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Named for the ramshackle keyboards they first jammed on, Norwegian group Casiokids mix sparkling synths, Afrobeat, and techno for indie-pop that’s a bubbly and whimsical treat to the ears. The band carries a bit of mysteriousness around with them — for example, they only sing in their native language and their latest album Aabenbaringen over aaskammen (meaning The Revelation Over the Mountain) is about a hidden, almost mythical rain forest — but it only makes their pop hooks even more curiously infectious.
Brooklyn band Teletextile features sweetly-sung, melodic vocals, sincere lyrics, and a unique range of instruments, from harp and violin to banjo and accordion. Here, the band is featured playing in the choir loft of the First Unitarian Universalist Congregational Society church in Brooklyn Heights.
Discovered and signed by Peter Gabriel in the mid-’90s, singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur has been a musician for over 15 years and has eight albums to his name. Arthur, who is originally from Akron, OH, is known for his poetic and melancholic songs. Whether done acoustically or with full, layered orchestration, his music feels intimate and poignant, as though it’s full of painful secrets. Also a distinguished painter and designer, his sleeve design for his 1999 Vacancy album was Grammy-nominated for Best Recording Package.
Glasgow-via-London foursome Veronica Falls blend aggressive garage punk with sweet Sixties pop, and morbid lyrics with sunny stories, making for unpredictable music that’s boldly ominous one minute and charmingly delightful the next. The dual moods give their songs an extra depth, but it’s their ability to straddle seamlessly between the haunting and the fun that makes Veronica Falls — especially singer Roxanne Clifford, whose vocal work calls to mind a more somber version of The Mamas & The Papas — stand out against other similar acts.
NYC-based El Jezel have been together for nearly a decade, combining elements of glimmering, wistful shoegaze and charging, melodic post-rock. The blend of male and female vocals, along with their ability to waver between various genres mid-song, keeps their music unpredictable and refreshing. For our BTR Hear and There Christmas Special, in front of a brightly decorated Brooklyn home, they brave the cold winter weather to perform (as a duo) an acoustic version of their holiday tune, “Working On Christmas.”
Electronic group Seekae create their music in the same way they’d put together a puzzle. The trio — made up of John Hassell, Alex Cameron and George Nicholas — take scores of sounds and piece them into a tapestry of music that’s hip-hop, indie-pop and ambient post-rock all at once. Each of their songs are like little soundtracks, moving through various moods as they sputter, crack, pulse, shine, and wind. Some sounds are actual live instruments, others digitally generated, and still others just everyday noises (they recorded random ruckus while in Tokyo, Berlin, Chicago and London).
Don’t doubt Brooklyn four-piece Shark? despite their unusually punctuated name. They blend scruffy garage-rock and riotous post-punk for music that swerves from catchy lo-fi hooks to wild distorted yelping in the blink of an eye. The band — made up of Kevin Diamond (vocals/guitar), Andy Swerdlow (drums), Andy Kinsey (bass), and Chris Mulligan (guitar) — have toured relentlessly in and around New York City for years and finally, after a successful Kickstarter campaign, were able to release their first full-length album, True Waste, this past summer.
On December 12, 2011, while attempting to cover an Occupy Wall Street protest of Goldman Sachs at the Winter Garden in lower Manhattan, John Knefel, co-host of Radio Dispatch on BTR, was arrested by the NYPD and held in detention for 37 hours. John’s sister and co-host, Molly, was also on the scene and questioned police about the reasons for her brother’s arrest; while officers she spoke with were less than responsive to her questions, one officer was willing to offer, “I have a gun on me, okay? I don’t need people coming that close to me.” Here, John and Molly tell their story.
Winter is around the corner and NYC can feel it — temperatures are dropping and it seems like snowstorms are just a forecast away. BTR Pulse hits the streets of Herald Square and asks shoppers how they plan to deal with the season's coming cold bite.
Jonquil is a young four-piece from Oxford, UK. Headed by falsetto frontman Hugo Manuel — who also happens to perform under the solo moniker Chad Valley — the quartet play the type of shimmery indie-rock that’s interlaced with pretty guitar noodling and coated with elements of Afro-pop, à la Vampire Weekend and Local Natives.
Los Angeles-based PYYRAMIDS is made up of OK Go’s Tim Nordwind and He Say She Say’s Drea Smith. Although they initially began their collaboration via email, sending scraps of music back and forth, their debut EP Human Beings comes together as a strong, 6-track collection of sad, dark synth-rock. Smith’s voice has an air of chill nonchalance mixed with a hypnotizing seductiveness, which complements Nordwind’s piercing riffs and the hauntingly pulsing beats in the background. Here they perform stripped down versions of some of those songs...
Julie Rozanksy, Kelly Irene Corson, and Lisa La are veterans of local NYC/Brooklyn bands The Art Of Shooting and Religious To Damn -- projects where matching meticulously-crafted melodies to heady dissonance in an often aggressive, post-punk musical setting was the recurring norm. Now the trio brings their collective talents for matching melodies with dissonant counterpoints to this project, while somehow managing to mix in a different, quieter sense of urgency. For this shoot, we attempted to match the ominous tone the group haswrapped around the, at heart, seemingly hopeful message of the song.
Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Mangan infuses folk-rock with blooming, layered orchestration on Oh, Fortune — his first proper album on Arts & Crafts and the follow-up to his 2009 Polaris Prize-nominated Nice, Nice, Very Nice. His songs swell to become full-bodied, sweeping moments of textured arrangements and hearty vocals that are tinged with a roughness, sadness and even guttural power.
Brooklyn group Gold Streets intertwine smooth, dreamy melodies and crunchy psychedelic rock, making for music that’s simultaneously slick and trippy. The contrasting male/female vocals of guitarist Norman Vino and drummer T. Almy complement one another well — hers light and angelic, his wailful and dissonant — and help to balance out the group’s overall sound. The emphatic drum and auxiliary percussion work intertwined with the bass playing of Gizella Otterson move their songs forward at a charging pace as the guitars of Vino and Johnnie Wang weave layers of psychedelia amidst it all.
Denmark-based Icelander Snaevar Njáll Albertsson, the multi-instrumentalist mastermind behind Dad Rocks!, creates beautiful music that wavers between sparse, introspective folk and intricate, sonic bursts of orchestra rock. The straightforward guitar work is playful and the weaving arrangements are richly-textured — seemingly perfect for his songs, whose stories often reveal perspectives from both the naive, innocent child and the wise, serious parent. Similarly, his voice is tinged with a vulnerable tenderness, despite its deep and gravelly quality.
With Christmas and New Years only a few weeks away, BTR Pulse host Lauren Hawker walked the halls of the BreakThru Radio office building and streets of the surrounding Flatiron neighborhood to ask folks: "What are the Do's and Don'ts of the holiday office party?" Not surprisingly, people had a lot to say about alcohol...
We may be closing in on Winter in NYC, but it's always Summer somewhere. For this segment of Sew & Tell, Carolina Rommel visits the J. Rosen Showroom for a look at their collection of bikinis and other beachwear and accessories.
Harrison Cosmo Krikoryan Jarvis, also known as Cosmo Jarvis, is a singer-songwriter whose musical breadth spans a number of sounds (folk, bluegrass, indie rock) and moods (dark, humorous, witty) with each and every song. Although the New Jersey-born, UK-bred artist delves into various genres, his emotive storytelling is what’s central to his music, keeping his releases — like the debut full-length Humasyouhitch/Sonofabitch, which earned him spots on both BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2 — diverse, yet still cohesive.
Brooklyn-based Gunfight! play rowdy, stomping “post-country” — or what Serious Business’ host Travis Harrison jokingly re-dubs “Creedence-core.” Having formed while attending Boston’s Emerson College, the quartet sticks to rollicking arrangements, completely free of any digital bits and sampling (they claim to even avoid “Applebee’s samplers”). Whatever the genre or instrument preference, the band’s music, with its twangy roughness and whiskey-soaked, barking vocals, sounds like a boisterous brawl.
Robert Ellis is a Texan singer-songwriter who sings with an old soul. While his songs have the feel of classic country, they appeal to modern ears with their true-to-the-heart lyrics and timeless aura. Here he performs his song, "Friends Like Those," off his new album 'Photographs.'
On this episode of BTR Pulse, host Lauren Hawker walks through NYC's Chelsea Market — its festive spirit in full gear with cute holiday decorations and delicious seasonal treats — to ask folks what they're thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Brooklyn’s Bel Air is a sometimes-folky, alt-country rock band featuring sweet, harmonic vocals, smooth guitars, and a knack for writing catchy tunes. Here, they play “Wash Away” at a vintage hat shop in Dumbo called Cha Cha’s House Of Ill Repute.
Named for the ramshackle keyboards they first jammed on, Norwegian group Casiokids mix sparkling synths, Afrobeat, and techno for indie-pop that’s a bubbly and whimsical treat to the ears. The band carries a bit of mysteriousness around with them — for example, they only sing in their native language and their latest album Aabenbaringen over aaskammen (meaning The Revelation Over the Mountain) is about a hidden, almost mythical rain forest — but it only makes their pop hooks even more curiously infectious.
Western Civ, a four-piece from Chapel Hill, NC, (originally from Florence, AL) follow in the footsteps of ‘90s indie staples Guided By Voices, Archers of Loaf, and Pavement with their brand of meandering, layered, spasmodic rock. Their songs are unpredictable, fierce gems — smoothly and melodically resting on a plateau before jump-starting into a dissonant, serpentine arrangement that’s then topped off by lead singer Rich Henderson’s potent yelping.
London-based Alessi Laurent-Marke performs her tender and charming folk-pop under the moniker Alessi’s Ark. Her music is innocent and quaint, but also vulnerable and intimate — qualities similar to artists like Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons, two acts that she’s shared the stage with many times. Though she’s only 21, she’s already recorded her debut album with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley), released a handful of EPs on major label Virgin Records, and crafted a sophisticated, impassioned sound that seems well beyond her years.
On this episode of BTR Pulse, host Lauren Hawker walks through NYC's Chelsea Market — its festive spirit in full gear with cute holiday decorations and delicious seasonal treats — to ask folks what they're thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Host Carolina Rommel visits the New York City gallery of Beyond Vintage and speaks with the creators of the clothing line, which incorporates vintage inspirations from decades past. Creative Director Elizabeth Klein, Senior Designer Maggie Halpin, and Production Manager Sarah Raymond discuss various ensembles they’ve put together.
Glasgow-via-London foursome Veronica Falls blend aggressive garage punk with sweet Sixties pop, and morbid lyrics with sunny stories, making for unpredictable music that’s boldly ominous one minute and charmingly delightful the next. The dual moods give their songs an extra depth, but it’s their ability to straddle seamlessly between the haunting and the fun that makes Veronica Falls — especially singer Roxanne Clifford, whose vocal work calls to mind a more somber version of The Mamas & The Papas — stand out against other similar acts.
The latest compilation of music recorded during our BTR Live Studio sessions is out now. To receive your free copy, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/breakthruradio and click on the "Bandcamp" tab on the left hand side. All you'll need to do is enter your email address and you'll receive a download link and be signed up for the BTR Newsletter to receive updates on what we're doing at BreakThru Radio. Here's a video playlist of all the artists featured on the compilation: [youtube_playlist] View the playlist on YouTube And here's a listing of the artists included: Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr - view original post www.daleearnhardtjrjr.com Radical Dads - view original post www.radicaldads.com Reggie Watts - view original post www.reggiewatts.com Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside - view original post www.sallieford.com Malkit Singh - view original post www.malkitsingh.com Milagres - view original post www.milagresmusic.com An Horse - view original post www.anhorse.com Miracle Fortress - view original post www.miraclefortress.com Helado Negro - view original post www.heladonegro.com Darwin Deez - view original post www.darwindeez.com Tim Fite - view original post www.timfite.com Saint Motel - view original post www.saintmotel.com Radiation City - view original post radiationcity.muxtape.com
Hailing from Portland, ME, Sunset Hearts play ‘80s/new-wave inspired pop that can easily pack a dance floor and even stir up some synchronized handclaps and bell jingling. Each of its eight members is a seasoned musician, having come from other local Maine bands. Lead singer Casey McCurry is an emotive frontman, immediately attaching himself to his microphone and allowing for Sunset Hearts’ contagious and synthy melodies to capture him. While the band’s size may cause some crowding on stage, the octet’s chemistry is solid, the sound strong and robust — proving that there is power in numbers.
Initially formed in 2003 as a cello/guitar duo, LUFF has evolved into a four-piece group comprised of Mike Hurst (bass), Aleks Gylys (drums), Robin Pickering (guitar), and Sheila Sobolewski (guitar/vocals). Together the Brooklyn band creates driving, layered post-rock, sounding like a cross between Mogwai and Silversun Pickups. Each of their songs conveys various moods and seems well-suited for soundtracks — one moment it quivers and weaves, and the next it dips from a crunchy climactic high to a softer, melodic respite.
On this week's episode of BTR Pulse, we take a closer look at the controversy surrounding New York City's horse-drawn carriages. Over the years, many have sustained serious injuries and even died, but the debate seems to have reached its boiling point after two horses collapsed in just the last two weeks. We hit the Central Park area to talk to protesters about their campaign to ban horse-drawn carriages in the city and to gauge what locals thought about the matter.
Discovered and signed by Peter Gabriel in the mid-’90s, singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur has been a musician for over 15 years and has eight albums to his name. Arthur, who is originally from Akron, OH, is known for his poetic and melancholic songs. Whether done acoustically or with full, layered orchestration, his music feels intimate and poignant, as though it’s full of painful secrets. Also a distinguished painter and designer, his sleeve design for his 1999 Vacancy album was Grammy-nominated for Best Recording Package.
Last week, ahead of this past weekend’s ING New York City Marathon, BreakThru Radio’s DJ Meredith the Marathon’s Health and Fitness Expo to ask attendees whether they listen to music while they Run, why they do or do not, and what music they listen to if they do.
Originally a solo endeavor, San Diego’s Tropical Popsicle eventually grew into a 4-piece fronted by vocalist Timothy Hines (Lights On, the Stereotypes). Playing shimmery, feel-good melodies soaked in a blanket of muffled reverb, the band’s strain of psychedelic surf-rock calls to mind a mix of Beach Fossils and Real Estate.
Brothers Nick and Pete Furgiuele, along with Peter DeLorenzo and Chris Kaufmann make up the Atlanta-based band Gringo Star. Together, the foursome infuses classic rock ‘n’ roll and garage rock with pretty indie-pop. Though most of their songs are simple and catchy — perfect for sing-alongs and continuous toe-tapping — they still retain a unique, Southern rough-around-the-edges grittiness.
Gonzalo Cordova is a young comic in New York City who writes for Comedy Central Insider by day and makes the rounds of the stand up scene by night. Here he performs at Spit Take Friday, a monthly comedy showcase in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Holy Sons is the one-man project of Portland’s Emil Amos. The multi-instrumentalist plays raw, lo-fi indie rock, and remains relatively enigmatic, despite having released music under the Holy Sons moniker for the past two decades and having played with bands like Om, Dolorean, and Grails. Amos’ introspective nature and penchant for obscurity, give his music an added haunted, mysterious quality.
For our Halloween Special we invited Brooklyn three-piece EULA to the Serious Business studios. Festive and decked out in skeleton suits, the group raged through their loud, post-punk tunes, seemingly in their element in a dimly lit, cobwebbed room. Manic, amped up, and lead by frontwoman Alyse Lamb, whose vocals veer between a coaxing, calm voice and blaring, bone-chilling shrieks, EULA sound like an unbridled, and feral version of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Canadian-Sikh rapper Humble the Poet (Kanwer Singh), together with his producer and primary beat-maker Sikh Knowledge (Kanwar Anit Singh Saini), spit out smooth, yet fiery, socially conscious rhymes about the broken prison system, women’s rights, and immigrant life in America. Motivated by their mission to spread awareness of these issues, the two make for an electrifying and captivating hip-hop duo, their energy and flow seemingly inexhaustible.
CMJ draws hundreds of bands to the streets of New York City, but for this episode of Pulse, we set our sights on one act in particular: Sweden's You Say France & I Whistle. It was the first time the 5-piece had set foot in the city, but they were kind enough to let us tag along and document their adventure. We also talked to audience members about their first impressions of the group.
The Loom is a six-piece indie rock band from Brooklyn featuring male and female vocals, horns, guitars, banjo, ukulele, keys and percussion. In one of their "four word" CMJ reviews, The New York Times Arts Beat blog described The Loom as, "Appalachian garment, angst-y stitching."
Pittsburgh trio Donora have a contagious, glowing charm — perhaps helped along by the fact that guitarist/vocalist Casey Hanner and drummer Jake Hanner are siblings. Their brand of indie-pop is like pure sugar — sweet, delightful and irresistible — but also incredibly creative. With Casey’s pretty and darling girl-group-style vocals set against upbeat grooves and layered synths, Donora present a hybrid of pop from the ‘50s/’60s and today.
Octant is a synth-pop project comprised entirely of mastermind Matthew Steinke and a merry band of robotically-played instruments. The homemade blip-bleeping creations are genius and a sight to see, especially in a place like Sycamore -- a Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, bar that also happens to double as a flowershop -- where the rustic atmosphere brings out the surprising warmth of the robotics. The bots’ whimsical tunes combined with Steinke’s singer-songwriter tone give Octant a refreshingly futuristic sound -- one that, despite all the metal and machines, feels warm and charming.
Originally starting as the bedroom project of singer-songwriter Henry Jamison, The Milkman’s Union has since evolved into a folk-rock trio heavily influenced by jazz and classical music, and channeling everyone from Iron & Wine to Radiohead. Based out of Portland, ME, the band weaves together complex arrangements, filled with melodies that twist and turn unexpectedly and rhythms that start and stop suddenly. Jamison leads the pack with impressive guitar-picking and his ability to use his rich, expressive voice to turn sullen stories into engaging ear-candy, mellow ballads into howling rock.
Brooklyn-based foursome Mainland (formerly Mainland Fever) play dreamy indie-rock, as much a suitable soundtrack for hazy, lazy Summer afternoons as for crisp, cool Fall evenings. Here, the band’s meandering guitar-work flows alongside Jordan Topf’s winding and sometimes melancholic vocals, as the song shifts seamlessly between drowsy, psychedelic verse and catchy, energized chorus.
Lizzy Ellison, Cameron Spies, Matt Rafferty and Randy Bemrose make up Portland foursome Radiation City. A group of genre-bending maestros, Radiation City marry together the dreaminess of indie-pop and the fog of lo-fi with just a hint of ‘60s doo-wop. As these different tones blend into one song, as here with “Park,” the result is a hazy, soulful, yet rousing sing-along, starring Spies’ edgy yelps and Ellison’s background crooning. Their music’s contrasting elements are refreshing and imaginative, and the fact that they all come together smoothly, make it immediately memorable.
Having played with the likes of rock bands Gem, Death of Samantha, Cobra Verde, Nada Surf, and a little indie outfit called Guided By Voices — you might have heard of them — it’s safe to say that Doug Gillard needs no real introduction. An accomplished guitarist and songwriter, he can shift easily between Guided By Voices’ loud, post-punk anthems, and the more mellow, muted ballads of his own solo repertoire.
Brooklyn’s The Binary Marketing Show creates avant-garde soundscapes, spattered with spooky noises, eerie vocal work, and pulsing beats. With multiple releases of varying sounds in their repertoire, the group understand the art of unpredictability and mysteriousness, much like the bands Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear. Their songs, like “Unwilling,” never seem to start and end on the same page, moving along via clamoring segues and playful percussive arrangements, as ethereal crooning morphs into developing tapestries of sound. The Binary Marketing Show’s music feels like a journey in of itself.
This week on BTR Pulse, to celebrate the announcement of a new bike share program in NYC via Alta Bicycle Share, we ask New Yorkers how they get to work. With all the bikes locked up all around town, we wanted to know who rides a bike to work, why they do or don't, and if they'd consider riding more once the bike share launches.
Drawing from the likes of Feist, Broken Social Scene, and Iron & Wine, Sarah Aument is a folk singer-songwriter whose work is powerfully moving, raw with sincerity, and beautifully straight-forward. Emotions easily shine through Aument’s sparse and tender songs as her heart-felt narratives quickly grow from soft-spoken, introspective musings into loud, robust rock frenzies.
After meeting at the Berklee College of Music while working on a film score, Passion Pit keyboardist Ian Hulquist and wife Sofia degli Alessandri formed the electro-pop twosome Aislyn, later adding drummer Joey Sulkowski to become a trio. Using their dreamy, synth-heavy stylings, they’ve remixed fresh, blissfully-layered versions of tracks for everyone from Neon Indian to the Freelance Whales. Here, Aislyn’s own “Spies” builds up slowly with Alessandri’s somber, yet angelic voice, and expands into a dizzying electronic climax of whizzing, whirring and whooshing effects. The backdrop of hypnotic sounds coupled with the airy vocals makes for a rich, mood-altering tune.
Half-brothers Trent and Blair McGillicuddy operate musically and otherwise as Sex Admirals. These two sons of Admiral Bruce "Papa" McGillicuddy, clad in Hawainn shirts, bathrobes, and sunglasses, deliver the finest in drop-dead nautically themed party jams, presenting a mix of blistering bleeps, tropical beats, and raspy, alcohol-soaked vocals -- an ideal soundtrack for a drunken, wild beach party.
The indie-pop gems of Los Angeles group Saint Motel shimmer brightly and sweetly, with a radio-ready polished sound. Recalling the inviting keyboards of Keane, the whimsical tone of The Morning Benders, and the pitch-perfect harmonies of Local Natives, “Puzzle Pieces” is a rollicking anthem that swells up and sweeps smoothly through in all the right places. Although known for presenting themed concerts, like “Zombie Prom,” Saint Motel have also played alongside acts like Girl Talk, Ariel Pink and Best Coast, and seem poised to own the big stage.
After leaving indie band Le Loup, guitarist May Tabol started a new project called Pree. Their name a reference to the Neutral Milk Hotel song, “A Baby for Pree,” the D.C.-based group play charming and quaint folk. The instrumentation is warm and rustic, showered with the occasional bright tinkling of bells and tambourines, while Tabol’s front woman vocals are richly textured and feature a quirky bend reminiscent of Joanna Newsom. With music fit for a cozy cabin, Pree sounded right at home when they played at Brooklyn’s Permanent Records, a store with a tight squeeze and intimate ambiance where any audiophile can easily find comfort.
Atlanta foursome Carnivores play the kind of lo-fi, brooding rock native to the corners of a gritty, abandoned garage. Though hints of softer melodies peek through occasionally on “Prom Night,” the song is mostly blanketed in a prickly, thrilling layer of ominousness -- especially when Caitlin Lang’s vocals twist and soar like a haunted soul or mad scientist. The song captivates with its dissonance and drama.
Brooklyn hardcore band Violent Bullshit can launch from a standing start into a raucous barrage of guttural shrieking and razor-edged riffs in no time, shaking loose the floorboards as they go. Here they lead off with their own introductory theme song, frontman Jayson Green ferociously howling “Violent Bullshit! Violent Bullshit!” repeatedly like his throat’s on fire. If the intro isn’t enough to make the name stick, watch for the drummer’s fun “VIOLENT TANKTOP” and the DIY “VIOLENT BULLSHIT” banner made from a pink sheet and Sharpies.
Los Angeles singer-songwriter Nik Freitas has opened for acts such as Bright Eyes and Rilo Kiley and toured as a part of Broken Bells’ live band. Playing every instrument on each one of his five albums, Freitas’ brand of indie-pop is homey, light and sweet, with an easy-going, Beatlesesque tone. His performances are effortless serenades immersed in the emotion of the songs.
As reported in NY Metro, the recently instituted smoking ban for NYC parks has barely been enforced, so BTR Pulse went out and asked park-goers if they were aware of the band, whether they still see smoking in parks, and what they think of the situation.
New Hampshire-born singer-songwriter Andrew St. Aubin, formerly of the indie-pop band Aldenbarton, is now embarking on a new project called Son of the Granite State. A talented multi-instrumentalist, here he demonstrates his masterful piano chops and ability to croon out a contemplative ditty, his own playing accompanied by a player piano he programmed himself -- one of many in a room of baby grands at the Yamaha Piano Salon in midtown Manhattan.
When not playing in the Brooklyn-based psychedelic group Here We Go Magic, Luke Temple channels a more stripped-down, introspective singer-songwriter spirit. His songs, stained with painful memories of broken love and haunting tales of regret, are perfectly devastating. In his performances, Temple’s raspy voice captures the poignancy of inconsolable loss.
Hailing from Brooklyn, Clouder produce roaring, guitar-driven music reminiscent of ‘60s and ‘70s rock & roll. The complex guitar work (sometimes alongside the Dan Bau, a Vietnamese monochord) wails and shrieks, giving rise to epic walls of sound that wind throughout each song. Clouder’s distinct vocals act as their own crazed instrument, able to shift seamlessly between droning pitches and invigorating screeches.
Born and raised in Punjab, India, Malkit Singh celebrates the ornate and high-energy stylings of Bhangra -- music that’s heavily influenced by traditional Punjabi culture, but also infuses elements of Western pop. He was propelled to the international stage in 2002 after his music was featured in the hit film Bend It Like Beckham, and has since proven his mastery of the genre. Singh’s intricately layered songs are titillating, flush with hypnotic drum thumps, vibrant rattles, and vocals that rise and fall beautifully with exceptional power, control, and fluidity.
BTR's Lauren Hawker visited ground zero to explore the new memorial and ask people how they felt about security measures around the city the weekend of the tenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001
Octant is a synth-pop project comprised entirely of mastermind Matthew Steinke and a merry band of robotically-played instruments. The homemade blip-bleeping creations are genius and a sight to see, especially in a place like Sycamore -- a Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, bar that also happens to double as a flowershop -- where the rustic atmosphere brings out the surprising warmth of the robotics.
Melissa Ferrick is a singer-songwriter unafraid to bare all through music. With songs that tell stories evoking a raw vulnerability, her performances are full of spark and conviction, revealing her as a woman intensely connected, emotionally and intimately, to her art.
Originally from Canton, OH, multi-instrumentalist Chris Buckridge has called Brooklyn home since 2000. His sprawling music catalog features seven albums -- some solo work, some with his band, the Ne'er Do Evers -- full of lo-fi, psychedelic rock in the vein of staple '90s indie rockers Guided by Voices and Dinosaur Jr. With his ability to crank up the fuzzed-out noise in a matter of seconds, turning softer, dreamy passages into distorted, jagged rock, Buckridge’s songs are often models of versatility.
The Two Man Gentlemen Band has a new two-song 7" vinyl being released on September 20th. One of those songs is "Tikka Masala," which they played for us at the Jalopy Theatre in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The Gents play retro music that harkens back to decades past -- but not pre-millennial so much as pre-war. Their old-timey tunes may be of a vintage style, but they definitely manage to incorporate themes that are as relevant today as ever.
For this episode of Serious Business on BTR, Travis is the guest on his own show as we welcome guest-host Maia MacDonald -- host of BTR Live Studio -- in to quiz Travis on some rock n' roll subjects near and dear to his dude-heart.
Strolling around Madison Square Park in NYC's Flatiron District, we ask people if any of the Republican candidates for President in the 2012 election cycle look enticing...
Fronted by Andrew Kenny (American Analog Set, Broken Social Scene) and including members of Matt Pond PA, the Wooden Birds play a brand of rock that at once sounds as akin to 70s era rock like Fleetwood Mac as it does to more modern fare like Wilco. Here the band plays "False Alarm," from their latest album, 'Two Matchsticks.'
A scene recently played out at a Brooklyn L train station in which several onlookers avoided assisting a man who'd fallen on the tracks and was bleeding. Instead, one onlooker shot video of the situation and uploaded it to YouTube -- and all this as there was 13 minutes until the next incoming train.
The Two Man Gentlemen Band plays retro music that harkens back to decades past -- but not pre-millennial so much as pre-war. Their old-timey tunes may be of a vintage style, but they definitely manage to incorporate themes that are as relevant today as ever. Ever the consummate showmen, the duo took a bit of time out of their seemingly never-ending touring schedule to play a song for us at the Jalopy Theatre in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
There have been a few articles floating around the web this week that discuss the clash of bikes on pedestrians on NYC bridges. We set out to ask pedestrians and cyclists if they've encountered any problems, and what they think about the possibility of banning bikes from bridges.
Brooklyn’s Dinosaur Feathers create upbeat pop music with layers of harmonized vocals, grooved out melodies, and plenty of intricate and energetic rhythms. Their music is catchy, expertly-played, and lasting.
Brooklyn Singer-songwriters Annie Lynch (of Annie and the Beekeepers) and Michaela Anne make acoustic folk music graced with honey-sweet voices that are flush with emotion.
Brooklyn’s Bandana Splits is a trio that sings doo-wop-inspired pop music. Lauren Balthrop, Annie Nero, and Dawn Landes keep their music sweet, simple, lively and catchy - just as their musical inspirations from the 50s and 60s did before them. Travis says, “The Bandana Splits are Dawn Landes, Lauren Balthrop and Annie Nero. Their debut record is called Mr. Sam Presents the Bandana Splits and it is out on BoySkout Records. These women are the best. They are my friends. I love their songs and their singing and their sweet musical spirits. And the outfits don't hurt either.”
Robert Ellis is a Texan singer-songwriter who sings with an old soul. While his songs have the feel of classic country, they appeal to modern ears with their true-to-the-heart lyrics and timeless aura. Here he performs his song, "Friends Like Those," off his new album 'Photographs.'
Always a difficult thing to decide: When is it time to dump/break up with one's boyfriend/girlfriend. We asked some people on the street how they know when it's time.... Featured song: "Justin In Time"
After a brief hiatus, Gold Streets was just back in the studio to record a couple of new songs. One of those is called, "Frequency," and features the band's signature sounds -- post-punk rhythms and shoegaze/new-wave guitars with dual male/female vocals. Here, they play that song at a DIY artspace in Bushwick, Brooklyn
Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside play a well-blended mix of roots, blues, country, jazz, and rock. At first, it may seem anachronistic, but Ford's edgy voice pulls it all together and into the present in a way that makes it as vital as any contemporary rock outfit.
Says Travis: "These guys love rock and roll. This is a true rock band. I'm not just saying it. It is for real. You can download all of their records for free. And now you can hear them live in the studio here at Serious Business and they sound like the hottest of hot hot rock fire."
Dzian! is a band that plays retro Asian garage-pop. While mixing in vintage sounds and vibes, their sound is vibrantly original.
Support beams from the September 11th wreckage, in the shape of a crucifix, have become a topic of debate -- the question being whether or not it's appropriate for them to be featured in the World Trade Center memorial museum. Some people, including atheists are upset (see: http://gothamist.com/2011/08/01/ny_posts_andrea_peyser_atheists_can.php ), so we went down to the neighborhood to see what people thought.
Brooklyn’s Spanish Prisoners are about to release their sophomore album, ‘Gold Fools’ - a psychedelic pop record filled with a unique electronic ambiance. Here they play “Rich Blood” at Bushwick DIY space, the Schoolhouse.
Richard Buckner plays a deep, soulful hybrid of rock and country. His powerful voice conveys a wisdom that compliments the poignancy of his lyrics and is backed by a forceful guitar style that adds urgency to his songs.
Fort Lean is a rock band whose tightly-structured, excellently executed songs belie the fact that they’d only been playing together for about five months before visiting Travis at his studio. Check out their catchy sound with its powerful rhythm section, and masterful guitars.
Self-proclaiming their genre as “Psychefaeriedelica,” Australia’s Sherlock’s Daughter features aesthetically sweet rock graced with airy voices, thoughtful lyrics, and great melodies.
Lately I've noticed more and more GOURMET food trucks parked around my labor-hood around lunch time. It's great to have more options, but I'm guessing that the local restaurants (actually most of them are chains anyways) are getting pissed off because they are the ones paying the rent and losing the business. Or maybe not??
y/y is a Brooklyn-based duo Jason Meeks and Conrad Burnham. Together they craft experimental rock music that weaves together sequenced and manipulated-on-the-fly beats and electronics with live guitars, percussion, and vocals (often pleasingly drenched in reverb). The results usually bob back and forth from ambient sounds to danceable beats and riffs. Here they perform in a Bushwick art and events space.
Brooklyn band Milagres plays a brand of rock that’s more dynamic than most -- unafraid to shift from atmospheric and soft to forceful and loud within a mere moment or over the progressive course of a song. Their music can be upbeat or melancholy, relying on the traditional rock combo of guitars, drums, and bass along with rich vocal harmonies, keys and electronic elements, extra percussion, and even orchestral arrangements.
Les Sans Culottes, a vibrant band of seven, play their own catchy, fun take on pop-rock with a French twist.
Rapper Grieves and producer Budos stop by BTR Live Studio to perform their song "Tragic" off their album, 'Together/Apart.' debuting with the popular, Minneapolis-based hip hop label, Rhymesayers Entertainment.
Recently launched is the new Google Plus (currently in beta testing) - it has some interesting features but will it be enough for people to ditch Facebook?
Mama Bear is a Brooklyn-based duo who plays pop music with a twang. Dale Pittner's bouncy riffs and Victoria Sounthavong's mellifluous voice combine to make for some very catchy tunes.
Brooklyn’s Cassettes Won’t Listen plays electronic pop music, weaving together playful melodies with an 80’s influenced style. The music is lively, original, and downright strikingly charming.
Brooklyn band A Million Years has a talent for matching great power-pop guitar riffs with catchy, often anthemic lyrics.
Bass Drum of Death, originally from Mississippi, play garage rock, with edgy lyrics and skillful guitar riffs. Underneath all that angst is a whole lot of talent.
Recently a fan returned Derek Jeter's valuable 3000th hit ball even though he really could've used the money he might have been able to make from it. So, we go to Grand Central Station to ask people if they would've done the same. Featured song: "Gastronomic Meal" by Yellow Dogs
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Jonathan Pilkington Kahnt deals in a brand of songwriting that places sincerity at the forefront, relying on heartfelt lyrics and crooning capable of winning over even the most cynical of audiences.
As Miracle Fortress, Montreal musician and producer Graham Van Pelt composes full on psychedelic music infused with pop and electronic influences.
El Jezel have been active in the NYC/Brooklyn indie rock scene for a decade and have worked with Travis Harrison multiple times in the past, so their session for Serious Business on BTR was something of a reunion. Here, the band plays their signature brand of psychedelic rock, graced with sweet and melodic voices and their usual charm.
Radical Dads is a Brooklyn trio channeling 90s rock, with up-tempo, catchy tunes that will make you want to keep listening.
On this weeks episode of Pulse host Jess Westberg asks New Yorkers in the trendy East Village what they like to do for free fun in the city.
Brooklyn's Alina Simone, originally from the Ukraine, plays folk music with a dark side. A powerful singer-songwriter, Simone here plays "Apocalyptic Lullaby" (from her new album, Make Your Own Danger) with her band on a balcony in Brooklyn.
Asa, currently on a world-wide tour, performs soul music with a spicy kick of pop and a side of reggae that will have you hooked.
This week, we present “Smash Hits, Vol. 2,” the second installment of some of our favorite moments from Serious Business on BTR.
Singer-songwriter Tracy Bonham plays unique rock music, sometimes accompanied by striking violin, sometimes by powerful bass, and always with smartly crafted lyrics from the talented musician.
Let's find out what New Yorkers think about the state senate legalizing same sex marriages.
Brooklyn’s Bel Air is a sometimes-folky, alt-country rock band featuring sweet, harmonic vocals, smooth guitars, and a knack for writing catchy tunes. Here, they play “Wash Away” at a vintage hat shop in Dumbo called Cha Cha’s House Of Ill Repute.
Toronto rock band Dinosaur Bones play music that features seriously great lyrics, skillful electric guitar and a full, polished sound that will leave you wanting more.
Brooklyn band Quiet Loudly wows with their sound. Featuring loud, electric guitar, dreamy lyrics, and an in-the-pocket rhythm section, their music weaves together dynamic psyched-out rock with soulful melodies.
You might be thinking the name sounds familiar, but the band doesn't play the kind of music you'd normally associate with NASCAR. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. has their own electronic-pop/indie-rock sound that's original and upbeat.
Brooklyn band Teletextile features sweetly-sung, melodic vocals, sincere lyrics, and a unique range of instruments, from harp and violin to banjo and accordion. Here, the band is featured playing in the choir loft of the First Unitarian Universalist Congregational Society church in Brooklyn Heights.
On this weeks episode of Pulse, host Lauren Hawker walks the NYC High Line to enjoy the scenic views, architecture, and gardens. On route we ask fellow visitors to reflect on the slew of recent political sex scandals.
Watch our BTR Live Studio session with artist Chris Mills. Happy folk-like indie-rock music with great lyrics and masterful guitar.
Weird Children are a fun-loving indie-pop band from Brooklyn with a sound somewhat reminiscent of 80's power pop with catchy lyrics and good vibes.
Swedish band Wildbirds & Peacedrums play electronic music with soft vocals and killer percussion. Their sound is definitely nothing you've ever heard before, so make sure to check out our live session with the experimental band.
Don't miss our Hear & There episode with Johanna and the Dusty Floor as the band performs in Brooklyn in Johanna's home. The Australian born piano player's sound is a mix of electronic pop and symphony orchestra, and is something you won't want to miss.
Watch as host Lauren Hawker goes around to ask New Yorkers how they feel about the abundance of sidewalk charity fundraisers and if they would stop to donate or just keep walking.
An Horse has a catchy indie-rock sound that leaves you wanting more. Carefully crafted lyrics mixed with some fun-loving rock music - listen as An Horse performs live in our studios.
After watching indie-rock band Bunny's A Swine perform, you'll be hooked. Their brand of grunge-tinged pop is infectious, with an awkwardly-cool vibe that will leave you wanting to hear more from the Massachusetts power trio.
We know you've been missing Peggy Sue, so we're here to deliver you more. Catch outtakes of Peggy Sue's folky sound that didn't make the cut. Enjoy!
Indie-rock band Automatic Children perform the unforgettable song, "Now You Know" at the KGB bar in NYC. Don't miss their remarkable live performance here at BreakThru radio.
On this weeks Pulse, host Lauren Hawker examines analog vs. digital by chatting with some NYC park dwellers. She asks them, "Who still has a land-line phone?" and "When did they first get their cell phone?"
British indie-folk band, Peggy Sue, stopped by to have a jam session with BreakThru Radio. Their sound is tranquil and melodic but fun. Listen to them perform "Dumbo" in our BTR Live Studio session.
Brooklyn band Yellowbirds has an indie 60's rock sound that's immediately ear-catching. Travis Harrison sat down with the band for an interview and some music in his studio and it's a segment you won't want to miss.
It's our week of encores and we're back with Reggie Watts. Listen to the Brooklyn musician and comedian perform "Goldie Fox" and "Just A Game," original tracks recorded just for BreakThru Radio.
Our first Hear & There episode is back for an encore. It's hard not to have fun when Japanther's around. A loud, merry, and unforgettable band, they make you want to get out on the dance floor. If you missed it, or if you just miss them, listen to their performance from Party Xpo in Brooklyn.
On this weeks Pulse, host Lauren Hawker asks if the way that soldiers are respected has changed since the wars of yesterday, and if the veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars should get a memorial in New York City.
They're a band you don't want to miss, and in case you did, here's another shot. Listen to Hank & Cupcakes perform "Ain't No Love" and "Jimmy" at Serious Business Studios in New York City. Funky, fun, and friendly, their sound is contagious.
This week, we've compiled a "best of" segment we're calling "Smash Hits, Vol. 1," which pulls together a number of our favorite moments from the first 27 episodes of Serious Business on BTR. Included is some of the funniest, raw, and more unforgettable footage we have. Don't miss out on a chance to sit back, relax, and laugh while watching the best of our conversations with the artists of Serious Business.
We know you wanted more. Here's the outtakes from our Live Studio session with Levek. Listen to the band talk about how they transformed from a solo act to tacking on six members, along with snippets of more of their great music.
Listen as The Gypsy West unleash their "psychedelic" rock onto customers at the Main Drag. Performing at the guitar store in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the band lives up to their progressive nature.
On this weeks Pulse, host Lauren Hawker attends a rally of NYC teachers protesting proposed budget cuts and layoffs. The atmosphere was highly charged with thousands of attendees and even Rev. Al Sharpton giving an inspirational speech. To wrap up the story, and learn more about the causes of the proposed cutbacks, Lauren meets with Radio Dispatch DJ's, Molly and John Knefel.
See Levek perform "Dream Entry No. 1," live in our studio. Levek can be said to be creating a genre in itself and this song will give you a taste of just what you've been craving - something new.
SAADI is anything but ordinary. Her sound is original and eclectic, and so is her personality. Listen to the talented musician chat with Travis Harrison in his studio.

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