Reviews | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, February 24th, 2020  

Oct 23, 2009 Live

As any music snob will readily admit, one of the greatest joys in life is catching a little known band before they break big. Pardon me for braggingas I presumptuously swirl my drink and haughtily raise my nose skywardbut when Choir of Young Believers claw their way out of obscurity and into larger venues, you're in for quite a treat. More

Oct 22, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

A review of day one of CMJ, Tuesday, October 20th, 2009. The write-up includes reports on sets by Javelin, The Love Language, Think About Life, The Walter Schreifels Band, Nathaniel Rateliff and The Wheel, Laura Marling, and The Antlers. More

Oct 21, 2009 Live

Because five straight days of nonstop music, packed subways, and free booze just isn't enough, the Syndicate and Rachael Ray's The Feedback started their CMJ celebration a night early with sets from the Union Line, The Cringe, White Denim, and Fanfarlo, at the 11th annual Conflict of Interest party at Rebel NYC in Manhattan. The artist lineup was a bit disjointed in terms of genre spanning, but it still was a promising kickoff to the fest. More

Oct 21, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Instead of waiting in the wings for the lights to go down on the stage of New York's Bowery Ballroom, Sufjan Stevens, after sound-checking his own equipment, nonchalantly picked up his banjo and began to strum the first chords of "The Mistress Witch From McClure." Dressed in a jersey T-shirt and jeans with a camouflage baseball cap tucked in his back pocket, this shy boy from Michigan is still modest, despite his four consecutive New York shows that sold out instantly. More

Oct 20, 2009 Live

Some people go to horror movies. Me? I much prefer the ghostly music of Fever Ray (aka Karin Dreijer Andersson). Although, I'd be lying if I didn't admit by the time the curtain rose on the sold-out show, my heart wasn't pounding as hard as any virginal teen being chased by a chain-saw-wielding maniac. Having already passed into electro-Goth infamy with her band The Knife's artfully executed stage show, I suspect that might have been just the response Andersson was going for. More

Oct 14, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

For Mayer Hawthorne, it's all about love—lots and lots of love. And at the swanky Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg on October 3 (part of his aptly named Lonely Hearts Club Tour), the DJ/multi-instrumentalist-turned-soul singer wanted to make sure everyone was getting some. A few songs into his set, he asked, "Brooklyn, are you feeling the love tonight?" Unsatisfied with the lukewarm response, he retorted, "We're gonna come back to that." More

Oct 13, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

With the French rock outfit Phoenix and the Boston-based synth-pop quintet Passion Pit on the same bill, it would never take long to start a dance party. On September 26, at the second of two sold-out New York shows, it wasn't long before Central Park's Rumsey Playfield became a mess of strobe lights, synthesizers, and screaming teenagers. More

Oct 10, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Tie-wearing, cow-lick sporting musician Loney Dear (Emil Svanängen to his friends) is the kind of performer you can’t help but want to succeed. Taking the stage after Asobi Seksu’s high-spirited sonic assault that left the audience bouncing, one couldn’t help but wonder if the sweet-spirited Swede—who repeatedly and sincerely addressed the audience as “my friends”—was up for the task. Flaunting his crystalline voice and liberal use of crescendos in a set that could melt even a cynic’s heart, Svanängen proved that he was. 
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Oct 07, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Since Yo La Tengo is forgoing its usual winter run of eight Hanukkah shows in the band's hometown of Hoboken, N.J., an extra-special close-to-home gig was inevitable while touring for its newest release, Popular Songs (Matador). At New York's Roseland Ballroom on September 25, the Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. played a pre-show set in the lobby, the rowdy dudes of Atlanta's Black Lips opened in the theater, comedian John Oliver emceed, and concertgoers were treated to a light show by Joshua White and Gary Panter during Yo La Tengo's set. More