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Fol Chen drops new album Tuesday 7-6 with show at The Echo

The myopic, mysterious pop outfit Fol Chen plays The Echo this Tuesday July 6. Below is a leak of their next single from their upcoming sophomore release Part II: The New December (out July 6th). "The Holograms" is a clever song of forgotten names and words which bounces along on one of the album's catchiest melodies. They will be touring the West Coast this July and will embark on a handful of East Coast dates with the rising glo-fi/future beatmaker Baths.



Spottiswoode & His Enemies play 92YTribeca on 07.02

Great songwriting is timeless and space less, this is why Spottiswoode's songs sound like they could have been written anywhere and anywhen - although the dude betrays an obvious English accent. His songs and delivery remind us of some serious musical heavyweights like Tom Waits - with whom he shares entertaining cabaret antics – Leonard Cohen and Momus, for the alternatively witty and ironic lyrics. This NYC scene veteran will perform at 92YTribeca on July 2 with “His Enemies” – that’s the name of his band, probably a testament to how hard it is to find musicians available to play your songs without getting into fights? Also, check out his own web-paper “The Spottiswoode Examiner” for the latest news (judging from this picture he must have a pretty intense lifestyle…).
Our old friends Jones Street Station will open the night with their old time sounding tunes sung with angelic male voices – this is probably one of the few NYC bands that can effortlessly pull off 5 part harmonies.


Hair Rocket Starting the Fireworks Early at M Room July 2

If you’re looking for something to do after First Friday tonight, then shoot on over to the M Room for Hair Rocket. Led by mad man/multi-instrumentalist/Berklee dropout Chris Blasucci, powerpop never felt so cathartic as he takes you on “a young girl’s strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk”. No - really - Hair Rocket is a damn good time! You might not get to experience a launching of a 4 ft. hair rocket like at this year’s Molestice (don’t need to kill another Great White fan if they happen to be in the room, you know that they are a dying breed), but you’ll still go home with a bang for the beginning of this 4th of July weekend. M Room, 15 W. Girard Ave., 9pm, $8, 21+ - H.M. Kauffman




CD Review: Mazzzes

When I first heard that Mazes were releasing a remixed version of their debut record (dubbed Mazzzes this time around), I was a little skeptical. Why mess with a great thing?

The answer, it turns out, is “Why not?” The remixed tracks on Mazzzes are more like reimaginations, offering completely new perspectives. Lo-fi, breezy tunes sit comfortably next to avant garde and electronic mixes, and while none of it is necessarily better than the original, it’s all interesting and certainly worth a listen. The Dana Okon mix of “Manual Systems” stays true to the essence of the song, adding a fuzzy effect that makes it sound like you’re listening to it on an old radio. It’s an approach that works well with Mazes’ aesthetic, and the Pierce Doerr remix of “I Have Laid in the Darkness of Doubt” likewise takes a page from this book by imitating the locked groove of a broken record.

Several tracks are almost unrecognizable, but it’s never a bad thing. Jeffrey Thomas’ “Cat State Comity” would fit in well on a Frank Zappa album, and “Heather Kissing Heather on the Dancefloor” (Joshua Dumas’ take on “Heather on Heather”) sounds like something you’d listen to on your way home from a rave in 1996. These mixes couldn’t be further from the originals, but they’re great in their own right. When it comes down to it, that’s what makes Mazzzes a success: it achieves the perfect balance of familiar sounds that Mazes fans are bound to love and daring noise that they’ll love for completely different reasons.

Mazes are performing tonight (July 2nd) at The Hideout with Hotel Brotherhood at 10pm. - Bonnie Stiernberg


Best of NYC #25: Penguin Prison - live at Coco66 on July 30

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


New York’s Penguin Prison is far from waddling and awkward. In fact, Chris Glover (vocals, instruments, production), who operates under the alias “Penguin Prison,”  has developed a smooth, gliding, and sleek sound with the company of notable electronic/pop artists, including members of Holy Ghost and Longpigs. Together they fashion electro-pop dance tracks that would suit club scenes from the underground to the chic, by melding synthesizer loops, computerized blips and bleeps, and disco levity.  The bubblegum EP title track, “The Worse It Gets,” dreamy techno-beats and falsetto-vocals of “Something I’m Not,” and singles, a playful and sing-song-y “Animal Animal,” and an infectiously bouncy “A Funny Thing,” demonstrate Penguin Prison’s natural instincts for effervescent, danceable compositions.  As a re-mixer for other artists’ tunes, such as Marina and the Diamonds' “I Am Not a Robot” and Goldfrapp’s “Rocket,” Penguin Prison adds an airy groove to select tracks and transforms them to complement a party atmosphere. - Meijin Bruttomesso

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