Check out my weekly Spotify playlist featuring selected tracks from the artists playing in New York this week.
Wednesday, February 27
Arthur Ashin - whose artist name is Autre Ne Veut - has just released his second album, "Anxiety," on Brooklyn label Software. Born in 1982, Arthur is the first of two children and the only son of American ex-patriots living in rural Kenya. According to his label's bio, he’s struggled with minor bouts of depression throughout his life, but a year of intensive psychoanalysis helped Arthur to realize that anxiety was at the crux of his problems. Musically, Autre Ne Veut is '80s inspired synth and drum machine indie pop with clever contemporary R&B flourishes. The album picked up a "Best New Music" tag on influential music blog Pitchfork this week. Also on the bill, spacy popsters Majical Cloudz @ Santos Party House.
Also tonight: Bob Mould plays The Bowery Ballroom in support of the release of his great new high energy rock album "Silver Age" which is reminiscent of his work with groundbreaking American post punk rockers Hüsker Dü and Sugar.
Thursday, February 28
Wordy indie popsters The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart came up with their band name before they wrote any songs, and when they did start writing and playing their songs live, they played "five songs in ten minutes and the song names were longer than the songs", according to an interview on the music blog The Agit Reader. Tonight they're playing alongside four other suitably rocking indie pop bands at an "Indie Pop Prom" @ 285 Kent St.
Also tonight: A big double bill of British legends The Who and post-punk's literate songsmith Elvis Costello comes together at Madison Square Garden to raise money for Teen Cancer America and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Friday, March 1
Eels are primarily the work of multi-instrumentalist Mark Oliver Everett — often known as "E". Everett's first solo release was in 1985, with the Eels project launching in 1996 with the "Beautiful Freak" album. That album produced two breakthrough singles, "Novocaine for the Soul" and "Susan's House," songs that cleverly fused slacker indie rock with samples and drum loops, following on an aesthetic Beck established with his 1994 album "Mellow Gold" and hit "Loser." There have been eight Eels albums since that debut, and although the band's popularity Stateside may have dwindled, the band has managed to maintain a high profile in Europe and Australia. The band's most recent effort is 2013's "Wonderful Glorious", an album Everett recorded in his purpose built home studio in Los Feliz, Los Angeles. Jude Clarke of BBC Music summarizes her review of the album by saying it "continues the band's long-running, idiosyncratic and distinctively creative career path." At Webster Hall.
Saturday, March 2
Classically trained electronicist Daedelus fuses mellow harmonies with dark bass hits, jazz instrumentals, sped up vocals, and electronic glitches. His latest album, "Bespoke," is out on the Ninja Tune label. At Le Poisson Rouge.
Sunday, March 3
In the late '80s Suzanne Vega's second album "Solitude Standing" was a global hit establishing her as one of the few rising stars of "new folk." Her big hits were "Luka," "Marlene On The Wall" and "Tom's Diner," the latter originally an a cappella version remixed in 1990 as a dance track by the British dance production team DNA. The "Tom's Diner" referred to in the song is Tom's Restaurant at 112th Street and Broadway on the Upper West Side. At The Bell House.
Also tonight: Chiming guitars and a minimalist '60s take on dreamy pop - Beach Fossils - are equal parts The XX or early REM. Also playing: Divorce Money and Lodro at 285 Kent Ave.
Monday, March 4
Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso make up the Swedish House Mafia — three established and successful house DJs from (you guessed it) Sweden. They've worked alongside a number of artists, but it's their track "Don't You Worry Child" featuring John Martin that has been their biggest global hit. Their current "One Last Tour" is their final global jaunt. Tonight is the last of their three nights at the Barclays Center.
Tuesday, March 5
The Allman Brothers Band was formed in 1969 by brothers Duane and Gregg Allman and a bunch of their pals. Duane was a session guitarist in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, appearing on records by Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin and Percy Sledge and it was at the insistence of Otis Redding's manager that he formed his own group. The Allman Brothers created their own flavour of the blues having grown up in the South and forming in Georgia. After releasing just three albums — including the 1971 live classic "At Fillmore East" which was lauded by Rolling Stone Magazine as "the finest live rock performance ever committed to vinyl" — Duanne Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident. The band has continued, and is still fronted by Gregg Allman and features original members Butch Trucks and Jay Johanson. They have made The Beacon Theatre their NYC home - on this tour they are playing 11 shows, until March 17.
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