Weekend Playlist – March 25, 2011

Start your weekend off with a selection of music by artists featured this week on BestNewBands.com.


“Outside the City” – Young Galaxy

Kelly Knapp caught this stellar act at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn last weekend.

Kelly wrote, “Young Galaxy’s set was pretty entrancing in a danceable way. This was a band with original synth beats, intriguing rhythms with tempos speeding up to bursting breakdowns in the songs. McCandless and Ramsay trade off vocals – his being dreamy and melodic, and hers somewhat low and menacing. They balance each other out with these qualities, and it’s an interesting paradox their music has of somehow being haunting yet comforting at the same time.

“They also manage to throw in some socially aware commentary in their lyrics. In ‘Outside the City,’ off their debut self-titled album, McCandless makes the observation, ‘You know, it looks to me / That I am you and you are me.’ Maybe that really is what the power of the cosmos in a young galaxy sounds like – an aware and communal notion of noticing the details. The crowd had a communal call for an encore, but Ramsay came back to tell us ‘That’s all we have right now. We’ll come back with more next time!’”

Read the rest of Kelly’s review here.


“Wolf Girl” – Evokateur
U.K. correspondent Mike Hughes introduced BestNewBands.com to Evokateur, an electro-synth pop act from London.

Mike wrote, “Whitechapel in the East End of London was the setting for Evokateur’s gig at the Rhythm Factory this past Wednesday, marking the release of debut single ‘Wolf Girl,’ which comes out this week. … The crowd was moderate in number but huge in enthusiasm, particularly when we got to the reason we were here, the single ‘Wolf Girl.’ It soars nicely, especially when it gets to the repeating chorus ‘I want to feel like I’m a freak like…I want to be like her.’ The synths snake and slither in a lovely manner – it’s a strong song.”

Read the rest of Mike’s review here.


“A Dinosaur in Drag” – The Heavy Pets
Kristina Villarini reviewed the Florida band’s set at the Brooklyn Bowl last Friday.

Kristina wrote, “On Friday evening, jam band fans from across the boroughs (and state) found the Brooklyn Bowl in Willamsburg and celebrated music. More specifically, they gave their ears to the evening to a pair of very capable hosts: Florida’s The Heavy Pets and New York’s own Fever Train. The Heavy Pets, who are favorites in the jam band and festival scenes, showcased the remarkable skill and comfort with one another through their performance. Every member had an opportunity to showcase their gifts, with driven solos or with combinations of sounds.

“Fever Train’s brand of funky rock warmed up the crowd, encouraging us to turn the Brooklyn Bowl into a dance free-for-all. About twenty minutes into The Heavy Pets’ high-energy, continuous set, there were no sounds of bowling balls hitting pins anywhere in the entire space. Just keys, harmony and the rubber of soles against the floor in an inspired haze. … After seeing the Pets live for the first time, I can understand why the just six-year old band have received praise unanimously from this site to The Huffington Post.”

Read the rest of Kristina’s review here.


“Fa Fa Fa” – Datarock
Lauren Novik attended SXSW last week and brought back some new artists to obsess over, such as Datarock. Here’s a video interview Lauren conducted with the band:

Check out the rest of Lauren’s post here.


“Leader” – Zion I and The Grouch
Monica Christoffels reviewed the hip hop act’s album Heroes in the Healing of the Nation, which came out Tuesday.

Monica wrote, “The album helps connect old sounds with new musical techniques; many tracks blend hip hop with hints of old-school reggae and new-school dubstep. Social commentary on Heroes ranges from pharmaceuticals and Big Business (‘Plead The Fifth’) to new, young fathers who need to own up to their responsibilities (‘Be A Father,’ featuring a cameo by soul/funk producer Roy Ayers). Z&G even tackle health food issues on ‘I Used To Be A Vegan,’ including genetically modified soybeans, hormone-laden meat and those ambiguous, cancer-causing food dyes.

“In all honesty, there were so many good songs on Heroes In The Healing Of The Nation that it was hard to pick out the ones I liked best. ‘Leader’ has an assertive tone with simple, Middle Eastern-inspired rhythms and rousing rhymes (‘We ain’t marchin’ just to any old beat / … And when we roll deep, let us all bring heat / Fists up, it’s rough, no time to sleep / … Now we painting the words so they gonna reach, teach’). Title track ‘Healing of the Nation’ fuses hip hop backbeats, edgy guitar riffs and techno synths in an anthem for changemakers: ‘Keep lookin’ and learnin’, it’s called progress / She’s burnin’, we keep turnin’ / the page, the cheek, the tide, a new conquest / If you wanna get something done, you’ve got to do it yourself / Get yourself up! Get yourself up!’”

Read the rest of Monica’s review here.


“Go Around” – Nenna Yvonne
Claire Gallagher previewed Nenna Yvonne’s set at The Roxy in L.A. next Tuesday.

Claire wrote, “If you find yourself in need of entertainment on Tuesday, March 29th, be sure to pencil in Nenna Yvonne at The Roxy on Sunset.  This singer-songwriter is no acoustic-guitar-playing, eyelash-batting, photo-with-my-cat-Mr.-Fluffles-taking kind of girl; the 21-year-old Nigerian falls more along the spicy lines of Nicki Minaj or Kelis (Nenna Yvonne went to the same prestigious high school as them: New York’s LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts). Her beats are fresh, her songs danceable. She is comparable to Rihanna, except she doesn’t sound like an animal in heat when she sings (yeah, I went there). So, since Tuesdays are always SO AWESOME anyways, heading out to see this talented up-and-comer will only make the day that much sweeter.”

Read the rest of Claire’s preview here.


“The Fear” – Lovett
Also fresh from SXSW is Laurel Kathleen, who summarized Day 2 of the music festival with praise for this foot-stompin’ act.

Laurel wrote, “If I had to name my favorite performances at South by Southwest, Lovett would definitely be on the short list. I walked quite a ways off the beaten festival path to catch their set at Lovers Ball, and it was absolutely worth it. Somehow they squeezed ten musicians behind Ben Lovett’s enigmatic visage, and the intimate atmosphere was perfect for all of the amazing sounds coming from the makeshift stage. The small room was adorned with splashes of pink and and millions of confetti hearts, and the audience packed themselves in as tightly as possible while still leaving enough room to dance. I’m not sure that I could even categorize their music definitively, other than to say it combined elements of indie rock, Americana, pop, and a healthy dose of experimental.”

Read the rest of Laurel’s post here.


“Everything” – Noughts and Exes
This song comes from one of our artists featured this week on BNBTV, in which Claire Gallagher highlighted Noughts and Exes’ song, “Start of Us.”

Claire wrote, “This week, on BNBTV, we have been graced by a band called Noughts and Exes.  With their video “Start of Us,” this Hong-Kong based multicultural band–with members from Hong Kong, Canada, Australia and Britain–brings a taste of their structurally (and culturally) diverse, folk rock sound.  … it is evident that Noughts and Exes is a bit different: the violin crooning in at the beginning along with an almost Spanish-sounding guitar creates a beautiful harmony…and then…electronic blips? Brushed precussion?  It’s like Sufjan Stevens, Postal Service, and talent got together and had a kid.

“Also, did I mention Noughts and Exes was chosen by Time Magazine as one of ‘Five New Bands to Watch in 2011’?  Yeah, no big deal.”

View the rest of Claire’s BNBTV post here.