Robbers on High Street @ The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY- March 6, 2010

Like fine wine, indie band Robbers on High Street have aged perfectly. The band played a special one night only show at The Bell House in Brooklyn this past weekend to a crowded venue all on the edge of their seats to hear the new songs. Talking to our friend, and Robbers singer/guitarist Ben Trokan at the bar before the show, the band’s third record has just been finished and it’s ready to be released. This means not only were old favorites played, but so was a ton of new songs.

While the group pulled out some of their most notable tunes like “Fatalist,” and “Crown Victoria,” the audience was even more excited to hear the new tracks that the band have cooked up. It has been, after all a mere two and a half years since we last got a record from these boys. The new songs show the band in an even more mature light, and it suits them well. It’s almost as they’ve finally found the perfect mix within the band. Amongst the highlights of the night, as well as newcomers, were “Electric Eye,” “Face In the Fire,” and one of the band’s favorite newly penned songs they’ve been playing since last summer, “Watch it Disappear.” I would have no doubt that it would be the first single from the new record. Keyboardist Dave Sherman’s piano is haunting, as Trokan’s voice stands out more than it ever has.

The audience didn’t stop all night. Cheering the band on. You couldn’t help but smile for the support of one of the greatest bands to ever come out of Brooklyn. The band ended the night with a cover, that I cannot recall the name of (Forgive me I was having so much fun!), and brought a fan up onstage to play the cowbell. He rocked out accordingly, but once he got off the beat, guitarist Steven Mercado took the bell, laughed and showed him how it was done. If all bands could put on a show like Robbers on High Street, hell, they’re would be a ton of great shows out there.

Robbers on High Street are set to release their third, yet untitled album, some time this year.

Bishop Allen @ The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY- November 21, 2009

bishop allen 494 by you.

Making the trip to The Bell House in Park Slope, Brooklyn is always an adventure. Certainly an unlikely place for a venue amongst the family neighborhood and car washing stations, nestled on a loney street corner stands the venue. One of the nicest places you can attend a rock show was home to Bishop Allen’s last show of the year on Saturday night.

Opening the show were two great acts. The first being New York’s own Darwin Deez. Not really knowing what to expect besides the name being mentioned recently, the band came on doing a ’silly’ (and I mean that in a polite way) dance that brought back memories of seeing The Moldy Peaches on stage back in the day. From the moment they played  the first note of “Constellations” everyone in the room dropped their jaws in amazement. Between the incredible songs came more fun dancing that also featured members of Bishop Allen and Throw Me the Statue in the mix. With pop hooks that will knock you dead and an explosive energy, this is one band to watch out for. Up next was Throw Me the Statue who had a hard act to follow but managed to pull it off. Playing familar tunes like “Lolita,” the band made a nice addition to the lineup.

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Around 10:30 Bishop Allen started to set up. No matter how popular they get, you still see singer/guitarist Justin Rice and guitarist Christian Rudder onstage warming up and tuning their own guitars. The band hit the stage at 11 and opened with the classic tune “Rain,” which immediatly had the band excited and dancing. The level of energy Rice and Co. brings to the stage is phenomenal and somehow, they never miss a note. The list of songs was a nice blend of new and old as they are nearly pass the stage of promoting Grrr (Dead Oceans) full on. The pages turned from the EP project tunes like “Winter Coat,” to Broken String tracks such as “The Monitor,” and ”Click Click Click.” Though when the band broke out the new tunes they came in full force.  Stellar performances of “Dimmer” and “Cue the Elephants” in particular were the highlights of the night and had fans singing at the top of their lungs. Darbie Nowatka (aka the new Mrs. Rice) came from behind the keys and woodblocks to sing a few songs on her own but oddly enough not their newest single for “True or False” in which she showcases her vocals full on. Throughout the night Rice provided the crowd with witty banter which had everyone laughing; “I love New York graffiti. I saw one wall that had on it “Don’t be shy” and “You go girl,” and it reminded me why I love New York so much. It’s very uplifting.” The band closed the set with “Middle Management” which was a perfect way to go out with a bang. It’s good to have you back in New York Bishop Allen. We missed you.


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Secondhand Sunday: Sloan “The Lines You Amend”

This week’s edition of Secondhand Sunday is dedicated to ye olde Sloannnnnn. The band will be in the New York area TWICE this week with a show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ tomorrow night (Monday) and a stop at Brooklyn’s Bell House, Friday night. We’re a little bit more than excited over here for a couple of reasons. First of all….Sloan at Christmas time? That’s a pretty sweet gift. Secondly we will be interviewing the band on Friday and well, to interview one of your favorite bands of all time is just beyond imaginable.  Enjoy one of my favorite Sloan videos for “The Lines You Amend.” Actually one time I told Jay Ferguson if he ever stops playing that song live, I’m not sure I can come to any more shows-it’s essential. His reply? “No don’t do that!!”

Alright time for some Sloooooannnnnnnn!

Robbers on High Street @ Modern Mystery’s Playtime!

Robbers on High Street by you.

Ah, CMJ week. We kind of miss it and the great bands we had the pleasure to work with. One of our favorites of the week was Robbers on High Street. Not only did they put on my personal favorite show at CMJ, but somehow we roped Ben Trokan and Dave Sherman into performing for us in an alley/bus washing station in Park Slope, Brooklyn that night. Robbers played two new songs for us including “Watch Me Disappear” which will sure to be placed on the next record. Everytime I watch this video I’m amazed by the fact that Dave did not pass out from blowing into that keyboard.  Enjoy watching one of the greatest indie bands of the past 10 years getting creative on the street.

“Watch Me Disappear”

Another New Robbers on High Street Song!

Secondhand Sunday: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin “Pangea”

I’m in a very Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin mood over here today. The boys are starting to line up some tour dates for early December, including a show at Brooklyn’s Bell House on December 7th. What a lovely holiday treat this will be! In other news, Polyvinyl Records recently posted that we should be on the lookout for a compiliation of the band’s unreleased, b-sides and alternate version songs due out sometime soon. This edition of Secondhand Sunday is the video for “Pangea” which reminds me so much of autumn and falling leaves and everything being so beautiful. There is nothing more comforting on a cold fall day than some SSLYBY. Enjoy!

Sloan Announce U.S. Tour Dates!!!

Just when we thought we’d have to go the year without Sloan passing through town, we all got a nice little surprise this afternoon that the band is embarking on a late fall tour of the U.S.! The shows are not promoting any new full length record of course, but it will be showcasing their new EP, Take it Upon Yourself , in which you can currently download the single of the same name on Sloan’s site for FREE. We’re glad to see that Chris Murphy is feeling better from his hit and run accident! The tour also makes a stop at Brooklyn’s Bell House on December 4th (What no Bowery?). Tickets went on sale at Ticketweb today at noon so be sure to grab yourself a pair! Below are the most current Sloan tour dates with more to follow. It’s always good to see some Slllllllllllllllloaaaaannnnnnn!

ps. It’s also Jay Ferguson’s Birthday today!!

Sloan Tour Dates

Nov 28 – Detroit, MI
Nov 29 – Columbus, OH
Nov 30 – Hoboken, NJ
Dec 01 – Vienna, VA
Dec 03 – Cambridge, MA
Dec 04 – Brooklyn, NY
Dec 05 – Philadelphia, PA