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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This week’s NYC Scene Report features show announcements from funk-rockers The Chris Ruben Band, and retro pop-rock outfit LUV DOT GOV, a breakup inspired indie pop project from Pavo Pavo, and some grown up soul from Carol Ann Brevard.
* If you’re looking to rock out in the new year you are in luck, because while the city’s streets may be frozen, there are plenty of hot shows to help warm you up.
On January 19th Long Island-based funk-rock outfit The Chris Ruben Band will be taking the stage at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 1, and if their live videos are any indicator, they’re going to tear the roof off the place.
Need proof? Check out this clip of the band’s cover of The Beatles’ classic “I Want You (She’s so Heavy).” As soon as I saw it I said, “I gotta see this band live,” and I bet you’ll feel the same way.
* If you’re a fan of the ‘90s pop-rock sound – and who isn’t? The ‘90s were awesome – you’re going to love Brooklyn-based band LUV DOT GOV.
The group has two shows in NYC this month – January 11th at Pianos, and January 29th at Arlene's Grocery – where they’ll be performing songs off their debut LP, At Least We've Got This Madness, which was released last year.
Check out the video for their song “Exist Anymore,” which features some live footage that leads me to believe a LUV DOT GOV show is a really good time.
* Indie pop duo Pavo Pavo have gone through some changes over the past year, the biggest being that the duo of Oliver Hill and Eliza Bagg, while still musically together, separated as a couple after a six year relationship. It was during their break up that the songs for their upcoming album, Mystery Hour, were written.
“Goldenrod” is the first single off Mystery Hour, which is due out January 25th. The band explained the origin of the song in a statement, saying, “‘Goldenrod’ came together in an afternoon at the piano. It was kind of the bleakest song I’d written, and when I went to make a demo I didn’t want to hear my voice so clearly singing those words. It seemed more comfortable coming from some anonymous source. So I sang it at a lower key, and pitch shifted my voice up, making a new character come out of the speakers. Then, when a garbled, auto-tuned Eliza joined in a rope of harmony all the way through, it became a sort of alien heartbreak duet, and we didn't touch the recording anymore, we just put that demo on the record.”
Check out the video. I think you’ll find “Goldenrod” is indie pop gold.
* Soul music – I mean really good, authentic, soul music – is grown folks music. Forget choreographed dance routines, Air Jordans, and shots at the bar. I’m talking about slow dances, real shoes, and rocks glasses splashed with your adult beverage of choice.
That’s the vibe of New Jersey-based soul singer Carol Ann Brevard’s debut single “May December,” which was written by Brevard, who also co-produced the song Mike Rens (who longtime readers might remember as a member of The Square Egg).
Click play on the video for “May December” and you’ll definitely catch a lovin’ vibe, but be warned, as Brevard notes in the song, some vibes have an expiration date.
For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.