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i’ve always wanted to be in a family band

Edward Sharpe

A lot of people know how I feel about family bands – I’ve always wanted to be in one.  So I’m a little sad I didn’t get to see Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros last week.  It could have been a very inspirational and enlightening experience for me.  Anyway, a bunch of people I know did make it to the two-night NYC run at Bowery Ballroom and the Music Hall of Williamsburg, including our friend Jaime Widder.

First of all, Jaime works for Bloomberg (finance) but Bloomberg (news) caught wind of how many concerts this kid goes to every week and asked him to start writing for them.  You can check out his latest piece here.  Also, Jaime puts together a weekly e-mail recapping all the shows he saw the week prior and highlights all the shows to see over the next week, including a calendar of the best shows in the coming months.  If you’d like to be added to the e-mail, drop Jaime a line at

Well after ranting and raving about this show, here’s what Mr. Widder had to say about Edward Sharpe:

“Now, I know some of you might find this band’s hippy loving style a little too much, but not me. Standing about 5 – 6 people back dead center – something I rarely do – the 11 piece band from LA had the Bowery singing along and dancing for every single moment of this energetic performance. If you ever want to see a band that can have every single person in attendance with a smile from cheek to cheek look no further than these guys. Their debut album is excellent but it the live show where this band truly shines. If you do not have songs like “Home”, “Janglin” or “Carries On” on your iPod yet, get ‘em.”

Local Natives and Fool’s Gold opened at these two shows last week.  Here are tunes from all three bands…

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home

Local Natives – Sun Hands

Fool’s Gold – Surprise Hotel

gold pandas like to dance

Gold Panda

I’ve been pretty excited to post this song, as we’ve been jamming out to it all week.

London-based producer Gold Panda is well-known for his remixes including songs by Bloc Party, Little Boots, Lemonade and Telepathe (our favorite so far).  Currently, you can get your hands on his two EPs and a few singles while you wait for the full-length, due out soon.  Meanwhile, listen to the Telepathe remix below, and if you hop on Hype Machine, check out the song Greek Style here.  I can’t find an mp3 of it anywhere to post on forthebeat, but you can stream it there.

Telepathe – Chrome’s On It (Gold Panda Remix)

Get excited — we’ll be featuring this remix on a forthebeat mixtape for Swagger Paris.   As you already know, SL does a monthly mixtape on Et Musique Pour Tous called Le Miel du Mois that you can download here.  And we’ll let you know all about the Swagger mixtape when it’s up!  Stay tuned…

Oh, one more thing – Hot Chip / The xx tickets go on sale today at Noon – the show is at Terminal 5, which is not my fave, but I’ll suck it up.  Get you tix here.

Happy Friday – it’s beautiful in NYC.  Have a great weekend!

my jeans, Them Jeans

them jeans2

Them Jeans is Los Angeles-based DJ Jason Stewart.  I first became acquainted with his mastery when I fell in love with two of his remixes: Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Soft Shock” and The xx “Shelter,” both of which are below for your listening tantalization. Other mash-ups that should be added to your playlist are Them Jeans remixes of Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Ratatat and Snoop Dogg (this one gets a gold star).

Them Jeans is playing a few California-based shows, including one tonight at Key Club in Hollywood with one of KC’s faves Ghostland Observatory.  He’s also playing on Saturday, November 28th in Chicago at a party being thrown by our friends dubFrequency and, most likely their friends, DIM MAK at Empty Bottle.

For the next 6 months straight, Them Jeans will be playing First Fridays at the Natural History Museum in LA. First Fridays are well-known here in NYC (I have shockingly never made it myself), where the museum floor is turned into a dance floor for one night only, the first Friday of every month. Awesome.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Soft Shock (Them Jeans Acoustic Remix)

The xx – Shelter (Them Jeans Drum Edit)

Friendly Fires at SPiN

Friendly Fires 2

Last night, we headed to the Fred Perry 100th Anniversary Party at SpiN New York, where Friendly Fires performed.

First off, SPiN is pretty awesome.  I don’t remember the last time I hung out at a private, swanky and trendy ping pong club.  That’s right – never.  Guests including Susan Sarandon and Judah Friedlander (who dominated the ping pong tables while wearing his “World Champion” hat) sipped Belvedere and some kind of tequila cocktails and checked out the 100th Anniversary Collection from Fred Perry.

When Friendly Fires hit the stage, the crowd gathered around for a super intimate, high-energy set.  Lead-singer Ed Macfarlane broke out his signature moves, causing the crowd to hit the dance floor and Macfarlane’s band mates to laugh at his on-stage antics of feverishly shaking his head and tail.

If you haven’t caught a live show by these guys, check out their tour schedule now.  If you’re in New York City, they’re playing Webster Hall with The xx in December; however, the show is sold out – but you’re resourceful!  If you’re on the West Coast, The xx and Holly Miranda (of the Jealous Girlfriends) are supporting Friendly Fires on tour.  Here are some tunes from all three…

Friendly Fires – Jump In The Pool

The xx – Crystalized

Holly Miranda – Waves

On Tour: Fanfarlo & Freelance Whales


Freelance Whales

In about a month, two bands I’m pretty excited to see – Fanfarlo and Freelance Whales – will be playing together at Webster Hall on December 18th.  Currently on a North American tour, with Fanfarlo headlining, the two will be ending their run together at this NYC show, so get your tickets here.

Fanfarlo, a London-based, 5-piece act, released a few singles before debuting the full-length Reservoir in February 2009.  Queens-based Freelance Whales (later Brooklyn) has been known to play the streets and subway stations of New York, leading up to the release of debut EP Weathervanes.

Orchestral and sensitive, playing a vast array of instruments between the two – including banjo, trumpet, violin, mandolin, sax, clarinet and accordion, among many other traditional and obscure – both bands have drawn comparisons to the likes of Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens and Beirut.  While the buzz is still building, hopefully, as they release more material and tour, the “band-to-watch” status will turn into “band-to-follow” for each.

Fanfarlo – Harold T. Wilkins

Freelance Whales – Generator^2nd Floor

two bands you should see tonight



We’ve started working with two amazing bands, Paul and the Patients and Hooray for Earth.  PATP are working on a new EP, which should be ready for the masses in the coming weeks.  Meanwhile, you can check out their May 2009 release To the Lions, available on iTunes.  Hooray for Earth is working on a full-length, also coming out in the next few weeks.  We’ve heard a bunch of the new tracks, and we’re excited to share them soon, but you can hop on Insound now to find their self-titled 2008 reissue.

If you are in New York City tonight, you are very lucky because both bands are playing.  Hooray for Earth will be rocking Santos Party House at 6:30 PM and Paul and the Patients are playing The Studio @ Webster Hall at 11 PM.  Here are two little teasers for you:

Paul and the Patients – Tiny Red Light

Hooray for Earth – Take Care

Four Tet: ambitious and abstract

Four Tet

British electronic master Four Tet is set to release a new LP on January 25thThere Is Love in You is the first full-length since 2005, although Kieran Hebden has been busy releasing EPs, remixing and collaborating with other artists and working on projects under his own name.

Hebden exploded onto the scene in 1998 with the 36 minute, 25 second single “Thirtysixtwentyfive.”  From there, he’s toured with Radiohead and remixed tracks for an eclectic group of artists including Bloc Party, The Notwist, Andrew Bird, Kings of Convenience, Matthew Dear and Radiohead, among many others.

Four Tet is ambitious and abstract, a collage of beats and melodies incorporating everything from techno to hip hop to folk.

For your listening pleasure — “Love Cry,” the 9 minute dance track and first single off soon-to-be released There is Love in You is here; and one of my favorites, “As Serious As Your Life” from 2003’s Rounds below…

Four Tet – As Serious As Your Life



“Folk/Indie/Other” is what Beirut is categorized as on MySpace. This description fits, particularly the “other” category. The sound of Beirut is hard to put into words. Incorporating mostly brass instruments, Beirut is sensitively energetic in a progressive, melodic way that is emotional and beautiful.  The music evokes feelings of different cultures and experiences, directly related to Condon’s eclectic and worldly adventures.

I recently saw Beirut live, for the first time, at Treasure Island Music Festival in October, which was noted by Condon to be the band’s last show of 2009. “Elephant Gun,” “The Akara” and closer-song “My Night with the Prostitute from Marseille” were among the best of the set. Beirut was the main reason I went out to the festival, and I left feeling I had witnessed something truly special.

One of the latest EPs Holland, a release from RealPeople, Condon’s electronic side-project (perhaps the reason I like it so much), is a bit more fast-paced, while maintaining the slow brilliance of Beirut’s noted tone. Holland is complemented by the March of the Zapotec EP, on which The Jimenez Band, a 19-piece band from Teotitlán del Valle, backs Condon.  The two EPs were released together, the latter as a Beirut project.  Both are amazing, and if you don’t have them already, listen to:

  1. Beirut-My Night with the Prostitute from Marseille -
    RealPeople Holland
  2. “My Wife, Lost in the Wild” – RealPeople Holland
  3. Beirut-Venice – RealPeople Holland
  4. “The Akara” – March of the Zapotec
  5. “La Llorona” – March of the Zapotec
  6. “The Shrew”  – March of the Zapotec (noted as Zach Condon’s favorite)

Glasser: the music was all made very quietly


Glasser is (sometimes) one-woman act Cameron Mesirow, who recently played the CMJ Stereogum party backed by Brooklyn duo Tanlines. I didn’t catch the show, but from what I’ve read, her on-stage presence has received mixed reviews.

In an April interview with the L.A. Record for the release of her 2009 EP Apply, Mesirow discussed recording all the tracks on her Mac.

LA Record: “How are you transposing this stuff from GarageBand to human beings?”

CM: “It’s pretty simple. You just go track-by-track and musician-by-musician. The parts are so simple—there just happens to be 30,000 of them per song. It’s a really simple set-up. 30,000 people. We might need an extra generator. No, I think that it’s ironic that the music was all made very quietly in headphones but I think it translates better to a giant place.”

Personally, I find the songs to be pretty solid, and I’d like to think that Glasser’s sublime and primitive tone would be well-complemented by her on-stage aesthetic, usually adorned in masks and capes, making for a powerful performance.  I’ll have to catch her live, though, to see if these songs hold up.  Meanwhile, here are two of my favorites, title track “Apply” and the Delorean Remix of “Glad”:

Glasser – Apply

Glasser – Glad (Delorean Remix)

Surf City – Dickshakers Union

Surf City

“Surf” seems to be one of those words du jour for band monikers.  With acts like Surfer Blood and Surf City, we’re sure they’ll be more following suit soon.

Anyway, Surf City caught my attention 1.) because I like their summery, low-fi pop sound and 2.) because the song “Dickshakers Union” has an incredibly ridiculous name.

Hailing from New Zealand, Surf City reminds me of a mix between The Strokes and Crystal Stilts (“crystal” – also awesomely overused).  The quartet went by “Kill Surf City,” until they realized a UK band had already declared the Jesus and Mary Chain reference as their own.  Surf City dropped the “kill” in time for the release of their 2008 self-titled EP.  A full-length is expected early next year.  In the mean time check out my favorite track “Dickshakers Union” and the latest single “Autumn”:

Surf City – Dickshakers Union

Surf City – Autumn

Next, we’ll probably tackle bands whose names feature the words “girls” or “gold.”

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