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!
See my complete profile
This week’s NYC Scene Report features the flute laced glam punk of J and the 9s, indie pop-rockers Late Night Episode talking about love, psych-pop trio Monogold getting “Naked,” and hip-hop artist Kalil Johnson embracing the concept of “Karma.”
* If you’re of the mindset that rock n roll should be fun, you’re gong to love Brooklyn-based band J and the 9s.
Describing themselves as “glam punk rock n roll with a flute,” the band will be releasing a new EP titled The Terrible Twos on July 28th, the lead single off of which is “Love to Be.” The song rocks hard, and features a back and forth between a flute, and a guitar, the likes of which you probably haven’t heard since Jethro Tull.
Check out the video for “Love to Be.” If you’re anything like me, it will make you want to see J and the 9s live.
* Formed in the East Village, and having signed to Dirty Canvas (American Authors, Young Rising Sons) late last year, Late Night Episode is an indie pop-rock band that’s ready to “Talk About Love.”
“Talk About Love” is the first single off of Late Night Episode’s upcoming EP (release date TBD), and lead singer Daniel Lonner describes the song saying, "The name ‘Late Night Episode’ is a nod to high school nostalgia, and the song is about learning how to grow up – though I still have a bit to do. It was written in my parents’ basement."
Lots of great moments happen in people’s parents’ basements, and Late Night Episode’s “Talk About Love” qualifies as one of those moments. Give it a spin, and take a trip back to simpler times.
* Brooklyn-based indie psych-pop trio Monogold are getting “Naked” for their latest single. No, they aren’t covering the Methods of Mayhem classic “Get Naked” – and yes I said classic – “Naked” is the completely original song off of Monogold’s latest EP, Yolk.
Yolk is a prelude to the band’s next full length release, which is reportedly in the mixing process, and, according to the band, will “tackle the simple things: breastfeeding, giving birth, being born, sex, bugs, and more.”
While we wait for that, check out the creative video for “Naked,” which features two people looking for love in a blurry world.
* Kalil Johnson has been a prominent artist in NYC’s hip-hop scene for over a decade, and in that time he’s acquired plenty of good karma. Judging by his latest single, titled “Karma,” he’s also willing to admit that he’s acquired a bit of bad karma, as well.
As he raps the chorus, “Everything I give, I get back / Never blame a motherfucker for my mishaps,” it becomes clear that Johnson has a firm grasp on the reality that we’re all imperfect. It’s a radical notion in a world where, increasingly, everyone thinks they’re right all the time. It’s an even more radical notion in hip-hop, where plenty of emcees would rather brag about negative things than relate the realities of what those negative things can lead to.
I’ve been a fan of Kalil Johnson’s work for a very long time, and it’s great to hear him continue to release fantastic music. This one will definitely bring him some good “Karma.”
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.