Wednesday, February 28

BRIGHT EYES @ Bowery Ballroom – 3/2/07, 3/3/07

Conor Oberst et al. will be in New York’s Bowery Ballroom for two dates this weekend behind their upcoming Saddle Creek release Cassadaga. Seemingly every review for any Bright Eyes album or show brings up two points: how young Oberst is (he’s fucking 6!) and how he is such a gifted songwriter. And while most of his work up until this point has been basically folk music coupled with Oberst’s signature vocal warble, his newer compositions take a decidedly more country turn, opening up a whole new spectrum for the Bright Eyes faithful. Don’t worry though; his style has not changed enough as to alienate his audience. His bleak and cathartic outlook on life is still intact, so if you hate governments and relationships, you will still be right at home.

RIYL: Cursive, early Wilco, Rilo Kiley, Commander Venus

Tuesday, February 27

Just Announced: CSS @ Irving Plaza 6.01

Dude - Oh shit, I forgot to cop a ticket and the CSS show is Sold Out.

Other Dude - No dick, that was last time, they just announced their US dates.

Chick - Ah La La, ah la la

CSS have extended their UK/Euro trek to include North America. They play New York April 1st.

Peep the video then look out for tickets.

Monday, February 26

DALEK @ Mercury Lounge – 2/27/07

Combining elements of shoegaze, trip-hop, ambient noise, and poignant rap lyrics, Newark’s Dalek are forerunners in the newest wave of underground rap, challenging their listeners both verbally and musically. While many critics claim that contemporary rap has reached a lull, DJ Oktopus creates sprawling ambience not typically associated with rap or hip-hop; the type of music that hearkens back to early Sonic Youth, Radiohead, or later Brian Eno. To top this off, MC Dalek, flows with an intense tone that would not be out of place for the likes of Mobb Deep or Talib Kweli. They have already won plenty of critical acclaim and it shouldn’t be long before the rest of the music world takes notice. Look for the newest release, Abandoned Language, on Mike Patton’s label, Ipecac later this month.

RIYL: TV on the Radio, Glenn Branca, Gang Starr, Tricky, Blackstar

Monday, February 12

Dirty On Purpose & Saxon Shore @ Mercury Lounge 2/15

This St. Valentine's week seems to be the week of sold-out shows: tickets for Sonic Youth, Explosions in the Sky, and five Arcade Fire shows are all unavailable. Luckily, however, there are some other events going on. This Thursday, for example, Dirty On Purpose, Saxon Shore, and Lymbyc System are playing at Mercury Lounge.

Dirty On Purpose is a Brooklyn-based indie outfit, drawing influence from a range of all-star underground rockers, including Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth, Guided By Voices, Pixies, etc. This band borrows a good deal from these, their forefathers, yet their music remains very much their own.

Saxon Shore are perhaps the most underrated band in what I'll call the 2nd wave of post-rock (Explosions in the Sky, et al.). RIYL: beautiful soaring instrumental guitar rock music.

Tickets are only 10 bucks.

Wednesday, February 7

CALEXICO @ Lincoln Center – Thursday 2/8/07

Blending conventional rock music and Southwestern genres from across the board, Tucson’s own Calexico are pushing the boundaries of mainstream indie and fans are taking notice. Typically, when a band ambitiously tries to blend rock, jazz, meringue, country, and Latin-beat, the result usually winds up being a disastrous amalgam lacking the cohesiveness to draw in casual listeners. This is not the case with Calexico. Masterminds Joey Burns and John Convertino use their classical training and experimental skills to compose harmonies and performances elegant enough to captivate both the most technically well-versed listener as well as the average music fan looking for a change of pace. Also worth checking out are Calexico’s several full length releases, especially Feast of Wire and The Black Light.

RIYL: Friends of Dean Martinez, Oakley Hall, Howe Gelb, Bonnie “Prince” Billy

Tuesday, February 6

2007 Plug Awards @ Irving Plaza 2/10

Indie-rock-loving comedian David Cross is hosting this year's Plug Music Awards, featuring an all-star lineup of performers. Sugar-pop-no-wave-freakoutists Deerhoof and ex-Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus (and his backing band, the Jicks) are the highlights. Silversun Pickups, El-P, and Tokyo Police Club are playing too.

The evening promises to be much hipper than your average award show, and for just ten bucks! It's also not too late to vote, do so here.