Tag Archives: Pet Shop Boys

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Fischerspooner Debut New Music on Friday Night at Brooklyn Steel

October 26th, 2017

Classically trained musician Warren Fischer teamed up with video artist turned experimental-theater performer Casey Spooner to form the New Wave/electronic-pop duo Fischerspooner, emerging from the downtown New York City art scene nearly two decades agos. Ultimately the band would grow into an over-the-top performance troupe—including countless dancers and guest vocalists—and become known for their own take on electroclash and dramatic, glam live performances. According to Interview magazine, they “revolutionized electronic music, amplifying it to arena-blasting levels while also managing to keep it personal, passionate and dark.” Their debut full-length, the aptly titled #1 (stream it below), arrived in 2002, led by the smash single “Emerge” (above, live). “Fischerspooner prove themselves to be as talented working studio boards as they are at staging those Ziggy Stardust–style freakouts,” said AllMusic. “Remarkably varied, lush and fascinating from start to finish, #1 is a great album.”

Their follow-up, Odyssey (stream it below), more synth-pop than electroclash, came out in 2005. “Odyssey helps move Fischerspooner into the territory of their progenitors—the musically pop realm dominated by Erasure and Pet Shop Boys,” according to PopMatters. Fischerspooner’s third LP, Entertainment (stream it below), written over a two-year period, dropped in 2009. Afterward, Fischer and Spooner each went his own way … for a while. Fischerspooner are now back in a big way, with several multimedia projects and their fourth studio effort, the Michael Stipe–produced Sirwhich according to Interview, is “so catchy and dance-inducing it takes a second to realize that some of its lyrics tell private stories”—due early next year. Kick off Halloween early when Fischerspooner debut the new songs from their forthcoming album at Brooklyn Steel tomorrow night. Hometown duo the Carry Nation open the show.

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The Radio Dept. Make It Seem Effortless at The Bowery Ballroom

March 9th, 2017

The Radio Dept. – The Bowery Ballroom – March 8, 2017

The Radio Dept. – The Bowery Ballroom – March 8, 2017
The Radio Dept. speak the wispy language of dream pop, straddling the spaces between badass and poignant, in the middle of My Bloody Valentine jacked up on something and Stereolab with highlights of ’80s-synth sentimentality à la Pet Shop Boys. There’s no question the band’s influences are long and distinguished, it’s just that because of the inflection and swerve, you only hear them. Last night the benevolent Swedes graced The Bowery Ballroom with a methodically expert set. Select songs from their catalog of rock electronica dating back to 2001 were played as an almost continuous DJ set come to life. Their return to New York City promised a devoted turnout, and the room was filled with fans spanning from old faithful to newly enchanted.

“Sloboda Narodu,” the glorious tribal synth anthem from last year’s Running out of Love, opened the proceedings, immediately putting the crowd in the palm of the band’s hands, which were steady as a surgeon’s. A self-assuredness propelled the performance, with members handling their contribution to each song like a tactician whose measures are second nature. This amounted to a natural flow, with attendees instinctually following along. More than anything, the Radio Dept. just wanted to jam—that much was evident. They’ve never been afraid to embellish in flowing blankets of up-tempo, electronically contoured instrumentation. This holds true onstage, and as they leaned into every groove, the Radio Dept. made it seem effortless.

Sometimes frontman Johan Duncanson sounded like Euro contemporary Markus Acher of the Notwist. The messages of political awareness were there yet felt like they were absorbed subliminally, in hushed expression that blended into the nebulous formations of sound. You’re reminded of the import of content amidst the spell they cast when Duncanson momentarily mentioned, “This next one is called ‘Death to Fascism.’” The Radio Dept. quite simply have a knack for pushing out immaculate, steady and uninterrupted rhythms whether on record or onstage. And last night’s winding journey through more than 15 years of vibrant, animated music was a gratifying retrospective. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Pet Shop Boys – Terminal 5 – April 26, 2014

April 28th, 2014

Pet Shop Boys - Terminal 5 - April 26, 2014

Photos courtesy of Joe Papeo | www.irocktheshot.com

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Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Pet Shop Boys on 4/26

April 22nd, 2014

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English electronic-pop duo Pet Shop Boys are currently traveling the world in support of their previous two releases, Electric and Elysium. And the American leg of their tour just so happens to conclude on Saturday night at Terminal 5. The show is sold out, but The House List is giving away two tickets. Want to be part of the fun for absolutely free? Then try to Grow a Pair of tickets from us. It’s easy. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Pet Shop Boys, 4/26) and a brief message explaining why you deserve to win. Eddie Bruiser, who’s feeling judgmental, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.

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Stars Shine Bright at Webster Hall

September 24th, 2012

Stars – Webster Hall – September 22, 2012


For more than 10 years, Canadian indie-pop band Stars have been making sweet music on their own terms. From their early beginnings, the band’s members would rotate in and out of Broken Social Scene. For their 2007 release, In Our Bedroom After the War, Stars released the final cut online before the official release to deter any album leaks. Their next album, The Five Ghosts, was released on their own label. On Saturday night among a sold-out Webster Hall crowd, Stars shined ever so brightly with their latest release, The North, in their back pockets.

With the Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls” introducing the quintet to the stage, the electric keys opening “The Theory of Relativity” evoked the excesses of the ’80s. Amy Millan, dressed in a sparkling sheath, danced and sang to “Fixed,” from their previous album, The Five Ghosts, and then dedicated “Ageless Beauty” to a fan who was seeing Stars for the 22nd time. The crowd erupted for “We Don’t Want Your Body” and upped the ante for old favorite “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead,” as the audience sang along while one fan showered the stage with flowers.

Returning to the new album, the boy-girl vocal exchanges between Torquil Campbell and Milan really shone on “Do You Want to Die Together.” And Milan shimmied and shuffled to “Backlines.” Her saccharine vocals cooed a mellow, whispery delivery on the opening of “Lights Changing Colour.” The remainder of the evening was a stream of back-catalog favorites including “Dead Hearts,” “Elevator Love Letter,” “Midnight Coward” and “Take Me to the Riot” for all the Stars stalwarts. Campbell was the first to return to the stage for an encore of “The 400,” while Milan casually perched herself against the drums, singing backing vocals. Fittingly the opening lines, “You know that I’ll see you again / It’s just an hour or two by airplane” were the perfect ending for fans awaiting their next show. Earlier in the night Campbell spoke openly about how the fans were what made the concert and as long as they kept coming Stars would continue making music. Heck, they were already gearing up for a late show at Mercury Lounge. —Sharlene Chiu