Jukebox The Ghost | Free Energy @ Bowery Ballroom

With classic ebony & ivory pop tunes, Jukebox the Ghost plays the likes of Ben Folds but in their own unique way. Couldn’t stop imagining a modern day Billy Joel up there. And you really can’t hate Billy unless he’s drunk driving his car into your house.

Free Energy is good ol’ vintage rock n’ roll and they kick started it with their very addictive self-titled single. That song has quickly become my summer anthem, and each song on the new album is just as catchy. These guys stirred quite a buzz at SXSW as the crowds always mentioned one of their many rocking shows. I’m not surprised by this attention considering the whole set was jammed with guitar riffs and infectious lyrical hooks. This is a great summer album to rock out to.


Twin Sister @ Glasslands

Made the mistake to go early to catch openers Lost Boy. They took forever to get ready on stage to play one of the most unbearable sets I’ve witnessed this year.

After a few beverages at another bar I came back to catch the record release party of Twin Sister. Based in Long Island, this 80’s pop synth band makes beautiful and rich compositions that have whispery vocals provided by Andrea Estrella. Their lo-fi dreamy pop music is the perfect soundtrack for those hazy summer days. They remind me a lot of the Cocteau Twins and one of my favorite bands Lush without the fuzzy guitars. Unfortunately the venue created an unpleasant setting as it was overcrowded with no air conditioning or air flow as well as a few power outages. The band wasn’t phased with the interruptions and the music melted into the heat and made for 1 great night. The album has become the most played album on my itunes and they have one of the most simple-digital-fan-friendly-forward thinking website around. Keep bringing that light from a dead star.


Corey Dargel @ Galapagos

Corey Dargel

Lucky to catch the last night of the Archipelago Series featuring music from local label New Amsterdam Records. Tonight Corey Dargel performed from his new double album full of Stephin Merritt inspired indie music but with even more quirkyness. He played first with pianist Kathleen Supove and then with the help of International Contemporary Ensemble. I really enjoyed his narrative lyrics that always had a peculiar strange poetry around them. With an album entitled “Removable Parts” about various journeys about amputations, it surely was an entertaining evening. At times I felt the set become sluggish but picked up when he played my favorite track “Twelve-Year-Old Scotch”. I was extremely excited to catch Craig Wedren of Shutter to Think play in the second half of the show but after 2 martinis in overly hot venue I couldn’t take it anymore inside. ugh


Broken Social Scene @ MHOW

With that many people onstage you would just expect a train wreck. For some reason Broken Social Scene always finds the right formula to keep it together enough to play a chaotic set of musical energy. Even after a long hiatus these Canadians have released a great new record and played a perfect set of old and new songs. I was lucky to catch them at a small venue which added to the energy especially when Emily Haines treated us to a few. They ended the night with a triumphant performance of “It’s All Gonna Break.” Summer has officially begun.


The Local Natives @ Bowery Ballroom

The Local Natives were the talk of the town back at SXSW this year. I missed the almost dozen shows they put on so I was eager to catch them back home. Maybe it was this chatter that helped them sell out 2 shows at Bowery. I loved the first song they played live which may have been the new tune off their debut album. I was really impressed with their vocal harmonies (although reverb-y), swooning guitar, and pulsating drums. However the more they played, the more my boredom grew with the same formula applied to their remaining songs. It’s hard not to imagine a room full of music suits proposing they combine Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear and Band of Horses into 1 conglomeratic mess of a band….”That’s sure to sell!” And judging from the crowd, their formula worked because they got the exact crappy crowd that would be expected at a show like this. For a show I was very excited for, I walked out disgruntled and pissed. Can’t believe Frenchkiss signed these douchebags.