for SKoA. For now, click here to head over to our Gallery to check out more photos from the show.
Monday
Oct272014

[Night Out] OMG CMJ 2014 Day Four: WALTZ, Shilpa Ray, Lost Boy ?, Ron Gallo, The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, Kate Boy

WALTZ @ Piano's for The Deli Mag Showcase 10/24/2014Fridayyyy. I continued to lose my momentum as the photographs and writeups began to pile up. Sleep deprivation was really getting to me. I kept it low key during the day and then decided to take myself on an adventure for Friday night. I was still amped from the night before and wanted to find more fun new bands to give my heart to, but I didn't want to be influenced by anyone else. I've mentioned previously that in my heyday that I used to randomly pick up albums based on whether or not I thought their album artwork looked interesting, so I took the same approach for CMJ Day Four but with press photos that were readily available on CMJ's much improved mobile app.

First band of the night was WALTZ at Piano's for the Deli Mag Showcase. I arrived a little late and caught a glimpse of what appeared to be some dudes in speedos up on stage while I was getting stamped outside. I didn't think much of it because they were gone by the time I got to the back. It was Australian turned New Yorker Matt Hutchinson's "whatever" scowl sporting an 80s windbreaker in his press photo that had me willing to take a chance. Not sure why, he just seemed like a friend I hadn't met yet or something. At any rate, my gut did not lead me astray. His erratic movements whilst furiously strumming on his guitar with his mic coupled with his tortured monotone wailing stirred something inside of me that lives in my dark and twisty place. Oh yeah, those speedo dudes? They came back. I hadn't noticed before, but they each had a letter painted on their chest to spell out "WALTZ". That part is still a bit of a head scratcher for me. Looking forward to getting more familiar with this band. I briefly spoke to Hutchinson after the set and he said they were wrapping up an album and working to get it out the door to the public, so more on that front as the details become available.

After WALTZ I was chatting up a photographer from Pancakes and Whiskey about the wonders of Bo Ningen from the night before when the keyboardist/guitarist from the band setting up next chimed in to share his love for them as well. I hadn't settled on a next step at that point, but that interaction made me want to stick aroud to see what kind of music this friendly fellow contributed to.

Shilpa Ray @ Piano's for The Deli Mag Showcase 10/24/2014The band ended up being singer/harmonium player Shilpa Ray and her band of chill dudes. I don't know how else to describe Ray other than the ultimate badass bitch that I aspire to be. I hung on to every snarl and howl that rang out with each song they played. Around the middle of their set, Ray came to a full stop and said something to the effect of, "If all these other fucking people are gonna play shirtless tonight then fuck it I'm gonna do it too." She then proceeded to finish her set shirtless as if nothing had ever happened. It didn't seem to distract her or the audience from the performance. If anything it made her all the more fierce and fearless than before. I am anxious to spend some time with her music now, but I know the experience won't be complete until I purchase a nice bottle of whiskey first.

Lost Boy ? @ Trash Bar 10/24/2014Next I ventured into Brooklyn to have a peek at Lost Boy ? over at Trash Bar. The allure with this band was their press photo consisted of the lead singer feeding himself what appeared to be a partially eaten piece of pizza in a passed out dude's hand. I would say that it appropriately captured the essence of the band. They were witty, carefree, and super fun. I'm glad that I kept "accidentally" seeing New York bands that night. I look forward to incorporating them and the other I stumbled across into my ongoing show schedule.

The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die @ Cameo Gallery 10/24/2014As the night progressed on, I attempted to see what a band with an epic name (The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die) and another fun press photo of a dude with a slice of pizza on his face wearing sunglasses (Ron Gallo) that were both playing at the same time. If you had seen the way I darted from Spike Hill to Cameo Gallery and managed to slide my way into semi-prime positioning at both shows you would have been impressed. That said, both had me all "meh" but for different reasons. TWIABPAIANLATD was good, but in a pretentious way that I wasn't really in the mood for. Ron Gallo, on the other hand, was more goofy than playful and I found it to be off putting. Also worth mentioning that the audiences of both bands were really annoying and I didn't want to be associated with them so I bounced.

Ron Gallo @ Spike Hill 10/24/2014Nothing else looked terribly interesting until 1AM when Stockholm group Kate Boy were set to hit the stage at Knitting Factory so I grabbed a Criff Dog and took advantage of my old watering hole for a few drinks and a place to charge my phone. I was sort of anxious about staying out so late on the offchance that Kate Boy MIGHT be worthwhile, but #YOLOOMGCMJ2014 and all that.

Kate Boy @ The Knitting Factory 10/25/2014I'm happy to report that I was able to end the evening on an ultra high note. Kate Boy is pure pop fire that consumes you in their pulsating beats, succinct synths, and bright vocals. I'm just mad that this didn't make it to my radar sooner. Tracks like "In Your Eyes", "Self Control", and "Open Fire" have already made it into my rotation since then. I look forward to their forthcoming debut album, whenever that is slated to drop. Don't worry, I'm already working on getting more details shortly.

You can check out photos from my night out in the slide show below!

Sunday
Oct262014

[Night Out] OMG CMJ 2014 Day Three: Flavor Raid, Bo Ningen, HSY, Weaves

Weaves @ Shea Stadium 10/23/2014Thursday. Weird vibe all day during the day. Had planned on rushing to see The Kickback and then hit up the Texas Takeover Party at The Delancey but Sprout's camera that she graciously let me borrow just did not want to be BFFs with my computer so getting photos sorted for Wednesday's wrapup took longer than I had ever dreamed of. I was bummed about missing The Kickback, Catch Fever, Ravin' Symone, and overall just not making the most of my time off during the day. I guess the lack of sleep attributed to my inability to move more quickly, but I was reminded throughout the evening that you don't need a perfectly planned itinerary for CMJ in order to have a good time. Sometimes you need to just roll with it and some really cool bands end up right in front of you.

Flavor Raid @ The Delancey for the Texas Takeover Party 10/23/2014I tried to stick to my schedule. I really did. As soon as I was set free from the chains of SD card insanity I scurried down to The Delancey to see if Flavor Raid and the rest of the Texas Takeover party was all that it was what I had been stressing over. I think the best word to describe the half hour I spent there was...lackluster? Nothing on Flavor Raid. I had been genuinely excited to check them out. It was just the wrong night, wrong set up, wrong everything basically for me.. I did get a kick out of their song about shitty high fives and the need for elbow fives though. Overall, there weren't gonna be enough strobe-y light sticks in the world for the crowd to play with for me to really connect. If you're relying on your stage gimmicks to get people to like you, it's likely that you won't get very far. Not giving up on those guys, but this just wasn't their night in my opinion.

That set made me decide not to mess with Texas the rest of the night. I needed to shake the vibe of the day so I hit up my friend Dan who was already making a go of it in Brooklyn to see if we could meet up and maybe catch something worthwhile. You know when you're in a weird mood and you put on a bunch of different records trying to shake it and nothing seems to work? That was totes my feel bro between the time I left the LES and by the end of Bo Ningen's 1st song at Baby's All Right.

We just showed up. We were open for anything. While Dan was having a cigarette we chatted about how the music industry has reached this crazy saturation point where things come and go so fast and there's so much of the same thing that things like CMJ seem like marathon moments of futility. I was hardcore feeling that and wasn't sure how to make that feeling in the current moment.

Bo Ningen @ Baby's All Right 10/23/2014But then Bo Ningen, y'all. Dang. Did not see that one coming. The Japanese four-piece brought the fury down on all of us in the form of blazing guitars, screeching vocals, and enough long jet black hair that I don't even want to imagine what the shower drain in their hotel room must look like. They played with such intensity that by the end I felt like I had eleventy billion shots of espresso. I was PUMPED to hear more music, specifically with all the guitars I could find. I texted my friend who was over at Shea Stadium to see if my needs would be met there. As luck would have it, they had some Canadian bands that unbeknownst to me were about to make my evening.

When I arrived Toronto four piece noice punk outfit HSY (pronounnced "hussy") were just finishing setting up. Admittedly, I'm not sure that they're for everyone, but man they just hit the spot like nobodys business for me. I especially enjoyed how few fucks they gave, specifically guitarslinger Anna Mayberry, who made several laps into the crowd screeching and howling the whole way. It was terrible in terms of being able to get any snaps of them since it was dimly lit inside Shea, but they left a lasting impression on me that no photo could.

HSY @ Shea Stadium 10/23/2014And then came Weaves. *SWOON*. I was already riding on this high of fuzzing guitars from HSY and the intensity of Bo Ningen when singer Jasmyn Burke opened her mouth and starting sassily wagging her finger at the crowd. All of my insides tightened up like someone just informed me that Beck was coming over to my house for a tea party. I was smitten almost immediately. It's been awhile since I fell that hard that fast for a band. I couldn't keep it together as a "professional". I kept leaning over to the other photogs there and yelling, "OH MY GOD I LOVE HER SO HARD I JUST WANT TO TAKE PICTURES OF HER FACE ALL DAY". I was so in awe of the way she managed to just yank everyone in the room to focus and give her their undivided attention. I tweeted it that night and I will say it here again: This is a band is about to blow the heck up. I give it less than 6 months. Their self-titled EP that dropped back in April does not do them justice, in my opinion. It does a pretty good job bottling up Burke's energy, but then again she does not seem to be the kind of woman that you simply contain.

Weaves @ Shea Stadium 10/23/2014When the show ended it took everything in my being not to run up and hug her. I settled on stammering to Anna from HSY that I thoroughly enjoyed them as a compromise, but I was in East Williamsburg and not acting terribly Williamsburgy, so I split shortly thereafter to avoid any further embarrassment.

You can check out all the photos from my night out for CMJ Day Three in the slideshow below:

Thursday
Oct232014

[Night Out] OMG CMJ 2014 Day Two: Oh Cassius!, Pompeya, François Ier, The Kickdrums

Oh Cassius! @ Bowery Electric 10/22/14If I'm honest, none of the day shows really seemed worthwhile to me. I decided to try and take it somewhat easy until nightfall. While I was prepping for who I was going to check out on Wednesday I also made the decision to try to see as many bands that are super far away from NYC because duh I live here.

First show of the evening was a quick bite of Bridgeport band Oh Cassius! over at Bowery Electric. If I hadn't been so determined to make it out to Cameo Gallery by 8 I would have definitely stuck it out for their entire performance. The band is fronted by a fun little vocal duo who really play off of each others energy super well. I had to bounce about halfway through their set, but I intend to put them into my regular rotation very soon, specifically songs like, "Carpenter".


Now you may be asking me, "Kibbe, if you had been bitching about the rain so much on Twitter, WHY would you trekk all the way to Cameo Gallery in a cab when a perfectly good lineup was right before you at Bowery Electric!?"

Well I'll tell you why: I've never had a favorite band from Moscow before and now I do so stfu.

I knew the second that singer Daniiil Brod took the stage and said something to the effect of, "Hey. We're gonna play six songs and then we're gonna go" that Pompeya were the kind of dudes that I'd like to have a beer with because they're not too fussy about what they do. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, but I did ruin a few good shots because I kept involuntarily swaying and moving my hips around. I really take Sprout for granted in that regard because she normally does all the snapping and I do all the dancing.

Pompeya @ Cameo Gallery 10/22/14I wasn't familiar with their material other than their single, "Does", but you'll find their music is really easy to get on board with. The second I hit 'publish'on this post I will begin nagging for their upcoming album, Real so I can give you plenty of reasons to pick it up when it drops on February 17th of next year. For now, you can grab their Night EP over on iTunes.


I debated sticking around for Walking Shapes since they were up next, but they're Brooklyn based and that was against the rules for the day. I will probably have to check them out at their next show on October 25th at Spike Hill though.

Instead, I thought I'd outsmart the rain and train it on down to Le Baron to check out François Ier at the France Rocks Party down in Chinatown. I checked out his Neptune EP over the weekend and was thoroughly impressed so I thought I'd experience some of it live.



When I arrived François was treating a bunch of ungrateful French implants who were talking over his lush rhythms about lord only knows what because it has been over a decade now since I was in a French class. They had this poor kid shoved in the corner while they were getting things ready for the next full band that followed him. That felt a little bit disrespectful to me, but I guess I get it. At any rate, I wanted to stay longer, but after experiecning my first $14 well drink in over 3 years and realizing that with the rain that it was going to take me longer to get to Arlene's for my last show of the night, I said "Au Revoire!" and headed back towards the LES.

Nobody should be François Ier in the corner, but they did at Le Baron 10/22/14I know I had the whole, "only bands from really far from NYC" rule for the night, but after trudging through the rain back and forth from Manhattan and Brooklyn all evening, I really just needed a dose of familiarity and awesomeness. That was obviously going to be The Kickdrums at Arlene's Grocery. I've grabbed coffee with Fitts a couple of times in the past year, but it had been awhile since I had seen them perform. It was definitely before they dropped their last album, Thinking Out Loud, which came out over a year ago. Eek! So yeah, obvi long overdue but I am happy to report that the band is aging like a fine wine. They played cuts from all but one of their albums (which happens to be my favorite one, Just A Game). It was certainly a showcase of how much their sound has developed over the years.

None of us were down to party after the show, so Fitts, Jeff, and I walked over to Sugar for a tea and a chat before I wrote the majority of this blog post on my 40 minute subway ride back to Harlem. You can check out more photos from my night out in the slideshow below.


Thursday
Oct232014

[Night Out] OMG CMJ 2014 Day One: Son Little 

Day one CMJ is always a slow start for me and this year was so exception to that rule. I had to endure the day job before my 3 day vacation of bands, booze, and badge friends forever officially kicked off. All that said, you bet your sweet ass the second that 5:30pm rolled around that I was out the door running as fast I could to meet up with Sprout who was patiently waiting for me at our safe harbor that folks like to call No Fun. When the time came for us to treat our earholes we sauntered our way down to Rockwood Music Hall stage 2. The room was reasonably full, enough for Sprout to dart around fairly easily to take some snaps.

The last time I saw Aaron Livingston sing in person it was with RJD2 for their project Icebird. As much as I enjoyed The Abandoned Lullaby, there were some moments where it felt like Livingston's vocals were an afterthought to what was going on in the production. That was fortunately not the case for his new solo project, Son Little. His voice rang out loud and strong to the red velvety backdrop that are the walls of Rockwood Stage 2. His accompanyment were a keyboardist/bassist and drummer, who elevated the emotional twangs in Livingston's voice. In addition to playing cuts I had heard before like, "The River", "Cross My Heart", and the heartwrenching "Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches", he played some new tracks that will appear on his upcoming debut album that is coming "soon" (his words).

We should have stayed around after the show to try and pry more info from him, but between us being starving and me thinking that I was going to a French nightclub for a showcase that I ended up being a day early for, that didn't happen. Needless to say, it was the best way to start OMG CMJ 2014.

Have a listen to "Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches" below.

Tuesday
Oct212014

[Listen] Dillon Francis - 'Money Sucks, Friends Rule' (Full Album Stream) 

NEW.

MUSIC.

TUESDAY. 

NEW. 

DILLON.

FRANICS (a week early!)! 

I am a very happy Kibbe today, let me tell you! I have been waiting for this album since the first time I heard "When We Were Young" a few months ago. MTV got the hookup on a full album stream a week before the album officially drops next week (October 29th) courtesy of Columbia Records/Mad Decent. I'm only two songs in at the moment and already I'm very upset that I am confined to my desk at work instead of blasting this in Kibbtopia and dancing around like a crazy person. 

Have a listen to Money Sucks, Friends Rule below. Be sure to pre-order the album on iTunes here if you haven't already because that is the right thing to do. I personally will probably pony up for the deluxe version, but I will be waiting on that until after the dust settles on the damage I do at CMJ this week (more on that later btw!). 

Be sure to catch Dillon Franics on his 'Friend Rule' tour next month starting in Nashville!

DILLON FRANCIS ‘FRIENDS RULE’ TOUR:
11/17     Nashville, TN                                   Marathon Music Works
11/19     Asheville, NC                                   Orange Peel
11/20     Charlotte, NC                                   The Fillmore
11/21     Washington, DC                               Echo Stage
11/22     Baltimore, MD                                  Ram’s Head Live
11/25     Wallingford, CT                                Dome at Oakdale
11/26     Philadelphia, PA                              Electric Factory
11/28     Boston, MA                                     House of Blues 
11/30     Montreal, QC                                   New City Gas
12/1       Toronto, ON                                    Danforth Music Hall
12/3       Royal Oak, MI                                 Royal Oak Music Hall
12/5       Chicago, IL                                     Aragon Ballroom
12/6       Minneapolis, MN                             Skyway Theatre
12/8       Milwaukee, WI                                Turner Hall Ballroom
12/9       Madison, WI                                   Orpheum Theatre
12/10     Kansas City, MO                             Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland
12/12     Broomfield, CO                               1st Bank Center
12/13     Salt Lake City, UT                           In The Venue
12/15     Portland, OR                                   Roseland Theater
12/18     Oakland, CA                                   Fox Theater
12/21     Los Angeles, CA                             Shrine Auditorium
1/16       Brooklyn, NY                                  Barclays Center

Friday
Oct172014

[Listen] Breton - "Titan" 

I'm calling it right now: Breton's third album will be their breakthrough in the states. This is not up for debate. It's going to happen and I am so excited about this I feel like having sex with a drum machine
I'd love to be wrong about that and have it be sooner though, specifically since they announced that they'll be re-issuing War Room Stories  on November 10th on their very own label Cut Tooth (via Believe Recordings). The reissue will include two brand new songs, "Titan" and "Parthian Shot", along with 9 bonus tracks, previously unseen tour pictures and a PDF of all the band’s lyrics to date.
Earlier this week the band shared "Titan" for your listening pleasure in anticipation of the reissue. Remember when I was super excited about "Got Well Soon" and said it was the best thing they had ever made? I think I still stand by that for now, but in the case of "Titan" there's this new found approachability in this song that was previously only found in little snippets throughout their work, which is why I'm convinced that they're on the path to worldwide domination. Keep in mind that War Room Stories only came out in February and already we're seeing a massive growth spurt from the band in this track. Granted, I'm sure that some credit should go to Antoine Gaillet (co-wrote  M83's Before the Dawn Heals Us, mixed on Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming), who co-produced the song. Even so, the band has matured at such a rapid pace since their 2011 debut album, Other People's Problem that it's almost hard for me to believe that it's even the same band. 

Either way, it's basically all that Sprout and I have been listening to all morning and there has been much chair dancing at our desks as a result. Have a listen to "Titan" for yourself and tell me that your hips don't involuntarily shake even a little bit the second it hits your ears. 
Lucky folks across the pond can catch the band on tour next month. Make the best decision of your life and catch them if they're playing in your area. 
BRETON ON TOUR
09 Nov - Effenaar - Eindhoven, NL
10 Nov - Patronaat - Haarlem, NL
12 Nov - Berghain Kantine - Berlin, DE
13 Nov - Minoga Club - Poznaně, PL
14 Nov - Klub Hydrozagadka - Warsaw, PL 
15 Nov - Jazz Club Hipnoza - Katowice, PL 
17 Nov - Chelsea - Vienna, AT
18 Nov - Grabenhalle - St. Gallen, CH
19 Nov - L’Usine PTR - Geneva, CH
21 Nov - Liberteě - Rennes, FR
22 Nov - La Cartonnerie - Reims, FR
23 Nov - L’Autre Canal - Nancy, FR
24 Nov - La Rodia - Besancon, FR
25 Nov - Casino de Paris - Paris FR
27 Nov - Marcheě Gare - Lyon, FR
28 Nov - Paloma - Nimes, FR
29 Nov - La SireĚne - La Rochelle, FR
30 Nov - CCM John Lennon - Limoges, FR 
02 Dec - Heaven - London, UK
Wednesday
Oct152014

[Watch] Childish Gambino - "Telegraph Ave" (Official Video)

Childish Gambino has been progressing over the years into his own man. A man that does what he wants, when he wants. His latest release was no different. He just dropped a free mixtape titled STN MTN and then quickly followed it up a day later with an EP, Kauai, which you can grab on iTunes. When paired together, the 2 releases create an 18 track journey into Glover's mind, with varying degrees of styles and pace. It's quite simply a wonderful ride that is over just as quickly as it begun. Repeat worthy.

However, not stopping at creating a great double release in the past week he's now released a clip for his Because The Internet featuring "Telegraph Ave ('Oakland' By Lloyd)". The clip features Gambino heading out on a road trip to what looks like paradise (it's actually the island of Kauai!) with R&B singer Jhené Aiko. They're having an idyllic time with a beautiful backdrop, but things are not quite what they seem as things take a rather dark, and Halloween worthy turn. Not one to deliver a bad video, you'll have to check out the clip above to see how things turn out.