Tuesday, April 8

SAUL WILLIAMS @ Irving Plaza - 4/9

Slam poet, actor, musician and all-around Renaissance man Saul Williams will be coming to NYC this week at Irving Plaza. You probably know his music from the undeniably catchy "List of Demands" from the latest prime time SPARQ commercial featuring basically every important Nike-sponsored athlete, but his music cuts much deeper than hocking medicine balls. His latest record The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust was produced by none other than Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor and spans all types of music. Anybody who can get samples cleared form the likes of Bono and Beck must be doing something right. Tackling social issues in many walks of life on this crazy Earth of ours is a task many attempt but some, like Williams do much better than others. Sometimes it takes brass medicine balls to do it. Open your mind and see him this Wednesday in lower Manhattan. Otherwise, rent the movie Slam to see what we're talking about.

Saul's Website | Saul's MySpace

RIYL: The Last Poets, Public Enemy, The Dirtbombs, KRS-One

Here is NIN and Saul performing 'List of Demands'

Wednesday, March 26

THE RAVEONETTES (w/ Black Acid) @ Bowery Ballroom - Wed. 3/26

Danish Boy-Girl group The Raveonettes hit the Bowery this weekend with much critical acclaim following the release of their latest record Lust Lust Lust. Having survived the deluge of early 00's the The bands, the great Danes continue to reinvent themselves while staying true to their original form. Since making the indie dive, they have not strayed much from the leather-clad ballsiness of their major label releases, but their sound has become more sonically savory and complex. If Rebel without a Cause came out today, this would certainly be the soundtrack. See them this Wednesday in the Lower East Side.

The Raveonettes' MySpace | The Raveonette's Website

RIYL: My Bloody Valentine, BRMC, Jesus and Mary Chain, The Black Angels

The Raveonettes playing 'Lust' live:

Wednesday, March 12

JUNIOR BOYS (DJ Set) w/ Matthew Dear & Shy Child @ Hiro Ballroom (Maritime Hotel) - 3/13

With SXSW Festival taking place in Austin this week, the whole music industry is out of town along with many, many, underground bands. This leaves NYC with fairly limited options for live shows (compared to a normal week), but that doesn't mean there's nothing to see. Hamilton, Ontario's Junior Boys are riding the neo-dance electro-pop that so many lesser known bands are trying, but the JB's do it better than most. Their music is both danceable and dark; angular and appealing. It follows in the path of many 80's British synth-pop bands and has been critically acclaimed: their latest effort So This Is Goodbye, garnered a 9.0 by Pitchforkmedia.com. Also be sure to check out the up and coming openers Matthew Dear and Shy Child at the Hiro this weekend.

JB's MySpace | JB's Website

RIYL: Baby Dayliner, Depeche Mode, New Order, Fischerspooner, Tubeway Army

Wednesday, March 5

RA RA RIOT @ Bowery Ballroom - Fri 3/7 and @ Living Room - 3/9

Syracuse, NY's Ra Ra Riot will be playing a couple of shows in the city this weekend, both of which should be very cool. Following the untimely death of John Pike, the original drummer this summer, the band has regrouped and are creating some refreshing and heartfelt music. SPIN magazine claimed they are "one of the best young bands we've heard in a really long time." Big words from a very powerful publication, but it would be hard to argue otherwise. They fit the indie rock bill quite nicely (save for some beautiful cello/violin work), but they have some other intangible quality that most bands do not have. It's a wonder why they are still unsigned. It would be worth your time to check these guys out, the Ballroom Show is sold out, but you can still snag a ticket for the Living Room show.

RIYL: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Cursive, Spinto Band, Yo La Tengo, ZOX

Ra Ra Riot performing "Dying is Fine" live in Chicago:

Thursday, February 28

THURSTON MOORE & ROKY ERICKSON @ Webster Hall - Sat. 3/1

This is a show to catch if you can. Thurston Moore and Roky Erickson separately would be huge shows to go to, but together, these veritable monsters of underground music could be one of the finest shows of the year here in New York. Thurston Moore is the prolific frontman from the legendary noisemakers Sonic Youth and now he is performing on the heels of his latest acoustic release Trees Outside of the Academy. Being that he lives in the city, he plays quite frequently in New York and you can read about his older shows here. Roky Erickson maybe lesser known to most people but he was the frontman of the 60's psychedelic cult band the 13th Floor Elevators. He experimented heavily with drugs and was in and out of psychiatric hospitals for the majority of the 60's through the 90's. However around 2005, he started playing live music again (most notably at Austin's SXSW Festival) and now plays frequently. See what all the fuss is about one night only at Webster Hall on Saturday.

RIYL: Sonic Youth, 13th Floor Elevators

Thurston Moore on Jimmy Kimmel:

And Roky Erickson performing "Cold Night for Alligators":

Thursday, February 21

THE NATIONAL @ Brooklyn Academy of Music - 2/22 - 2/23

The boys from The National are back in town and if you didn't see them during their last tour, you should see them this time around. You can check out NYCUG's early posting on them here. Their heavily melodic music derives directly from the British scene of the late 80's and early 90's and like many other bands who were influenced at the time, the result can be very dark and gloomy at times, but can also be a bit sweet at times. While they do put on an excellent live show, if you expect to be moshing or slamdancing, this is not the show for you. If you're looking for a more cerebral evening, find it in Brooklyn this weekend.

RIYL: Interpol, British Sea Power, Broken Social Scene, Clearlake

Tuesday, February 12

THE BLUE SCHOLARS @ Mercury 2/15

Seattle rap duo bring the neo-Northwest sound to NYC this Friday at the Merc and it is your opportunity to see what the buzz is about. By championing a new high intellectual scene in Seattle with fellow contemporary rap groups, the Blue Scholars manage to produce socially conscious rhymes and groovy beats that can work on several levels for their listening audience. By the close of 2004, the duo had pressed their own debut album to sell at shows and with help of local Seattle media such as progressive radio station KEXP and alternative press Seattle Weekly, The Blue Scholars LP was named the album of the year in Seattle. Come out this weekend to see the self proclaimed "true-school" hip hoppers in action.

RIYL: Jurassic 5, Hilltop Hoods, Gangstarr, Common

This is the Scholars opening for Kanye West in Seattle:

Friday, February 1

I'm back Mother F*ckers

Tings did gone real sour over 'er. Mi let business turn mi passion ina work, messin roun' wit people who dou' really know how much-a-clock-a-strike...But nuttin de bout like a hard tune to bring a man back. BUCK BUCK BUCK BUCK!!!!!

This sh*t remind me of Bedstuy. Early 90's. New Years and Forth of July. When i was a likkle yute. When yardies dida run Brooklyn. Poppin off dem mack 10 ina the air ina celebration. Liting up one massive ganja spliff. Big up all mi yard massive!

Monday, January 28

VAMPIRE WEEKEND @ Bowery Ballroom - 1/29 - 1/30

The kids from Brooklyn are having a short homecoming this week when they swing through lower Manhattan. Although the shows are sold out, there are usually scalpers kicking around the Bowery and of course you can always try Craigslist at the last minute. There has been a good amount of press behind Vampire Weekend for their debut release on XL Recordings and with good cause. It's hard to tell how the public will eventually judge this band, their music is unconventional and yet it is very listenable at the same time. The boys take their music to an interesting level by adding various world instruments and styles such as African drums/percussion and Caribbean sounds. Think about Paul Simon's Graceland if it came out today and was packed full of indie pop goodness.

RIYL: Gogol Bordello, Beirut, The Walkmen