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Phosphorescent is back with original CD - live at Other Music on 05.10

Matthew Houck, aka Phosphorescent, whose last album was a tribute to the great Willie Nelson, is back to original material with a May 11th release of Here’s to Taking It Easy. Fans can get a taste of the album with the new Mp3 of the bittersweet ballad, “The Mermaid Parade.” The tribute to the half naked women that parade annually at Coney Island makes for an amusing country blues number, and Houck’s sorrowful lyrics blend well with the delicate piano and melancholy guitar. The last time I spoke to Houck he was working on this album and said at the time, “So far it's my favorite thing Phosphorescent has ever done, so I'm really itching to get back to work on it.” Phosphorescent will be playing a free show at Other Music on May 10th, a day before a at Union Pool. The band will also play Mercury Lounge on May 13. -Chloe Schildhause

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NYC's potential next big thing: The Dig, concert review

May Day, 2010, NY’s The Dig - a band we've been following for a few years now - played to a sold out Mercury Lounge alongside the UK’s The Joy Formidable on the second day of their mini-tour. These guys' infectious grooves on “You’re Already Gone” and “Two Sisters in Love” pumped up the packed Lounge, while “Look Inside” and “Sick Sad Morning” blended heartfelt verses with romantic melodies and pounding bass lines. Impassioned vocals floated over ringing guitars and syncopated backbeats on “Penitentiary”; and “He's a Woman” undulated with instrumental feedback and distortion, championing The Dig’s psychedelic inspirations spiced with alternative rock flavor. “She's Going to Kill That Boy” shook with a haunting guitar and trippy keyboard reverb and erupted into a head-banging refrain. Closer, “I Just Wanna Talk to You,” interspersed with crowd clap-along segments, oozed with bluesy seduction and a classic rock ‘n roll spirit. On June 5, The Dig will return to Mercury Lounge to celebrate the release of “Electric Toys” due out officially on June 8.  –Meijin Bruttomesso

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Best of NYC #53: Zambri

We continue our "Best of NYC Countdown", covering every day one of the artists that made our Year End Best of NYC list (a chart compiled by a jury comprised of local bloggers, music writers, promoters, record sotre personnel and DJs). Many of the bands in this list will play The Deli's Best of NYC Fest in Williamsburg in May (6 shows in 3 different venues between the 13 and the 15).


Dreamlike and echoing, Zambri layer an array of effects over airy female vocals performed by front sisters Jessica and Christi Jo.  The Brooklyn-based group’s first release, “Bang for Changes EP” explores elements of shoegaze, placing heavy emphasis on synthesizers, reverb, and grungy distortion, and mixes these musical facets with electronic tidbits and dance club undertones. Experimenting with changes in the tempo within songs and following unusual melodic patterns, Zambri fashion a trippy listening experience. -Meijin Bruttomesso

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School of Seven Bells set to release sophomore album in July

The School of Seven Bells' debut album was one of the CDs we most thoroughly enjoyed in 2008. We heard that the ethereal NYC female duo has recently finalized their follow up LP, which will be entitled "Disconnect From Desire" and relased in the summer. They also announced two live performances at The Mercury Lounge on June 10 and 11 - we'll be there if they let us in!

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Best of NYC #54: Eskalators - Live at Deli Best of NYC Fest on 05.15

We continue our "Best of NYC Countdown", covering every day one of the artists that made our Year End Best of NYC list (a chart compiled by a jury comprised of local bloggers, music writers, promoters, record sotre personnel and DJs). Many of the bands in this list will play The Deli's Best of NYC Fest in Williamsburg in May (6 shows in 3 different venues between the 13 and the 15).

Eskalators are part band and part public performance piece. As if being a ska-influenced band in the Brooklyn indie scene isn’t already enough to raise some eyebrows, the band’s infamous and well-documented subway car performances have grabbed the attention of the Village Voice, the New York Post and Time Out New York. Eskalators formed in 2007 and performed their first show on—yes—an escalator in the Mall of America, and have since gone on to incorporate 18 members, including Williams. On the new record, Cats and Dogs Living Together, the band combines melodic and raw power-pop/punk vocals and power chords, a horn section, and everything from flute and glockenspiel to djembe. The songs are instantly infectious—melodic hooks abound and Williams’s vocals tap into the urgency of 20-something angst. The Eskalators aren’t totally a ska band (and to be fair, not everyone in the band grew up listening to ska); there’s enough pop melody and instrumental variety to push the band into other musical categories, and anyone with an interest in fun, energetic, and well-crafted songs should hop on board and sing along (lyrics are included with the band’s new record for that very purpose). – Bill Dvorak

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