palisades

EZTV: FROM BROOKLYN WITH LOVE
February 28, 2016 11:26 pm

If you caught Martin Courtney of Real Estate on his most recent tour, you also had the pleasure of being introduced to Brooklyn band EZTV. The band has gained many new fans in the last couple of months, thanks in part to their performances with Courtney, plus appearances with bands including Milk ’N’ Cookies, Expert Alterations, and Mercury Girls.

ATYPICALSOUNDS caught up with Ezra Tenenbaum (vocals/guitar), Shane O’Connell (bass) and Michael Stasiak (drums) to find out where they’re coming from, and where they’re planning to go.

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You recently toured with Martin Courtney. Was that your first time touring with another artist?

MS: No, it wasn’t our first time. We toured last summer with Jacco Gardner. The road has been great, one of the best things was touring with Nic Hessler.

ET: After collaborating on a 7″ (coming out for RSD 2016), we decided to fly [Nic] out from California for this tour. We play one of his songs “Please Don’t Break Me” and had someone come up to us after a show saying they’d been waiting years to hear that song live. He’s never played on the East Coast, so it’s great we could bring him.

You opened for Milk ‘N’ Cookies at the release party for their box set in January. As fans of Milk ’N’ Cookies, how does something like that compare to headlining your own show? Do you have a preference?

MS: Milk ‘N’ Cookies are special because they don’t play live often. So when they do, they really throw themselves into putting on the best show possible. Headlining has its own rewards. There’s pressure to perform in a different way than when you’re opening.

You released Calling Out, your debut LP, in 2015. Is there anything you learned while recording, or anything you would have done differently if given the chance?

SO: There were definitely some growing pains and learning involved in putting out a first record, but we’re generally really happy with it. Number one lesson—use more optical compressors.

One of things I like about your sound is that it’s hard to tell which decade you’re from. Is that intentional, or is it a result of your collective tastes in music?

MS: Both. Guitar music is always going to be tied to the past. We draw influence from bands in every decade since electric guitar became popular.

What are your favorite venues in New York for seeing live music?

MS: I miss the Williamsburg venues like 285 Kent, Glasslands and Death By Audio that have closed. Palisades is a pretty special spot that has a bit of that feeling to it and it’s nice that Market Hotel has reopened.

Ezra, I know EZTV grew out of a solo project you had been working on. Was it hard at first to include other musicians on something that up until that point had been only yours?

ET: I’ve been playing music with Shane for the last 6 years or so and Michael is a very intuitive drummer. Collaborating always entails a lot of compromise, but I think we have pretty complimentary sensibilities when it comes to songwriting.

Do you usually write together as a group, or is it more of a solitary thing that you then share with the rest of the band?

ET: I’ll usually write a song and make a demo at home with a drum machine and 8-track. Then we’ll take it and arrange it as a band; sometimes the song changes drastically, other times it ends up very similar to the original idea. It depends, but sometimes they get more attached to the original version than I do.

What are your plans for the remainder of 2016? More touring?

MS: Working on our new record! We’re going to be producing it ourselves this time at the studio Shane works at in Greenpoint, and asking some friends to sit in. We’re going to hold off on more touring until we’ve finished.

WASHER TEARS THROUGH BROOKLYN
January 25, 2016 9:34 am

Right before they started their set at Palisades, the emcee of the night introduced Washer as his “favorite two-piece since he saw his mom in a Bob Marley swimsuit.” I laughed really hard at this, so if you still have any respect for my taste in anything, thank you. Either way, once the hard hitting duo of Mike Quigley and Kieran McShane got things going, the celebration for the release of their debut album, Here Comes Washer, was in full gear.

Similar to the feel of their LP, Washer stormed through each song at a breakneck pace while never feeling rushed. Nothing lingers for too long on Here Comes Washer. Each moment lasts as long as it should and they move on. “Safe Place” runs for a minute flat, and it gets so much accomplished in that short amount of time.

Here Comes Washer has plenty of great Lo-Fi gems to it, but the songs that tend to really stick out are ones that show Quigley fully unleashing his voice and showing us what it is able to do. The shrillness of “Porky” is a highlight and his hearty bellow in “Got Drunk And Ate The Sun” sounds even more effective live. My favorite Washer songs tend to be the ones that go into full bellow mode. The way Quigley’s able to elongate each note on “Eyelids” leads to such an enjoyable sing-along hook. Seriously, it’s not every day that a group of Brooklyn concertgoers chant “forever and ever, Amen.”

There were plenty of fun moments like that, especially in between songs. I’m not sure how many people saw this, but there was this bearded guy who would continuously pop his head out from backstage and give Quigley and McShane these intense smolders. Most of the time, they didn’t notice, but there was a good 5 second stare down between Washer and the bearded gent and it was pretty great.

Midway through the set, Quigley assured the crowd that they were a very sloppy band, flubbed on the opening notes to “Human” and then said, “see?” He quickly righted his wrong, though, and they proceeded to jam out to one of the album’s best tracks.

Oh wow, I might be burying the lede super hard right now, but all of this was happening while the second biggest snowfall in New York history was getting under way. I think we all know by now, but winterstorm Jonas was no joke. As soon as I exited, there was a good two inches of snow on the ground that was not there beforehand. The commute from Bed-Stuy to Staten Island wasn’t the easiest, but seeing Washer release their first album in perfect fashion was worth being engulfed by the rabid flakes.

 

LIVE FROM BROOKLYN: HINDS RELEASE PARTY REVIEW + PHOTOS
January 8, 2016 6:08 pm

Hinds took over Palisades this past Wednesday for a raucous release party for their highly anticipated debut album, Leave Me Alone, out today via Mom + Pop Music.

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The event was wildly creative and inclusive, featuring $3 tickets, cheap beer, karaoke, and an all-ages option for the youngsters. Fans (myself included) lined up around the block for the chance to catch the album live before the Madrid-based group hops across the pond for a three month European tour. In typical Hinds form, the band showcased their gratitude by joining their waiting audience in the freezing outdoors. The group ran up and down the line, stopping at various points to take photos, sign autographs, and even perform dance numbers to cheer up the grumps.

Once the frost settled and the band started, the wait was nothing but a thing of the past. High-energy tracks like “Trippy Gum” got the crowd dancing and set the free-spirited tone that flowed through the rest of the show. Strict set-lists and smooth transitions were thrown out the window in favor of a more playful style of performance filled with spontaneous action.

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The girls weaved the old with the new, sounding refreshingly down-to-earth yet professional in every moment. Captivating songs like “Bamboo” and “San Diego” rendered a rowdy young crowd silent (if only for a moment) as the power of music prevailed. Crowd-pleasers like “Between Cans” and “Garden” were made all the more special by guest appearances from friends like Public Access TV’s John Eatherly and 2015 breakout star Shamir.

Repeatedly, guitarists/vocalists Carlotta Cosials and Anna García Perrote, told the audience this was not a concert but a party – like the ones your friends threw back home in their parents’ basements. Garage-punk nostalgia and wallflower empowerment manifested in an epic multi-round game of audience karaoke. Cosials, who used to MC a karaoke bar back in Madrid, encouraged fans to jump on stage and scream their hearts out to the Hinds catalog even if they didn’t know the words.

It was in the final moments of the event that you could really see just how special this band is. The performance was over. One band member was bed-ridden from jet lag and only a small group of fans remained. Yet the band kept working: meeting fans, taking pictures, signing merch, giving hugs, and wearing huge smiles on their faces the whole time. This was no ordinary concert. It was an epic party. Those who attended will be grateful they did when this band hits it big in 2016.

Pick up your copy of Leave Me Alone over at iTunes or stream it over at Spotify.

All photos by Julia Drummond (Tumblr/Instagram)

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Sun Club Explodes at Palisades
August 27, 2015 5:48 pm

The fact that it was a Monday night wasn’t going to stop a crowd from raging for Sun Club after a long day at work. This show was much anticipated since their last show at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar where they shred down the house with Reptar. Sun Club announced their debut album The Dongo Durango and released new music along with the music video for “Tropicoller Lease” the morning of the show, keeping me excited throughout the day.

Even though their van caught on fire earlier in the day, they managed to make it to Palisades and bring their infectious vibes to Brooklyn. Seeing them set up all kinds of gadgets and gizmos including a green iron board as a keyboard stand, I could tell that they were one of a kind. Once they started playing, their energy shot from 0 to 100 instantly- and it was contagious as hell. Girls were mesmerized by their charisma and long, luscious locks that were dramatically flying like the flames that covered their van. You could tell that they put all their energy in their grand opening because Mikey had snapped one of his guitar strings only a few minutes into their set.

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As soon as “Summer Feet” started playing, I was immediately reminded of the Chevvy commercial. Standing right next to the speakers, I didn’t mind the deafening volume of the music. There’s something about this song that makes everyone want to groove and have a good time. Even though the stage was a pretty tight space for all five guys, that didn’t stop them from bouncing off the walls, jumping around everytime they hit a note. “Tropicoller Lease” brought some beachy vibes to the room, perfectly appropriate for this summer weather. I love how bipolar this song is, constantly changing from slow to fast paced giving me highs and lows in such a short time. Their energetic set was like a line of grenades continuously exploding, getting more and more wild. Their tunes are undeniably contagious and leave you feeling good after dancing on your feet for so long.

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IF “ALICE IN WONDERFUL” STARTED A ROCK BAND, THEY WOULD SOUND LIKE THE GINGERLYS
May 28, 2015 6:25 pm

Indie pop stars, Gingerlys, took over The Palisades Monday night. I had the pleasure of sitting down with front-woman Jackie Mendoza and lead guitarist Matt Richards to talk about love, life, and the pursuit of indie rock fame (their drummer Brian was unable to join as he had recently been hit by a car. “Dammit Brian you always do this” Jackie jokes on the phone).

From the moment Gingerlys’ set started off, they sounded bigger and brighter than their means. Upon first impression, the band sounds like they are being held back by the physical confines of the space. Their music has a “big” expanding quality, and very serious dance party potential.

The red/orange lighting as the backdrop at The Palisades show felt perfect. One would imagine listening to a Gingerlys record cruising down an open highway in a convertible with the top down, at sunset. The metaphor is meant to evoke feelings of release and happiness, as if Alice in Wonderland herself tried to create a rock band.

The songwriting process of Gingerlys is largely centered around guitarist, Matt Richards. His style is reminiscent of the early 90s. Matt’s background is very interesting, as the music scene on Long Island where he grew up was what you might call, limited. “I wasn’t allowed to listen to anything growing up. My rabbi microwaved my Van Halen CD in 7th grade to make an example of me. I’ll never forget how a CD looks when it’s microwaved”.

Matt presents the song ideas to the rest of the band in, more or less, their final form, where the other members will add their opinions and tweak it.“When you are writing a song, there is a certain energy only you can connect to. It’s not until you show the song to other people do you find out what’s good and what’s not so good”.

The band’s biggest challenge “is collaborating. We all come from very different places. Jackie loves electronic pop, I love anything rooted in alternative rock, Brian is a jazz musician, Colin loves stuff from New Zealand. It’s hard sitting down to write a nice little pop song, but as hard as it is, there’s a lot of creative energy and great ideas that come out from forcing a collaboration like that” Matt says.

Lead singer Jackie Mendoza says she would listen to ragtime and swing if she had to listen to one genre for the rest of her life. “I love the energy of big band, the dancing and the freedom”.

Jackie is a new edition to Gingerlys, and this influence is apparent in what she brings to the band. Though quite reserved, she has a contagious energy while on stage. She spent the set bouncing around, playing synth and delivering fun, awesome, and memorable vocal melodies.

It is hard to imagine the band without Jackie because her voice fits in so beautifully with the existing soundscape. Gingerlys is a very independent minded group themselves; they released a 7” with ShelfLife in addition to some other exciting plans in the works for this summer.

Photo cred instagram @aalaskaa

Photo cred instagram @aalaskaa

The band says they are taking some time off from their ridiculously busy live performance schedule of nearly 100 shows this year to sit down and work on 10-12 songs for a full-length album. They have two singles with Connor Hanwick of The Drums under their belts and are going back in June to finish. We’re really looking forward to their release and be sure to watch out for it on AtypicalSounds in early fall.

You can listen to their most recent EP here.

Written by Alessandra Licul