Tag Archives: Beck

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The Influential Gary Numan Headlines Webster Hall on Saturday

March 20th, 2014

Gary Numan, an innovative, pioneering force in industrial, electronic music and synth pop, has been influencing others for more than three decades now. He rose to fame fronting the post-punk band Tubeway Army in late-’70s London. Numan’s first solo album, the guitar-free The Pleasure Principle (stream it below), came out in 1979. Led by the single “Cars,” the LP received rave reviews and the singer-songwriter toured the world in support of it. Since then, Numan (above, performing “Cars” for KEXP FM) has released a slew of singles and albums. His 12th studio album, Songs from a Broken Mind (stream it below), came out last year. Consequence of Sound declared “Gary Numan is easily poised for a comeback, even though he never really went anywhere, and Splinter is easily his strongest album in years.” Find out in person why he’s influenced the likes of Trent Reznor, Beck and Dave Grohl when Gary Numan plays Webster Hall on Saturday night.

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Gardens & Villa Bring a New Album to Music Hall Tonight

February 25th, 2014

Five college friends formed Gardens & Villa in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 2008. At first it was just Chris Lynch (vocals and guitar), Adam Rasmussen (synths), Shane McKillop (bass) and Levi Hayden (drums), but they soon added Dustin Ineman (keys) for their live appearances. The band headed up to Oregon to record their first album, the upbeat but chill Gardens & Villa (stream it below), with Richard Swift, camping out in his backyard: “No shower, no kitchen, but all the magic you could ask for.” The A.V. Club said the group “belongs to the tradition of scruffy California rock bands that make music as big, breezy, weird and subtly sinister as their home state,” before comparing Gardens & Villa (above, performing “Minnesota” in studio for KJEE FM) to Beck, Ariel Pink and Grandaddy. Earlier this month, the quintet’s follow-up effort, the introspective yet danceable Dunes (stream it below), arrived on Secretly Canadian. Paste weighed in, saying the album “is an enticing amalgamation of contemporary dance-music sensibilities laid over familiar, primal roots. The pointed, salient synths of Adam Rasmussen mesh fluidly with the soft melodies of lead singer Chris Lynch’s bansuri flutes and falsetto cries. Innumerable intricacies layered into the background make for an encompassing wall of notes that pulls you into a unusual dance.” Dance along in person when Gardens & Villa play Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight. (Foxygen drummer Shaun Fleming’s Diane Coffee opens.)

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Spend a Sultry Sunday with inc. at Music Hall of Williamsburg

July 12th, 2013

Brothers Andrew and Daniel Aged formed inc. (originally Teen Inc.) three years ago in L.A. Thanks to their blues, funk, gospel, jazz and rock influences, their brand of R&B doesn’t sound like your typical R&B. So when Daniel says, “It’s undeniably the language we speak, but we’re trying to transcend that language,” it makes sense rather than sounding boastful. Two years ago, on the strength of their three-song EP, 3, inc. (above, performing “Black Wings”) recorded with and toured the country alongside the likes of Beck, Cee Lo Green and Raphael Saadiq. Earlier this year they returned with their first full-length, the slow and sultry No World (stream it below), which has won over many, including Deepak Chopra. Find out why when they play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday night.

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Sharon Van Etten and Friends Play Town Hall Tomorrow Night

November 14th, 2012

Like many before her, Sharon Van Etten came to New York City from New Jersey in order to make music. And despite her East Coast upbringing, Van Etten sings of Middle American—universal, even—themes, but she does so in her uniquely powerful voice. The talented singer-songwriter has put out three folkie albums, including this year’s acclaimed Tramp, which Rolling Stone says “plays like a female version of Beck’s Sea Change.” The album was a bit of an all-star affair, with appearances by the National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner and a host of others. And when Van Etten (above, doing “Give Out” for Minnesota Public Radio) plays Town Hall tomorrow night, she’ll be joined by Aaron Dessner and Wasner, plus Thurston Moore, John Moloney, the Antlers’ Peter Silberman and Megafaun’s Brad Cook.

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A Big Band Brings a Big Sound to Mercury Lounge Tomorrow Night

August 10th, 2012

It’s hard to pin down Ava Luna’s notable sound. Or as frontman Carlos Hernandez says, “We have a lot of synthesizers and vocal harmonies. I would call it kind of heavy and strange, but also very poppy.” Imagine well-crafted songs (thanks in part to Hernandez studying Music Composition at Columbia) that employ a heady mix of’60s doo-wop, ’70s R&B and a dash punk and avant-garde all topped off with a trio of women adding three-part harmonies and you’re starting to get the idea. The Brooklyn septet has been eagerly compared to Dirty Projectors, and the influential Seattle public-radio station KCRW has mentioned Midnight Vultures–era Beck. So there’s also that. As their excellent new album, Ice Level, proves, Ava Luna (above, playing “Past the Barbary” for Pink Couch Sessions) makes the kind of music that you can listen to over and over again and get something different each time, which in an era when music all too often sounds the same, is pretty damn cool. See them tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge.