National Site

Noteworthy NYC Artists from Best of NYC Submissions: Beyondo

With an impressive list of recording credits, including indie rock legends TV on the Radio, Regina Spektor, and Pete Yorn, Eric Biondo still has time to front his own modern big-band, wittily named “Beyondo”. Biondo adds trumpet and a falsetto akin to fellow Brooklynite Justin Rice (Bishop Allen), to reggae-inspired down-tempo tracks. Following the pattern of many of his songs, “Gambler” is calypso jazz, structured around quick African drumming, a full acoustic back-up band, maracas, and funky organ chords. In traditional jazz style, his songs are built off improvisation, and have energetic, spontaneous, and definitely danceable attributes. - Katherine Bennett


Noteworthy NYC Artists from Best of NYC Submissions: Telltale

Telltale play with the same macabre overtones as goth-wave god Robert Smith (their lead singer even looking a little like him, with wiry black hair and sunken eyes, entirely black ensemble) use as much feedback as noise-pop pioneers The Jesus and Mary Chain, and drown in distortion along with My Bloody Valentine, quavering vocals secondary to the calculated chaos of the guitar. Atonal walls of sound employ reverberation to create shimmering ripples of guitar echo, layering noise upon noise until the sound becomes a tangible presence, shaking your skin and quickening your heartbeat. - Katherine Bennett


Noteworthy NYC Artists from Best of NYC Submissions: Amber Rubarth

After quitting a woodwork apprenticeship in Nevada three years ago, Amber Rubarth picked up the guitar for the first time and started writing songs, and gaining a steady fanbase, ever since. Her soulful, thick, unique alto reflects the blues influence of idol Tom Waits, and her songs tell stories in traditional folk fashion; in “Washing Day,” winner of the 2010 New Song Mountain Stage Contest, she sings of lost love, “too much whiskey, too much smoke/ Last night’s tears hang on my coat.” She will be recording a new release with Grammy Award-winning producer Jaquire King (Tom Waits, Kings of Leon, Norah Jones). Check out the top 2 top songs on the Myspace list.


Man Man Open for Gogol Bordello at E Factory Dec. 29

While I tend to shy away from the larger shows these days and prefer to hide out at home or in the local smaller music venues, I can’t help but be drawn to the warehouse space of the Electric Factory tonight for Gogol Bordello. Eugene Hutz will be in town with his caravan of musical misfits spreading the gospel of their old world meets new world order Gypsy punk which should be reason enough to pull me out of this winter hermit-ish state that I’ve been in (hard not to be with all this goddamn cold and snow!). But admittedly, I’ll really be there for our local madmen clad in white Man Man. It’s been a while since we’ve had a chance to catch a live performance from Philly’s favorite sons. They’ve taken a little hiatus from touring this past year working on their upcoming new album in Omaha. And leading purveyor of chaos Honus Honus a.k.a. Ryan Kattner has certainly been staying busy recently with his new side project and indie supergroup Mister Heavenly, which also features Nick Diamond (Islands and Unicorns) and Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse). Mister Heavenly announced that they signed to Sub Pop at the end of last month even before playing a single show (that I know of), but it’s not surprising with each members’ indie music pedigree. And when they finally made their first appearance opening for Passion Pit on the Left Coast, the band had in tow actor and Diamond’s buddy, Michael Cera, on bass, which created quite a furious media storm on the internet. Also judging by the live footage of Mister Heavenly’s new material, the tunes are pretty badasssss with Kattner and Diamond trading off on vocals accompanied by their self-proclaimed “Doom Wop” arrangements. I’d suggest all to catch Man Man when you can because you never know what Kattner’s busy calendar will hold for their live performance schedule in the future. But luckily with a new Man Man album in the works for Anti- Records, there should be at least a tour to follow. Toms River, New Jersey’s (and I wish that they were Philly’s) River City Extension will also be opening the evening which is definitely an added bonus. I had a chance to catch them last year at The Fire, and could instantly tell that their folk-ish sound fuel-injected with plenty of horns had a bright future. Glad to see River City Extension getting their opportunity on the big stage in front of what should be a lively audience. Already wishing right now that the local support acts will have longer sets. Electric Factory, 421 N. 7th St., 8pm, $37.40, All Ages (Photo by Shawn Brackbill) - Q.D. Tran

mewithoutYou Performing Two Intimate SOLD OUT Shows at The Barbary and JB’s Dec. 29 & 30

mewithoutYou are gearing up for two very intimate and special holiday shows as a treat for the hometown brethren who have been supporting them since their inception nearly a decade ago. Tonight they perform at The Barbary for an all ages show before playing a 21+ extravaganza at JB’s on Thursday. While core members of the band have generally stayed the same, the sound has evolved drastically since the start. The band has, and continues to be capable of creating scathing musical arrangements with biting lyrics, but with their third album Brother, Sister released back in 2006, they began to explore their musical horizons creating a softer, more pensive side to compliment their aggressive post-hardcore beginnings. Throughout the band has been carried by Aaron Weiss’ hyperactive spoken-word delivery of his natural and naturalistic poems. With the release of 2009’s It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All a Dream! It's Alright, Weiss almost exclusively displays his charmingly imperfect singing that radically shifted the sound of mewithoutYou. Over the 10 years of their existence, the band has evolved from bare bones ferocious rock group to orchestrated folk ensemble. These holiday shows should be a great time to see mewithoutYou’s versatility and experience the polarity of their ever-changing sound. Time will tell what their next release will sound like, but until then, come out to one or both of these very intimate shows. Hopefully you already have your tickets already because both events are completely SOLD OUT. The Barbary, 951 Frankford Ave., 6:30pm, Sold Out, All Ages; Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, Sold Out, 21+ - Adam G.