For those of you who are thinking that with summer coming to a close, things are starting to slow down, you’re clearly not paying enough attention. Why don’t you step out of your delusional, boring fantasy and get ready, because October is going to be one CRAZY month of music. Let’s start with CBGB Music & Film Festival. This year from October 8-12, dozens and dozens of great music acts will be hitting stages across the city, with hopes of keeping the original CBGB dreams alive. In case you suck really hard and don’t know anything about anything, CBGB was an amazing music club that opened in the 70s and became a staple of the punk rock and new wave genre that was exploding onto the music scene at that time.
Like I do for all my festival previews, I want to let you guys know who I think the MUST see artists are in this years lineup. Please excuse the fact that the festival has yet to still list more acts to be announced. Please also note that if I left your favorite band off this list that you shouldn’t take it too personally, I’m just a stingy jerk when it comes to picking who I want to see when there’s a shit ton of bands playing only over a few days Trust me, I know there are some REALLY good bands I’ve got on my schedule that I’m not listing at the moment, so I highly recommend you see as many artists during the festival as you can. That being said, CHECK IT
Shark Week (Fat Baby, Oct. 10)– These garage band rockers bring some modern surf-rock vibes to our ears. Coming to New York from our nations capital, they bring those warm Fender guitar tones and catchy chorus lines in songs like ‘Baby Maybe’ that make them really easy to enjoy listening to. Their sound is like a sexy combo between Allah-Las and Holiday Shores, and I’ve been told they’re compared a lot to The Brian Jonestown Massacre, which is always a great comparison. I really love the vintage style of playing in the chord progressions and drum fills, yet they’ve got that balanced mix between modern and throwback to get that great alternative surf-rock sound. Some people think of mellow when they hear the term surf rock. Don’t worry, Shark Week knows when to turn things up a notch and pull out the fuzz pedal when they need to, as evident in songs like ‘There Comes A Time’. If they’re not on your summer backyard party playlist then you’re an idiot.
Jeremy and the Harlequins (Pianos, Oct. 10) – I love the attitude that comes with these guys. They’re a five-piece rock band that pieces a classic Buddy Holly & Elvis style rock with modern guitar tones and lyrics that probably would’ve had moms shitting themselves back in the 50s and 60s. They’re formula is simple, but not every band could pull off revisiting that early rock and roll sound with such a cool and confident charisma.
The Soft White Sixties (Knitting Factory, Oct. 9) – Great fuzz tones, sexy cool guitar riffs. This rock band from San Fran brings all the love packed in a musical punch built around Octavio Genera’s raspy vocals and Aaron Eisenberg’s octave fuzz guitar sounds. Their reputation precedes them as having a great live show that they’ll be bringing to NYC. Mix jangly anthem choruses and modern rock grooves. Expect these guys to bring the noise when they tear apart one of my favorite venues in Brooklyn.
Boy Toy (The Cake Shop, Oct. 11) – Local trio Boy Toy sound like a more punk-like, dirtier Joan Jett side project. They’ll be playing Rough Trade and the Knitting Factory later on this week if you want to get a preview, but their rockin 2014 debut EP should be sufficient. Mixing 90s alt-alt rock distortion with modern pop-rock in songs like ‘Runner’ and ‘TV Dreams’, I really like how this group gets straight to the point with each song. There’s no wasted tape on their album, as only one song on the seven-song EP passes the 3:25 minute mark. Expect their show to have the same fast-paced, energetic feel to it!
Lily & Parlour Tricks (Knitting Factory, Oct. 8) – Okay if you’ve read my writings over the years then you’ve heard me gush over these guys and gals from here in NYC. And rightfully so, as the vintage girl group mixed with modern indie rock musicianship is a really fresh and hot sound that’s kicking ass across New Yorks music venues. While their sound initially seemed more Americana, they’ve since spent some time juicing in the weight room and have rejuvenated some of their originals with more drum beat and synth styles to help take their one of a kind sound to the next level. They always pack the local venues so make sure you get their early for a chance to get lucky and possibly snag a wink from Lily herself.
Wise Girl (Fat Baby, Oct. 11) – Lead by Abby Weitz on guitar and vocals, I really like the 90s throwback with this group. They channel that pop-rock sound that The Offspring, Veruca Salt, or Hole, with some modern spices like Rilo Kiley. There’s an abundance of really catchy pop-melodies over power chords that would fit perfectly on the American Pie or She’s All That soundtracks. Comparisons aside, their songwriting is just catchy enough to keep you pulled in to Abby’s great story telling songwriting and the bands energy.
Matt Sucich (Lit, Lounge, Oct. 11) – Matt is a great modern singer songwriter that mixes beautiful melodies on top off-color yet brilliant instrumentation. He doesn’t follow typical pop-style songwriting, rather goes off the beaten path and tells his stories over unique chord progressions and key changes. His range goes from soft and slow to a playful Paul Simon style in songs like ‘The Lonely Dreamer’ and ‘House of Cards’. Think of a one-man version of The Head & The Heart.
Article by: Tom Shackleford