Tag Archives: Cerebral Ballzy

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It Might Get Loud When OFF! Play The Bowery Ballroom Tomorrow

May 16th, 2014

The L.A. hardcore quartet OFF! is a supergroup of sorts, with each member doing work in other bands—vocalist Keith Morris in Black Flag and Circle Jerks, guitarist Dimitri Coats in Burning Brides, bassist Steven McDonald in Redd Kross and drummer Mario Rubalcaba in Rocket from the Crypt and Hot Snakes. They all joined together in 2009 and began playing live the following year. OFF! (above, their video for “Red White and Black”) recently released their second full-length album, the loud and fast Wasted Years (stream it below). And although their spring tour is winding now, you can see them play The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night. Cerebral Ballzy and NASA Space Universe open the show.

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Years Later, Death Finally Arrives

October 19th, 2011

Death – Music Hall of Williamsburg – October 18, 2011


Death was a three-piece hard-rock band from Detroit in 1975, a time when Motown ruled the airwaves and the sound in their neighborhood. After seeing Alice Cooper, the Hackney brothers realized they weren’t going to be another local R&B band. In addition to being a precursor to punk with their hard and fast guitar lines, their name was more than a little challenging, working against any chance they might have had at commercial success. After one single released on their own label—“Politicians in My Eyes” backed with “Keep on Knocking”—the band might have ended their Hendrix meets the MC5 pioneering sound in obscurity.

But great music doesn’t get off that easy, and Bobby Jr. , the lead vocalist’s son, thought he’d heard his dad’s voice on a 7″ at a party years later and their secret was out. Bobby Sr. dug out their unreleased studio recordings from storage and Drag City finally released …For the Whole World to See. Last night at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Death played almost the entire album to a new generation of fans who cleared the center of the floor in an arms flailing show of support. The brothers, who now live in Vermont, constantly thanked the fans, genuinely appreciative of the support of their sister city.

“We always heard New York was talking about what was going on in Detroit, and all we talked about was what was going on in New York.” Openers Cerebral Ballzy on this bill now seemed obvious, a logical descendant of Death, playing exactly the kind of subversive punk they want to play against expectations. It’s the stories behind forward-looking music that keeps those kids in their bedrooms and garages recording, even if it takes 30 years to finally acknowledge an album recorded by three brothers after school as groundbreaking. —Jason Dean

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CMJ Music Marathon Starts Today

October 18th, 2011


It’s that time of year again: 20-minute sets; in midtown one minute, the Lower East Side the next; scarfing down food with minutes to spare before the next show. From Mercury Lounge to The Bowery Ballroom and beyond, the CMJ Music Marathon is upon us. Here’re which bands we’re specifically looking forward to seeing play live. New York City quintet Caveman transfers any pop sensibilities into a dreamy landscape of lush indie harmonies through love, nostalgia and other sentiments. In support of their debut, CoCo Beware, Caveman will play 10 shows during CMJ, including the Bowery Presents showcase on 10/22 at Pianos. —Tina Benitez

The CMJ Music Marathon, now in its 31st year, is back to make five days in October seem impossible to navigate. Expect packed lineups at each venue because every band you ever wanted to see is in town. The supergroup Wild Flag, featuring Mary Timony, from Helium, and Carrie Brownstein, of Sleater Kinney among others, kicks off things tonight at The Bowery Ballroom. And at the same time Afro-punk Presents Death to Hip-Hop, featuring technical death-metal pioneers Death and Brooklyn’s own skate-pizza punk, Cerebral Ballzy, whose name really says it all. Wednesday’s pick has to be the ever-controversial indie rap group Odd Future at Terminal 5. Then on Thursday try to get into the sold-out lineup at Mercury Lounge, with garage-rock Xray Eyeballs and Florida’s Jacuzzi Boys, followed by Memoryhouse’s atmospheric shoegaze and finally, J. Mascis. You will show up at 6:30 and stay the entire night. Friday has more fuzzed-out pop with Dum Dum Girls and Crocodiles at The Bowery Ballroom, and if you sleep over, on Saturday, Gang Gang Dance’s experimental electronic beats just might give you a chance to recover. And then sleep on Sunday for 24 hours before work. That’s your CMJ. —Jason Dean

Last year I spent the majority of CMJ camped out at Terminal 5 for My Morning Jacket. But this year I plan to get around. Not everyone has an abundance of free time, so if you can only hit one show, my money’s on the High Road Touring showcase at The Bowery Ballroom on 10/20. And despite it being a stellar lineup from top to bottom, for me the No. 1 band to check out during the whole festival is Alabama Shakes (above, playing “I Found You” for Live from the Shoals). The quartet, out of small-town Athens, Ala., has a four-song EP and an incredible bluesy-soul sound. You won’t want to miss Brittany Howard’s voice. Sure, she’s a postal worker by day, but she’s a bona fide rock star by night. Don’t miss this. You’ll be able to tell your friends you saw this band at the very beginning. —R. Zizmor