The Phenomenal Handclap Band at Joe's Pub

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NPR Music hosted a splendid showcase last night at Joe’s Pub featuring Lee Fields, Fight the Big Bull, and The Phenomenal Handclap Band.
We caught Richmond, VA’s Fight the Big Bull first. Their performance was wrought with experimental jazz fusion, but fortunately it was the mirthful kind. The all-instrumental performance incorporated a seven piece brass section, double percussion, as well as plenty of laughs and facial hair.
The evening’s biggest draw was The Phenomenal Handclap Band, who have been designated by many critics as the premiere dance-rock collective of 2009. Their stylized electro-funk/rock is reminiscent of ’70s psych and soul, but also smacks of the same kind of exotic indie flair that makes imports like CSS and New Young Pony Club so irresistible. The group’s repertoire is a bit limited at the moment, and the audience heard most of their just-released self titled debut LP – including fan favorites “15 to 20″ and “You’ll Disappear.” While we couldn’t quite detach ourselves from the sexy tambourine-wielding girls in the group (wonder if they ever fight about who has the chicest outfits?) the evening was an intimate and enjoyable affair.
And best of all? You can stream the concerts here if you missed out. More photos after the jump…

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Mayer Hawthorne at Santos Party House

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Image c/o PSFK
Last night, I was able to head down to Santos Party House to check out the latest gem from Stones Throw Records LA-based Mayer Hawthorne. Easily, Hawthorne’s music echoes the Motown era soul of his birthplace–a fact that he doesn’t deny. However, unlike many acts whose retro revival feels like wearing your influences on your sleeve, Hawthorne is charismatic enough to pull it off–with a tight backing band to boot. His stage presence is still a little stogy between songs, but those moments were few and far between as he churned out one potential hit after the next.
Mayer Hawthorne has yet to drop his full-length album, so I am sure it will be awhile before New York sees him again, but when he does, it’s not one to miss.

What Sank the Shank?

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Blame it all on the youth.

‚”I could handle 250 of what were mostly my friends, but the crowd kept getting younger and rowdier,” O’Brien said. ‚”There were discussions of how to keep making money without letting in undesirable people.” According to him, however, ‚”a steady flow of mismanagement” ensured this never came to fruition. There were also issues of delegation. ‚”Nobody could ever agree who was really in charge,” explained O’Brien.

Jamie Peck chronicles The Shank’s rise and fall at the New York Press.

Wild Light Fan Video Contest

I’ve been missing California a bit lately (i.e. here, and here), but all it took was a little Northeast quartet called Wild Light to remind me how I really feel.

Currently on tour with Stellastarr* (although mostly in California!?), the guys are giving you a chance to show them how you feel via a fan uploaded music vido contest. Details after the jump…

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Boyfriend Criteria (You're All Doomed)

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A lovely young thing compiled this list of her notable boyfriend criteria. Among the desired characteristics: smart, funny, likes comics, art and good shoes.
Among the negatives: annoying, tight pants, bad tattoos, “think you’re soooo smart,” bad hair, and bad music.
In other words, the majority of our neighborhood males are undesirable boyfriends! It’s time to start looking elsewhere, ladies.
[via buzzfeed]

Ticket Giveaway: Tickets to Animation Block Party

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Rooftop is screening a night of animated films for the Animation Block Party this Friday at 8pm on the lawn of Automotive High School (next to McCarren).

Venue: On the lawn of Automotive High School
Address: 50 Bedford Ave. @ North 13th St. (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Directions: L to Bedford Ave. or G to Nassau Ave.
Rain: In the event of rain the show will be held indoors at the same location
8:00PM: Doors open
8:30PM: Live music by Teengirl Fantasy, presented by Sound Fix Records
9:00PM: Film
10:30PM: Filmmaker Q & A
11:30PM-1:00AM: After-party: Open Bar at Matchless (557 Manhattan Ave. @ Driggs) Courtesy of Radeberger Pilsner
Tickets: $9 at the door or online
Presented in partnership with: 5 Gum ® , Cinereach, New York magazine, City Council Member David Yassky & Automotive High School

You can get tickets here, or just head over and comment on this facebook status for a chance at winning two tickets to the screening!

Video: Deer Tick

Deer Tick‘s in town on the heels of the release of their fantastically gruffy sophomore album, Born On Flag Day, playing at the Ballroom this Friday ($13/15). Time-straddling musicians like front man John McCauley III only come around so often. Clear your schedule and grab a ticket. Here’s a great little video session shot recently in Houston, TX:


Via Laundro Matinee, which also has full mp3 downloads of the session.

Ticket Giveaway: Foreign Born @ Bell House

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Foreign Born, with vocals often compared to young Bono’s range, cranked out a collection of sleepy sunshine melodies shimmering with California summer fun on their newest LP, Person To Person, released late last month. “Winter Games”, the first single of the band’s sophmore full-length, with it’s clap along pop sound and cloudy distortion, is perfect for a drive along the coast. Those of us stuck riding the subway here in the city that never sleeps, don’t worry– this album doubles as a drunken sunset soundtrack. These are hot weather anthems just the way we like ‘em, with visions of busted fire hydrants and beach-geared babes on bicycles.
Well, if you’re in the mood to daydream, we’ve got a pair of tickets to see these LA swoonsters with The Veils on August 3rd @ Bell House… Excited!? Well, all you’ve gotta do is follow us on Twitter and RT this post.
And just because we love you, you can check out the psych-pop video for “Winter Games” after the jump!

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