Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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I’m always encouraging people to go out and see live music. With that in mind, I decided to dedicate this week’s NYC Scene Report to some of the acts I’ve recently seen live in the city. This includes rock bands theSHIFT, and Station, singer-songwriter pop artist Stef Lang, and hip-hop acts G.T.P., and M-TRI & DJ Leecy T.
* A few weeks ago I caught NYC rockers theSHIFT at Mercury Lounge. I’ve written about them a number times this year, and during my interview with the band’s frontman, John Shannon, I really enjoyed the fact that he was focused on breaking rock music out of the formulaic constraints many bands have put on the genre.
During the show, Shannon and crew rocked out with extended versions of songs from their debut EP, 7th Direction. With an onus on improvisation based on mood, there were numerous extended guitar solos, as the band let the energy of the night direct the music they were playing.
Check out theSHIFT’s latest single “Kobra,” and enjoy some rock music that refuses to be boxed in.
* Following theSHIFT at Mercury Lounge was Station, and when the foursome hit the stage it was like the entire place was transported 30 years back in time. With the look, sound, and feel of an 80s rock band, Station would fit in perfectly with any rock playlist that includes the likes of Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, and Van Halen. If someone had told me the band had arrived, and planned to leave, via Doc Brown’s DeLorean, I’d have wholeheartedly believed it.
Give Station’s single, “Dressed To Kill,” a listen. It’s off of their eponymous full length debut, which was released earlier this year, and it will place you in an 80s state of mind.
* Earlier this month I attended pop singer-songwriter Stef Lang’s show at The Bitter End. I’ve been writing about Stef for close to thee years now, and have seen her live a handful of times. On this particular night she had a full band, and even banged on a drum herself for a few of her new songs.
Those new songs will be on her upcoming EP, Arrows, and her latest single, “Going Places,” was recently featured on an episode of the CW drama Beauty & the Beast. Check it out.
* Before Stef Lang’s show, I attended G.T.P.’s EP release, and website relaunch, event at DROM. The NYC hip-hop group is known for bringing an old school sound, with current lyrical content that covers everything from their thoughts on hip-hop, to the scene in NYC, to life in general, and on this night they tore down the stage with not one, but TWO sets, performing the entirety of their new State Of Emergency EP, with a few fan favorites mixed in.
The crowd featured a veritable who’s-who of NYC’s indie hip-hop scene, and although G.T.P., which stands for Ghetto Transcends Potential, may not be a group you hear on the radio, they have a song describing exactly how they feel about what’s currently getting airplay. Check it out.
* In-between G.T.P.’s sets, M-TRI & DJ Leecy T performed a killer set of songs off of their upcoming album, Monday Morning Music. Although the album isn’t due out until September 1st, the married duo have already released four singles off of it, and those songs have clearly made an impact, as the crowd was completely into them, and had no problems rapping along.
With music to spare, M-TRI & DJ Leecy T dropped a non-album track, “7am,” as a teaser for Monday Morning Music. Check it out, and enjoy some dope NY hip-hop.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.