Biscuits, Triscuits…

Deli’s Best of NYC 2010 issue!
April 30, 2010, 5:35 pm
Filed under: Deli Magazine Articles

These articles were published in the most recent Deli Magazine, which was the Best of NYC 2010 issue:


Check it out!
April 26, 2010, 5:50 pm
Filed under: music and musings

Suede Jury- “A Shame”

The extremely talented Suede Jury, a Brooklyn-based lyrical hip hop artist, puts together music and sounds with which to carry his flows in a moving manner. His words are something inspirational and distinct; delivered in a smooth, important way with intelligence and compassion. Displaying social awareness and consciousness in a hip, musical style, Suede Jury is someone to keep an eye out for and listen to. Good attitude, good beats, great words.

He also tuned me into this sweet cover of Beyonce’s “Crazy in love”

Antony and the Johnsons- “Crazy in Love” cover

I got tired for a while of Antony and the Johnson’s dramatic, almost operatic style of music, but I have always saved a place for them in my heart and come back to it every now and again. Beyonce’s “Crazy in love” is unavoidable. Even without TV and radio, it’s impossible not to know this song and it gets real old, despite the catchiness. This cover is an amazing reinvention of the song, with gorgeous string and wind instrumentations and hauntingly intense vocals, it feels brand new. The video is a flurry of lights and flashes of images and helps intensify the feelings being evoked  in the new twist on this song. It’s a little eerie, but gorgeous and breathtaking to listen to. The instruments, plucking, quick, tremolo style strings, and even some saxophone, sway and airbrush their way through the song, as an underlying breath holding up the vocals. It is pretty remarkable and worth listen or three.

The Art Museums- Rough Frame
April 25, 2010, 12:04 pm
Filed under: music and musings

The Art Museums

Rough Frame EP


It moves so quickly, the Art Museums’ debut EP as it floods the speakers so emphatically, bursting with one to three minute indie-pop ballads, that it is over in nearly a heartbeat. This San Francisco duo brings back fuzzy, happy pop tunes paying a bit of tribute to The Beatles, and Belle and Sebastian but also adding casio keys, electro drum beats and echoed vocals.

The lyrics evoke imagery of artsy kids falling in love and men being led astray by young modern girls. “Sculpture Gardens” sways with ho-hum “la la la’s” and bright guitar chords as the drums clap and bleat and this two man duo sings in harmony, “in the sculpture garden, I would spend the day with you, we could talk of films [and so on]…” While cliche and a bit absurd, they follow through with this pattern in the entire album and it’s almost endearing that they keep it up.

Singing of Paris Cafes and love lost, the slightly awkward, off group singing and bass-y drumming give the Art Museums a real kitschy, sunny sound that is hard not to enjoy. The contrast in low percussion to clanging high hats throws back to a more natural style of drumming, less high end cymbal nonsense just to make it rock. Their tunes are gritty, yet very catchy and modern despite many older, more lo-fi elements to their sound.

Again, in “Paris Cafe” they sing, “In the paris cafe, you can sit and reflect on these things, on vanity, whatever lonliness brings…” Terrible, but wonderful, as their vocals sing both high and low, lulling and sweet. Every song bobs along with quirky affects and melodic vocals to the point that it takes multiple listens to really pay that much attention to the trite lyrics. And once it gets there, its just funny and kindof great. The melodies of every song will get stuck in the listeners’ heads to the point that every Art Museums song will meld together in their memories and just play through as one awesome pop hit.

Yellow Fever- Yellow Fever
April 23, 2010, 7:42 pm
Filed under: music and musings

This is overdue, and I’m sorry. I don’t know why it took so long to write about it. I think upon first listen, the atmosphere and the collective feeling created by Yellow Fever was really exciting and new because it feels old, but it feels like old music morphed into something new. After listening to the album it was almost so comfortable to listen to that it was hard to review it because it was like it’s already known. I already know it, so how could I explore it and explain it.

Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever

Wild World

This Austin band’s first full-length was released in February of this year via Wild World, the Vivian Girls label. The lo-fi, angular bass lines and clinky drums accompanied by glazy, mesmerizing vocals, may seem simplistic but are surprisingly complex as well as catchy. The bass drones and blares as the vocals, which are singing pretty silly lyrics, rise and fall perfectly with the drum beats. In the tune “Psychedelic,” the song feels as it describes, a bit psychedelic with quick strumming bass and harmonizing guitar. The vocals sing, “Why won’t you recognize how psychedelic I am and love me?” The energy given off by the song is absolutely perfect.

Featuring guitar  or keyboards on some songs, Yellow Fever maintains the quality of quirky, bass-y, basement rock.”Alice,” is this winding song with guitar and drums and these hollow female vocals that feel all encompassing and really honest. With harmonies and trudging drums, the song works its way through like one would wander through the forest. Just as the song feels familiar enough to get the drift with instrumental breaks and drums stick clicks, it breaks into light crooning vocals that complete the song perfectly, almost like the chorus in a musical.

Beginning with a twist-y bass line, “Cutest” starts like a song a girl may sing while drinking milkshakes with pals (were life a musical). They sing “The cutest boy I ever saw was sipping cider through a straw.” While the lyrics seem trite, they are pretty on par with the personalities of people who may listen to this music and fit well with the impressively surf-y bass and minimal drumbeats.

Each Yellow Fever song feels like it adds something extra, something to make it sound not just like a good song, and not just like aspects of songs one has heard before. They seem to go out of their way to give more than just what’s necessary to put out a good album. Whether it’s breakdowns or quick speedups of the chorus, they  really make the effort in the most effortless sounding way possible.

The female vocals and harmonies should be so unimpressive in their simplicity, but they are hypnotizing for exactly that reason. With really unique guitar licks and melodic bass riffs, Yellow Fever already give their all. Their self-titled album seems like a showcase of everything they have to offer as a band, and each song melts really easily into the next, maintaining the same feel but definitely differing in style and instrumentation. I’m ready for more.

Cloud Nothings – Turning On
April 8, 2010, 3:42 am
Filed under: music and musings

Cloud Nothings

Turning On

Speaker Tree

There are definitely those young wonders who manage to do something amazing before they turn twenty. I know I’m not one of them, but Dylan Baldi is eighteen years old and somehow managed to create an extremely original album without sounding like a jaded eighteen-year-old. It makes me feel like I’m wasting my life. Luckily, I can feel like I’m wasting my life but also be extremely cheered up by Cloud Nothings‘ jumpy drumbeats and curiously lo-fi but dance-y instrumentals. It’s a great compromise.

With catchy guitar riffs, that move from blues-y to completely organic and jangly, and Baldi’s sensitive but “not a pussy” vocals Turning On is an innovative and stylized record that somehow gives hope that good music is still here and it’s not just old. Baldi’s vocals transform from easy and gentle to a little bit drawling at times, comparing a bit to that of Hamilton Leithauser’s of the Walkmen. The bass-lines walk on tightropes, creating puddles in the light-hearted guitar that bounce unevenly against the lyrics. The album opens with “Can’t Stay Awake,” a quick, spastic jam with blazing electric guitar solos and jumpy vocals. It flows by so crisply that it feels like only minutes have passed til one must start the whole record over, craving the blurry, guitar that winds and swells through Baldi’s washed out vocals.

“Hey cool kid” is a bleating three minute song that could go on repeat forever. The lyrics dance cyclically, sounding like a drug-induced daze as the chorus enters with a chillingly danceable guitar riff. Perfect morning music, these songs have no expiration date and feel almost timeless in their sensibility and creativity. “Water Turns back” is a more low-key tune with vocals that swim and echo as they help add to the growing melody. With completely complementary instrumentals that build and fade slenderly within each song, this album is nearly impossible to stop listening to. Do it. I dare you. While your at it, feel a little worse about not doing something awesome when you were eighteen. And then put this record back on.

-Lauren piper

The Drums- Summertime!
April 7, 2010, 5:52 pm
Filed under: music and musings

The Drums
Holiday Records

Typically, music like The Drums makes me want to gag and I’ll dance sarcastically to it and maybe secretly enjoy a little of it, but for some reason, Summertime! really strikes a chord with me. There’s a throwback to barbershop quartets of the fifties in songs like “Down by the water,” which could be construed as the bands slowjam when compared to the indie dance, brit pop stylings of the rest of their tunes. But despite the poppiness and catchiness, and perhaps insincerity of emotions, I feel a need to write that the Drums aren’t half bad, and that a lot of people would probably really enjoy this music.

“Let’s go Surfing” is an upbeat, catchy tune with surf-y bass lines and a pretty self-explanatory lyrical premise, but the whistles and the soft, gentle singing feels like a summer hit to just sit around the beach bobbing ones head to. “Make you mine” melds this oldies boy group with a very crisp, modern feel through bass-y drums and clean recordings. The high pitched vocals echo the lead singer’s melodic verses.

This lazy dance-rock is really something that’s slightly more twee than I would normally go for, but I have a soft spot for The Drums, at least some of their songs, despite their cheese-y and absurd lyrics, I just wanna go surfing and go get a perm.

Juviley- Juviley
April 4, 2010, 7:32 pm
Filed under: music and musings

Brooklyn musician Or Zubalsky also writes witty updates on Juviley‘s website, it is probably worth reading, and downloading this record.



Or Zubalsky, baring the moniker, Juviley, recently released his self-titled second album. Calming acoustic music when live, is graced with piano, strings and light drums on this record. His subtle vocals are so dry with emotion that it feels strange how much one feels during this record. There seems at first like perhaps there’s not much to Zubalsky’s voice but his slight accent, but it’s this quiet energy that surges its way through with the instrumentals that really grabs the listener.

“And then we spiral,” the first track on the album glimmers lightly with plucking guitar and soft drumming as he sings the chorus, “We are motionless/ and then we spiral/ I am so tired/ it is pulling us/ it is time/ make up your mind.” The piano chimes in briefly and it pulls back into the acoustic spiral that he has created with his sound. Incorporating strings into tunes like “All we ever wanted was to lie,” the music chimes sweetly through speakers. Juviley’s thoughtful and creative lyrics seem to weave a web throughout his instrumentation, blending perfectly with his questioning, thoughtful voice. ”Be Patient” is more on the electric side and bleats blissfully as it finds its footing in the song alongside Zubalsky's singing.

Juviley’s record seems very straightforward but again, it seems to be wielding a strength that is hidden beneath, and forces it’s way out with songs that are full of thought provoking ideas and sounds.