By: Chris Pizzolo Most people may not realize it, but February is arguably the most pivotal month of the year. If you really take a second to think about it, it’s February that sets the tone for the rest of the year. The cobwebs from the previous year are gone, the whimsical resolutions have faded, and you are now ready to say hello to the person you’re going to be this year. That’s why this past week in music was a turning point for a lot of artists and fans. Father John Misty released his highly anticipated “I Love You Honey Bear”, Phox rocked the Music Hall of WIlliamsburg, Bad Cello aka Zeno Pittaerlli teamed up with former Milagres Drummer Paul Payabyab-Cruz to unveil their monstrous hip-hop side project, Negative Death, with a colossal live performance at Pianos, and Great Caesar came out of hibernation to showcase a new set of future classics. If this past week in music is any sort of validation of my aforementioned theory, then I think we’re going to have a great year in 2015. If you missed some of the highlights mentioned above, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got you covered on this week’s Week In Review.
After a nearly two month gigging hiatus, Great Caesar came out of the woodwork to debut the plethora of new material they’ve been crafting. The new music features the same progressive, artistic rock sound they’re known for, but this time around the songs pack more heat. The band features more poignant lyrics than ever (if you can imagine that), hookier melodies, and a rhythm and horn section whose pocket is as solid as handcrafted American denim. You can catch Great Caesar next at Rockwood Music hall on February 26th.
If the moniker Neutral Tones is unfamiliar to you don’t fret, because it won’t be for long. Singer-songwriter N. David Pastor released his debut EP “Neutral Tones EP” a few weeks back. The EP is colorful, layered, and honest. Songs like “You Are All I Have” expel the tenderness of love, loss, and doubt. His performance this past weekend at Pianos was his first under this name and he didn’t disappoint.
The tenacious duo cleverly titled Negative Death, splashed onto the scene a few weeks ago when they premiered “Burn”. The blogs started to take notice, and so did NYC. Playing to a packed house at Pianos, the band debuted their full set which was energetic and fierce. Packing power punches of conscious poetry and huge beats, the group partied while pointing to influential world issues. The group’s take on Valentines Day, inhuman labor conditions, and social injustice were just a few of the themes that steered the party ship to a higher level of musical entertainment and enlightenment. Be sure to keep an eye out for these guys in 2015, because they will be heard. [
What do you get when you put The Raconteurs, and Thin Lizzy’s best music in a blender? My guess would be a horribly wretched plastic crunching noise while a metal blade relentlessly tries to liquify some of music history’s best rockers. What do you get when you put The Gantry on a stage on the Lower East Side on a Saturday night? Magic. The band who is known for their songs, “Click” and “Confessions”, didn’t disappoint this past weekend and even treated a roaring club to some new treats off their forthcoming LP. Charm and humility are qualities that the band let resonate in the ether while they perform and interact with the audience. Undeniably it is the band’s ability to rock, and melodically harmonize stories of fun nights and major mistakes that make them such a treat to see live.
Partisan Records‘ PHOX solidified their presence in the indie-alt-folk world this past weekend with their bedazzling performance at The Music Hall of Williamsburg. Lead by vocalist Monica Martin, the band transformed a 500+ capacity room into a Wisconsin living room. Delivering their hits,”Slow Motion” and “Kingfisher” the band also huddled around a condenser microphone to sing a cappella covers, which included an on the fly rendition of “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child. PHOX can proudly tout the tag of the hot new indie band, because it’s clear to see they’ve been hard at work for ages. *Photos by Chris Pizzolo & Sara Waber