Michael Leviton - who managed to play with the sexiest (now defunct) NYC band of the mid 2000 (La Laque) and tour with the least sexy NYC duo of all times (They Might Be Giants - which we dig by the way) - is back with what he calls "a single for singles" to help "emotionally prepare you for Valentine's Day". The song is aptly titled "You're Somebody Even If Nobody Loves You". The man sure has sense of humor, as also testified by the name of his new band: The New Jerk Times. Don't miss their upcoming shows at Zebulon on 02.16 (258 Wythe at N. 3rd in Williamsburg) and Sway on 02.17 ((305 Spring at Greenwich).
Friendly People’s debut, self-titled 3-song EP gives a concise taste of a promising young Cambridge, MA-based band. Their jangly indie pop is peppered with hints of Americana, roots rock and folk with vocals that owe a debt to Neil Young. The EP’s clear highlight is its opening track—their namesake song—“Friendly People”. It’s a tremendous, positive track buoyed by a horn section in the bridge which lends a mariachi feel. “A Lot of Work To Do” brings out Harvest-era Neil Young, starting as a plaintive acoustic ditty which builds slowly into a passionate electric number. Closing track, “Branches”, follows the same acoustic-to-electric path. As the song builds, it introduces tribal rhythms that are reminiscent of 80s indie-punk legends, the Volcano Suns. Friendly People are scheduled to record their debut full-length in March. If the Friendly People EP is indicative of what we can expect from this young group’s next batch of tunes it will be a record to keep an eye on later in 2012.--George Dow