Author: Andy Beta

  • Charlemagne Palestine Takes Fans Back to Seventies New York

    Amid the deluge of Nirvana, Garth Brooks, and gangsta rap in the mid-Nineties, a corrective trend began to emerge, an appreciation for the minimalism that had droned, strummed, and pulsed and originated in myriad lofts throughout Martin Scorsese’s seedy New York City of the 1970s. It was a history basically washed away in Philip Glass […]

  • Cult German Collective Giegling Brings Its Circus to New York

    Last winter found a small crew of music writers sweating down in the Yucatán, not just escaping the cold but trekking to a pool party thrown in a far-flung locale by the ravenously revered German dance label Giegling. Explain in wretched Spanish your destination to the local cabbies and they’d just nod. “Ah sí, Pablo’s,” […]

  • For This Downtown Duo, Georgia Is a Band

    For Hoagy Carmichael it was a woman, a state, and a state of mind. Midnight trains and devils went down there, but getting to Georgia on this wintry day means a short trek to Chinatown, where, for the past five years, the open-ended duo of Brian Close and Justin Tripp has been a low-key player […]

  • Other Music Launches a Label

    Five years ago, Other Music co-founder Josh Madell sat across from me at a Fort Greene café and enthused about his venerated East Village record shop going digital. It was 2007, and a brave new world seemed to be on the horizon: Its neighbor and rival, Tower Records, was shutting its doors, as were countless […]

  • Dirty Projectors’ Big Empty

    It’s a cloudy spring night in May of 2009, and every music editor I have ever corresponded with is shoehorned into the Housing Works bookstore on Crosby Street to stand shoulder to shoulder with a who’s who of New York musical iconoclasts, ranging from M.I.A. and St. Vincent’s Annie Clark to David Byrne and Four […]

  • Laurel Halo Plays with Electronics on Quarantine

    When I first meet Laurel Halo, she has just returned from a cruise to Haiti. But the young electronic-music producer doesn’t look any tanner than any other New Yorker who had just survived the winter, nor has she seemingly turned into the 21st-century version of Maya Deren, absorbing and documenting native ritual during her time […]

  • The Burrell Brothers Revisit Basement-Tape Days

    There might not be a tidier under-five-minute overview of two decades of underground New York dance crazes than the 12-inch single “Disco-Tech (Studio 54 Mix).” KATO, a nom de production of Ronald Burrell, recorded it, and New York’s Nu Groove Records released it in 1990. Aside from name checking the glitzy club, Burrell suspends gauzy […]

  • Black Dice Slice and Dice Pop on Mr. Impossible

    ‘My wife and I went out to the Hamptons last weekend. . . .” So begins Black Dice member Eric Copeland, only to have the cramped, amp-lined room that is his band’s basement practice space explode in laughter before he can finish his story. When the band started 15 years ago in Providence—as an assaultive, […]

  • Antony Goes Into the Light

    It’s a warm autumn night in 2008, and a hundred or so patrons have been invited to venture inside a disused clock tower, hiding in plain sight among the buildings south of Houston Street. Films of blurry vegetation are projected on scrims around the space. Clusters of women who look like war refugees and fallen […]

  • 2012, Your Escort Is Here

    It’s a sweltering mid-August day in 2006, the sun bouncing off P.S.1’s cement courtyard during their Summer Warm Up series. Although “warm” doesn’t seem an adequate descriptor for the heat wafting off the crowd of people pressed against one another. Yet onstage looks just as packed, with 15 members of the Brooklyn disco band Escort—a […]

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