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News: Sharon Van Etten Recruits National, Beirut Guys, Julianna Barwick for LP

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Singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten will follow up her 2010 LP Epic with a full-length titled Tramp, which is scheduled for a February 7 release on Jagjaguwar.

Van Etten recruited a slew of collaborators for the new LP, which was recorded with the National's Aaron Dessner in his studio. Beirut's Zach Condon, Julianna Barwick, Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner, the Walkmen's Matt Barrick, and Doveman's Thomas Bartlett all contribute.

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Audio: North Highlands: October 22, 2011 Cameo Gallery (CMJ) – Flac and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Song

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North Highlands are one of Brooklyn’s most promising new indie-folk bands. Their 2010 Sugar Lips EP gave us a taste of their talent, as Brenda Malvini’s sweet vocals and keys are accompanied by a full band of accomplished musicians. In October, the band released their first full length album. Wild One is the full realization of those talents, as eleven-song album features infectious and expertly crafted melodies. At the Cameo Gallery on Saturday of CMJ week, North Highlands played in the middle of the bill but brought out a fine crowd for their 4 pm set time.
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Interview: Ben Frost, In Bloom

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Did you know that the location of the New York Public Library, the big main branch at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, used to be the site of a reservoir, a massive 19th-century structure with 50-foot-high, 25-foot-thick granite walls and pooled municipal drinking water "full of tadpoles and animalculae"? Or that behind the library, just outside in Bryant Park now, sits an awesome little sculpture of Gertrude Stein? Or that, heard a certain way, the impact of a pencil falling to the floor in the Rose Reading Room—the heart of the library and maybe the greatest enclosed space of any kind in New York—can sound for a fleeting moment like the end of the world?
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Audio: Mr. Dream: October 21, 2011 NYCTaper CMJ Day Party at Cake Shop – FLAC and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Song

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We were thrilled that recent site favorites Mr. Dream were able to headline our CMJ Day Party this year at Cake Shop.  With two Harvard-educated former music journalists in their lineup, Mr. Dream’s SST-and-Pixies-influenced sound reflects the bandmembers’ excellent taste in heavy but melodic music.  Their live approach takes a similar long view of what makes a modern punk show successful.  Their music is unrelenting and ballsy, but it’s also well-played, and it has a sense of humor.
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Interview: Nine Questions For Kim Fowley, MC Of This Weekend's Norton Records Anniversary Spectacular

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While it goes without saying that the main attraction of this weekend's Norton Records 25th Anniversary All-Star Spectacular is the fine garage/punk/R&B sounds that will be blaring from The Bell House, the chance to see the mind-blowing music industry subversive Kim Fowley playing master of ceremonies for the shebang is more than reason enough to go. Legendarily loony, mysteriously evasive, and talented beyond even his own boasting. Fowley began his music odyssey making novelty tunes in the mid-'60s and managed and produced a massive mound of acts (including, most famously, the Runaways); to this day, he continues to cook up ideas and songs from his Los Angeles home.
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News: Heavy D, R.I.P.

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​Mount Vernon-raised rapper Heavy D passed away yesterday. The artist, born Dwight Errington Myers, was found having problems breathing outside his home in Beverly Hills; he was taken to the emergency department of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and died later in the afternoon.
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Video: Glass Candy – "Warm In The Winter"

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Glass Candy's hypnotic disco anthem "Warm In The Winter" gets a video, a cheerful tour doc awash in that Super 8 aesthetic. Alberto Rossini directs. The Warm In The Winter EP is available now on iTunes.
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Interview: Q & A: Scratch Acid's David Yow On Reunions, Nirvana And Book, The Jesus Lizard Coffee Table Book

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David Yow—the beer-swilling, crowd-surfing, lunging, occasionally dick-waving, shirtless, human sweat-mop frontman of post-punk iconoclasts the Jesus Lizard and Scratch Acid—is quite the congenial dude, despite the juicy belches meted out in my ear as he threw back a couple of cold ones while on the phone from Los Angeles.
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Audio: Condo Fucks: November 4, 2011 Mercury Lounge – Flac and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Song

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Condo Fucks exist as an alternative reality where Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew can perform as an authentic 60′s garage band playing a selection of eclectic covers without the need to actually be Yo La Tengo at any point during the evening. On Friday night at Mercury Lounge, the alter-ego of one of the favorite bands of this site delivered a blistering thirty-five minute set that left the packed crowd shaking their heads in awe.
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Streaming: First Listen: Childish Gambino, 'Camp'

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On his first commercial release as a rapper, <em>Community</em> star Donald Glover flaunts versatility and insecurity in equal measure.
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Streaming: First Listen: Los Campesinos!, 'Hello Sadness'

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The U.K. band makes an ornery and quotable ruckus of the kind that could only come  from seven talented brats clamoring to be heard over the din they create  collectively.
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Streaming: First Listen: R.E.M., 'Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982–2011'

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The band says goodbye with a career-spanning retrospective, which features three new songs.
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Audio: Cymbals Eat Guitars: October 27, 2011 Bowery Ballroom – FLAC and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Songs

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Cymbals Eat Guitars were critical darlings out of the gate, praised for the fully-realized vision of their 2009 debut album, Why There Are Mountains.  While they used many 90s acts as touchstones – Pavement in particular – they were always viewed as purveyors of something new.  Indeed, their latest effort and Barsuk Records debut, Lenses Alien, is a challenging followup record that combines frontman and songwriter Joseph D’Agostino’s dense verbiage with a caustic, acid-drenched sound.  In this celebratory homecoming at the Bowery Ballroom, fresh off a national tour, the band showed us again what made them so special in the first place.
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Photos + Preview: Zambri Playing “Glossolalia” Release Show Tonight @ Glasslands + CMJ Pics

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Kanine Records, the local label with a keen eye for talent, will be releasing Glossolalia, the debut EP from Zambri on November 8, 2011. Tonight (Nov 3), Zambri will be playing their official record release show at Glasslands Gallery with Beige, Maribu Stork (Noel from Hooray for Earth) and Autre Ne Veut.
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Video: Gauntlet Hair – "Keep Time"

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Assaultive Denver indie duo Gauntlet Hair mine a haunted vibe in the video for “Keep Time,” a clip that finds them rummaging around industrial Portland, smashing stuff including a particular variety of squash that will make Billy Corgan very proud.
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Review: Live: Battles Get In The Groove At Webster Hall

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The members of Battles took the time to remind the crowd at Webster Hall on Tuesday night that they were from New York, but one look at their live setup could have indicated that; while the stage at Webster Hall is pretty large, the band—multi-instrumentalists Dave Konopka and Ian Williams, and drummer John Stanier—operates on a compact, cramped-studio-apartment scale. The three men are all crowded at the front of the stage, only further underscoring that they're operating as a tightly coiled unit as they thrash about on their instruments, fiddle with electronics, and extend their compositions' lengthy grooves far into the night.
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Review: Live: Bruar Fall's Last Hurrah

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"Goodbye Bruar Falls. We're done. Bruar Falls is over," says the woodchuck in a pink striped tie who just finished fronting a set with Brooklyn's most whimsical chamber pop outfit, Friend Roulette. Someone in the audience shouts out, "Thank you, Bruar Falls!" Other than that, it was pretty much business as usual during the course of the night — the last to take place at the Williamsburg haunt, part jukebox bar, part concert venue — with the obvious exception of the hippy-gypsy dance crew (more on them later) and the woodchuck (beaver, technically, we were told at the beginning of the set) and other Halloween costumes mingling onstage and off.
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Audio: Prussia: October 20, 2011 Cake Shop + October 22, 2011 Cameo Gallery (CMJ Shows) – Flac and MP3 Downloads and Streaming Songs

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Prussia is a self-described “experimental pop” band from Detroit. With two keyboards, often three guitars, and a range of sound effects to supplement the unique vocals of singer Ryan Spencer, Prussia is at the forefront of the burgeoning Michigan underground music scene. Last week, the band traveled to NYC for CMJ and performed seven times. We were fortunate to have them play at both shows we hosted this year — the NYCTaper CMJ show at Cake Shop on Thursday and the Golden Ratio / BirdDog Promo / NYCTaper show at Cameo Gallery on Saturday.
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Interview: Signs of St. Vincent's Success

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Annie Clark is too perfect a rock star, but she will do. She has the china doll features of a pop star. She is put-together and glamorous. For all her effort, she looks effortless. She's delicate and refined. She's beautiful, and you can tell she is used to being looked at and watched, as if she has been famous long before now.
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Audio: Download Jennifer O'Connor's Biting, Colorful "Running Start"

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​Jennifer O'Connor released two confessional, emotionally wrenching records on Matador Records, but when all was said and done the Brooklyn indie-folkie had little to show for it besides exhaustion and an empty bank account. She put music on hold to do odd jobs around the city ("bartender on Broadway, freelance writer, transcriptionist, personal assistant, eBay seller, etc."); the musical, economical and emotional struggles ultimately produced her bustling fourth album I Want What You Want (out November 8 via her own Kiam imprint).
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