My Five: Johnny Beach

July 6th, 2009
Mission accomplished

Mission accomplished

Johnny Beach is a Renaissance man. He has been in his current position as The Bowery Ballroom talent buyer for more than two years. Prior to that, he served as Mercury Lounge talent buyer for four years. But he’s been shotgunning beers for considerably longer. Check out his insight below.

The Middle East, The Recordings of the Middle East
They are called the Middle East, but they’re from Australia. (Not sure how that came about.) While they are still virtually unknown here in the States—which will all change very soon—the Middle East is starting to make a name for themselves in their homeland. Spunk Records (home of Arcade Fire, Animal Collective, the Shins, M. Ward in Australia and New Zealand) recently released their debut EP. Listen to the song “Blood” and you’ll become a believer.

The Antlers, Hospice
They self-released the best record of an NYC band so far this year, which will receive a proper release via FrenchKiss Records later this summer. This captivating three-piece band sounds completely at home on the haunting “Kettering” as well as the more rocking “Syliva” and “Two.” They’ve recently supported the Walkmen, Vetiver, White Rabbits and others, but they should be headlining shows in the not-too-distant future. Plus, these guys are improving their ability to shotgun beers.

Centro-matic, Love You Just the Same
This record is by no means a new one, but I cannot help but include it. It’s safe to say that Centro-matic is the most underrated band in America. I got to see Will Johnson play two solo sets recently and it further proves that he has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard. He is quite the prolific songwriter—in Centro-matic, South San Gabriel and also on a few records just as Will Johnson. So while you should go out and spend $150 now to buy his entire catalog, this one might be the best place to start.

Manchester Orchestra, Mean Everything to Nothing
They hail from Atlanta, and while they are still quite young, they already have some sweet beardage and are a well-oiled rock machine. They’ve toured a lot in the emo-kiddie world, but they would be equally at home opening for the likes of My Morning Jacket. Their new record is stacked with a bunch of sweet jams—check out “The Only One” and “I’ve Got Friends” and the more mellow but equally awesome “I Can Feel a Hot One.” They’ll be touring with Silversun Pickups throughout August.

Telekinesis, Telekinesis
This record has really grown on me in the past couple of months and now it’s in constant rotation. It’s basically just a 21-year-old dude named Michael Lerner, and Chris Walla from Death Cab for Cutie produced it. I saw them live for the first time recently, but became quite worried a few days before the gig when I found out the drummer sings. (I am still plagued by weekly Phil Collins nightmares.) But I was pleasantly surprised when Telekinesis pulled it off quite well. The disc is filled with sweet, straight-up-catchy pop songs. And who can argue with that?

And also my top-five beers to shotgun:

1. Tecate
2. Pabst Blue Ribbon
3. Budweiser
4. King Cobra
5. Modelo