Friday, May 25

THE NATIONAL @ Bowery Ballroom- 5/28 - 6/1

Touring in support of their latest release, The Boxer, The National hit Bowery Ballroom for a run of shows this week (May 28- June 1). While they’re all technically sold out, keep an eye out for last-minute ticket releases from the box office-- as always, these guys are bound to put on a great show. Had the chance to see them open up for Arcade Fire a few weeks ago, and while I can’t say they stole the show (I mean, it was Arcade Fire), they definitely held their own to say the least and played a great set for those of us who arrived before the suits rolled in -- playing a lot of their new material but also peppering in some cuts from earlier albums The Alligator, etc.

If you haven’t seen or heard of the National yet, give these guys a listen. I hear them compared to U2 from time to time, which really isn’t a fair comparison because really the only things about The National that are actually similar to U2 can be probably summed up in two words: “epic” and, well “reverb.” Even so, one of my favorite rainy day bands, and another New York band done good. Check ‘em out. website | myspace

Thursday, May 24

BRIGHT EYES w/ Gillian Welch @ Town Hall – 5/25 – 6/1

Oberst and friends will be in town for a stunning week long run starting this Friday. What is more interesting, though, are his “very special guests” that will be joining him onstage throughout the week. We’re not going to spoil it for you, but some of the biggest names in rock, country, college and underground music will be up there with Conor. Even a casual fan of theirs will get a kick out of this marathon, but undoubtedly there are the hardcore fans that will buy tickets to every single show to see what the surprises are each night. We would tell you, but that would ruin all the fun.

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

Thursday, May 17

Gang Gang Dance @ Monkeytown 5/18

Our friends in NYC's own Gang Gang Dance are releasing Retina Riddim (their very first DVD) next Tuesday. In celebration, they're having a screening and afterparty Friday evening at Williamsburg's (recently mentioned in the NY Times) Monkeytown.

According to Monkeytown's website, the extravaganza is broken down into two parts:
7:30pm, Supper Seating; $5, $10 Minimum (limited capacity: 36)
10pm, Screening, DJ set, Live Music; $5 (open capacity: 180)

RIYL: Black Dice, Boredoms, Excepter, Animal Collective

A clip from Retina Riddim:

Wednesday, May 9

POP LEVI w/ Mando Diao and the Films @ Bowery Ballroom – 5/14

English born and bred Pop Levi is one artist to watch in the upcoming months. Borrowing heavily from Marc Bolan / T. Rex style glam rock and dipping into drug-addled folk to boot, Levi makes a sound that is somehow both unique and familiar. The final result is a set that schizophrenically whiplashes between both wildly energetic and intensely soulful. How a musician of this caliber wallowed in the quagmire of British music for so long with little or no exposure is a mystery, but be glad he finally broke out of his shell. He will be in town this upcoming week, though technically, he is opening for the not-so-interesting Mando Diao, but you don’t really have to stick around for that.

RIYL: T. Rex, Roxy Music, Devendra Banhart, Beck, Spacemen 3