Tag Archives: Ric Ocasek


Nada Surf Celebrate Acclaimed Album’s Anniversary at Brooklyn Steel

March 6th, 2018

Matthew Caws (vocals and guitar) and Daniel Lorca (bass) met in school in New York City and formed Nada Surf in the early ’90s. Drummer Ira Elliott joined in 1995, and the trio’s first LP, the Ric Ocasek–produced High/Low (stream it below), arrived the following year, with lead single “Popular” quickly becoming a big hit. (They became a four-piece in 2012 with the addition of former Guided by Voices guitarist Doug Gillard: “The veteran player adds so much more punch and beauty to Nada Surf,” per Paste.) But it was thanks to their third full-length, Let Go (stream it below)—which came out in the U.S. in 2003—that the band (above, performing “Happy Kid”) broke into the mainstream. “Virtually every song on Let Go hits its mark in one way or another, dispensing consistently remarkable moments that range from the sweet minor-key swoon of ‘Blizzard of ’77’ and ‘Neither Heaven Nor Space’ to the sleek, bouncy new wave of ‘Hi-Speed Soul,’raved the A.V. Club. “Examining relationships, fruit-fly swarms and Cheap Trick lyrics with equally keen understanding, all while dispensing a disarming array of subtly endearing hooks, Nada Surf complete the evolution into a smart pop marvel before most listeners knew it had begun.” The band is traveling the world in celebration of the acclaimed album’s 15th anniversary, and the North American leg of the tour brings them to Brooklyn Steel on Thursday night.


On Saturday Night Broncho Were the Best Band in the World

May 18th, 2015

Broncho – Rough Trade NYC – May 16, 2015

For just less than an hour on Saturday night at Rough Trade NYC, Broncho, the Norman, Okla., four-piece, were the Best Band in the World. It is one of those titles that hold the subjective and superlative ephemera that made Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in the World so satisfying. It was destined to be a passing one but the feeling was unmistakable as two fans climbed onstage near the end of the set during “I Don’t Really Want to Be Social,” the more committed of the two grabbing the microphone and screaming, “Broncho is the shit.” Unscientifically, shit said in this fashion was more like shiiiiiiiit. And as much as judgments like these can be, she was right, and the growing mosh pit proved it.

Broncho opened with a run of songs largely from their excellent 2014 record, Just Hip Enough to Be Your Woman. Sounding a bit like a lost Cars album, lead singer Ryan Lindsey mumbled his way through a good Ric Ocasek impression, riding downstroke guitars on “Kurt,” “It’s On” and “What.” The band then played the middle section of Just Hip Enough in order, running through “Deena,” “Stay Loose,” “NC-17,” “I’m Gonna Find Out Where He’s At” and “Stop Tricking” in succession. The crowd crested, creating a mid-’90s mosh pit in the middle of the floor, suggesting a hint of entropy conspicuously absent from so many New York City rock shows. The band appeared to play harder in response, Lindsey’s sweaty, stretched gray T-shirt occasionally slipping off his left shoulder.

Broncho closed with their most marketable song, “Class Historian,” one of those should-be-a-hit jams still waiting for its moment of mainstream recognition. The energetic audience told the tale, too. There was no better band than this one on Saturday night, the special union of a crowd and the performers recognizing a brief, discrete and passing moment. The girl who’d earlier screamed Broncho’s ascendancy from the stage, ended the night high-fiving anyone in sight, the inevitable afterglow of a moment in a band’s career had, lost and had again. —Geoff Nelson | @32Feet


Chromeo Bring Their Dance Party to Central Park

September 15th, 2014

Chromeo – Rumsey Playfield – September 12, 2014


(Photo: Timothy Saccenti)

As summer winds down there are only a few remaining outdoor shows around the city, and, fortunately, Chromeo’s appearance at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park on Friday night was one of them. The dance-pop duo’s set not only kick-started the weekend for a few thousand fans, but it also helped close out a season. The band proved again that Chromeo as a whole are more than the sum of their parts. Look too closely and you’ll see David Macklovitch tapping at a keyboard and easing his way through guitar solos, or Patrick Gemayel occasionally crashing a cymbal or cowbell with a drumstick. But focus less on the details and let loose a little and suddenly you see Dave 1 and P-Thugg orchestrating one hell of a dance party.

All those little things, like handclaps timed to strobe lights, escalated the atmosphere surrounding the hook-filled jams Chromeo so adeptly make. The set was filled with a range of their songs, from the pounding dance beats of “Sexy Socialite” to “Momma’s Boy,” a sweet blend of electronic sound straight out of ELO mixed with guitar that would make the CarsRic Ocasek proud. And regardless of whether they’d seen Chromeo prior to Friday, everyone at Rumsey Playfield ended up hearing something they could enjoy, which always makes for a fun night. —Sean O’Kane