NYC Scene Report – Kate Davis, Oneida, & Nick Zanca

This week’s NYC Scene Report features Kate Davis getting inspired by a modern arcade classic, Oneida readying their 17th album, and Nick Zanca giving a heroic perspective on a difficult childhood diagnosis.

* Whether you played it in an arcade, or had the home version, there’s a pretty good chance that in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s you found yourself caught up in a revolution – a Dance Dance Revolution.

This was the inspiration behind Kate Davis’ recently released single, “DDR” … at least in a way.

“Anyone remember the Dance Dance Revolution home mat?” she asked rhetorically, “The particular crunch under the various foot force of neighbor kids. The impeccable song list. I go back to these times when life gets real.”

Davis’ life certainly had a real moment recently, as she made a major move, relocating back to Portland after years of calling NYC home (we still get to claim her as one of ours since we’re one of her hometowns!).

Speaking of moves, this particular “DDR” isn’t meant to get you dancing. The vocals and the music, however, bear a wonderful resemblance to the Gran Turismo era of The Cardigans.

Dance Dance Revolution, and Grand Turismo … you better click play on this before I find a way to shoehorn in a reference to Twisted Metal 2.

* Mostly NY-based indie rock band Oneida is readying the release of their 17th album, Expensive Air, which is due out July 19th via Joyful Noise Recordings, and the lead single has fans wondering if the band is entering a punk era.

Titled “Here It Comes,” the song is a two and a half minute high energy tune that announces Expensive Air with a bang.

The creation of album began when band member Bobby Matador sketched the structures of the songs from his home in Boston. He then sent the demos to the four members of the band who live in NYC – Kid Millions, Hanoi Jane, Shahin Motia, and Barry London. Kid Millions says, “We would start out riding the riffs, and then Shahin and Jane would add wild, out-of-key guitar harmonies. It seemed so perfect.”

Based on “Here It Comes,” a lot of rock fans in the city will agree that it seems pretty perfect.

* As a child, NYC-based producer, composer, and artist Nick Zanca was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, and with the release of his latest single, “Little Professor,” he’s created an anthem for everyone who’s dealt with being told what they won’t be able to achieve in life.

“I witnessed firsthand the haphazard cultural stance, crooked pedagogy, and alienating language that was used to engage with children on the spectrum,” Zanca said in a statement, “This song is not only an attempt to offer up a more constructive alternative to how all that could have looked, but a middle-finger refutation of those attitudes that could allow a kid to see anything for themself other than their full potential.”

“Little Professor” is off Zanca’s upcoming album Hindsight, which is due out August 2nd via American Dreams. The album is his first as a singer-songwriter after concluding his long-running electronic music project Mister Lies.

Check out the video, and follow along with the incredibly moving lyrics, which he posted on Bandcamp (they're the three paragraphs underneath the preorder links).

For more of the best of NYC’s indie music scene, come back next Wednesday, and check out the archives for previous columns.