The 10 best David Bowie albums
Twenty-five David Bowie albums are more than enough to show for the legendary musician’s many musical modes: glam rock, funk, art rock, cabaret-tinged pop and more. His discography is as much a map of rock & roll’s evolution, as it is a document of one artist’s tenacious drive to constantly reinvent himself. Here’s our list of 10 of David Bowie's best albums (including, spoiler alert, one of the most anticipated albums of 2016, Blackstar) for your listening pleasure.
The 10 best indie-rock bands of all time
What is indie rock? Since evolving out of the American punk scene in the mid-’80s, the term has been applied to everything from aggressive noise bands to pastoral folk singer-songwriters to quirky synthpop producers. For this list, we’ve loosely defined the genre as “guitar music made by people who came out of the rock underground and aren’t afraid to seem brainy or challenging”—indie-rock bands like Dinosaur Jr., Sleater-Kinney and Pavement. Here’s our take on the genre’s ten most crucial acts.
Hip-hop supergroup Beast Coast's guide to NYC
Mixing envelope-pushing sonics with old-school tactics, Beast Coast is a reminder that New York hip-hop history is built not only on headline-making rivalries but also raucous collectives that exemplify the us-against-the-world attitude that makes our city great. This past spring, the group, which includes members of Flatbush Zombies, Pro Era and the Underachievers, released its long-awaited LP Escape from New York, a kaleidoscopic collection that trips out into psychedelic terrain but keeps its feet planted firmly on the grimy sidewalk. After thunderstorms zapped its set at the Governors Ball Music Festival, the outfit is making it up with a pair of headlining shows at The Rooftop at Pier 17 on August 22 and 23. Here’s what they get into offstage. Meat-sweats central: Paisanos Butcher Shop“I like to cook on the grill. If you want good, you know, steaks and exotic meats like kangaroos and all that bison meat and all that shit, and you want to support a good fucking butcher shop, go to Paisanos. It’s got every goddamn animal you can think of in that motherfucker. Shout out Paisanos.”—Meechy Darko Pizza plus: L&B Spumoni Gardens“It’s got one of the best square slices ever in the whole world. For real. It’s got Italian ices. I get the cremolata. It’s also got a really good kitchen. Some people think it’s just pizza—it’s not just pizza.”—Nyck Caution Duds den: Blue in Green“I’m a big shopper and into retail therapy and stuff like that. I love that spot a lot because it’s got s
Is NYC nightlife Instagram-friendly now?
It was a bitterly cold February night on an industrial corner of Bushwick, but inside the megaclub Avant Gardner, a sweaty forest was in full bloom. The complex’s cavernous Great Hall was decorated in gargantuan tropical flowers, Tarzan-worthy vines, and a stage set covered in ten foot tall mushrooms. Somewhere in the thick of it a DJ was spinning house tracks for thousands of revelers packed shoulder to shoulder while stilt-walkers and acrobats dressed as jungle flora and fauna wandered among them. Sprouting up between them was a field of smartphones blossomed to share with Instagram the outrageousness of the Enchanted Forest, a local installment of the super-sized world-touring bash Elrow. (The dance party returns to NYC on July 27, taking over all of Avant Gardner including its outdoor space Brooklyn Mirage.) Elrow’s roots in club culture run deep. It began in 2010 as an event on the outskirts of Barcelona thrown by the scion of a Spanish family that’s been in the entertainment business since the 19th century. And the New York face of the brand (which now has a presence on every inhabited continent) is promoter Michael Julian, who started throwing parties in New York in the ’90s. But although the idea of a rave packaged as a multimedia experience dates back to Julian’s early days, the sensory-overloading approach attracts a very current client: the social-media addict. Ever since camera phones hit the market, nightlife purists have been trying to keep them away from dance
The best summer parties in NYC
The warm weather is finally here. And besides the bevy of great summer music festivals, the season also boasts alfresco summer parties that pair pretty damn nicely with some frozen cocktails. From world-class DJs playing at rooftop bars to a prohibition-era jazz soiree on an island, these are our favorite summer bashes. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in the summer in NYC
The best music day trips from NYC
Use our playlist of great road-trip songs to get ready for these killer music day trips from NYC, where the soundtrack continues once you arrive at your destination. There are some awesome music venues within driving distance of our fair city, not to mention sweet summer music festivals, and they each offer a little history and some small(er)-town culture to boot. RECOMMENDED: All of the best day trips from NYC
13 acts to see at Governors Ball Music Festival 2019
Summer music festivals are almost here, people! Gear up for one of NYC's biggest—that’s Gov Ball—with this handy guide to the bands and artists we're most excited to see. And while we have your attention, don't forget to consult the best summer concerts in NYC, as well as our guides to BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! and CityParks SummerStage. RECOMMENDED: Complete guide to Governors Ball
The best record stores in NYC
We're gonna make a bold claim: New York is the greatest city in the world for music. Think about it—there is simply nowhere else that has our storied history and incredible live music scene. And then of course, there are our record stores. Despite the loss of some beloved spots like Rebel Rebel and Other Music, there are still plenty of spots for both the serious vinyl junkie or casual collector perusing LPs on Record Store Day. Discovering that rare LP in a brick-and-mortar music store is a thrill you just can’t replicate online (we know—we’ve tried). These are the genre-spanning NYC record stores we swear by. RECOMMENDED: Best places for shopping in NYC
Find an awesome spring concert in NYC
Is it spring yet? Between hanging out at outdoor bars in NYC and smelling the daisies at the best NYC parks, the season is also a great time to see some live music. And while summer concerts in NYC are right around corner, here’s your chance to enjoy some tunes without the sweltering heat. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to concerts in NYC
DJ Michael Brun on bringing Haitian street-party vibes to the States
Frenetic beats, sweaty revelers, bursts of positive energy: The parties thrown by Michael Brun can transform any space into an authentic free-for-all that makes you swear you're having the night of your life in Haiti. Take his 2017 gig at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, when a sold-out crowd kept the floor vibrating for the entire evening as Brun introduced one act after another. Each represented a different Haitian genre—think house-music icon Gardy Girault and roots-rock royalty Paul Beaubrun, son of Lolo and Mimerose Beaubrun, the Bob and Rita Marley of Haiti—and turned up the wildness another notch. For those lucky enough to get in, it was like being rocketed off to a shindig on the streets of Port-au-Prince, a city that hums with sound: rara bands playing drums, kone horns leading parades of soccer fans, and teenagers on motorbikes blasting jazzy kompa tunes from their great-grandparents’ era. Haiti, in fact, is a musical mecca, a nation the size of Vermont that has not only produced tons of musical styles but also put its unique fingerprint on every genre that has reached its shores. But with little tourism and a media image defined by tragedy and hardship, it’s an aspect of the country that few outsiders know about. Brun is on a mission to change all that. A former EDM wunderkind who made big-room progressive house and collaborated with top-tier talent like Calvin Harris while still a teenager, Brun, now 26, has been working to connect his country’s robust music scene
Here’s what to expect when The Shed opens at Hudson Yards this spring
New York City’s major cultural infrastructure is so iconic that it can seem immutable, more a collection of monuments than a living organism that breathes and grows. And, really, you don’t expect Lincoln Center to change with the times any more than the Lincoln Memorial. The latest significant addition to the city’s cultural landscape, the Shed was designed with flexibility in mind. Opening at Hudson Yards on April 5, 2019, the multidisciplinary arts center will be able to physically transform itself to accommodate each performance, installation and exhibition it hosts. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Lead Architect, and Rockwell Group, Collaborating Architect, the complex boasts a cutting-edge architectural feature: an enormous shell, covered in translucent panels of a Teflon-based polymer, that can be pulled up over the entire eight-story structure or rolled out to turn the spacious outside courtyard into a massive enclosed space, complete with sound, lights and temperature control. Indoors, things are just as malleable: The McCourt Theater’s 17,000 square feet—double that when the shell’s extended—can be arranged in an infinite number of ways. Upstairs, there’s a gallery space and a smaller theater, each with its own customization options. To fill all that space, the Shed is commissioning new works from a staggeringly diverse range of heavy-hitting talent from across every conceivable artform: music, theater, visual art, film, and even poetry and literature. Accordi
NYC party people we love right now
New York City nightlife is a constantly changing, beautiful beast. So to spotlight some of the NYC's buzziest scenes—envelope-pushing queer parties, rock-and-soul ragers, new high-art affairs—we tagged along with a handful of personalities who are making the most of the city that never sleeps. Discover their nights out (and after-hours tips) below. Want to get in on the fun? Check out the best clubs in NYC and the 101 absolute best things to do in NYC. And if you're planning to pull an all-nighter, may we suggest digging into the top 24-hour restaurants in NYC. Dani Miller, left, with Nadia Lee Cohen Photograph: Serichai Traipoom Punk It girl: Dani Miller 25, Bedford-Stuyvesant, @alienzarereal Who: The frenetic frontwoman of punk outfit Surfbort Her scene: The best and scuzziest rock bands have always come from New York. Now is no different, with a new wave of acts like Surfbort combining punk aggression and classic-rock decadence. Her night: “My bandmate Sean Powell and I live together, and we’re always together when we’re on tour, so when we’re home we usually disperse a little. He doesn’t go out to parties or dinner that much, unless it’s something really special. But he likes Mission Chinese, so we meet up there with Nadia Lee Cohen, this awesome director, and her boyfriend, Josh Landau, who’s in this band Easy. Josh is usually a little drunk when we get there, and he just orders everything on the menu, so it’s a giant feast. We have these drinks called MSG margari
Listings and reviews (5)
Nowadays is patterned after European clubs designed for marathon bashes that last well into the next day. The New Year’s edition of Nonstop is a monster: It kicks off with a meal in its Diner by the Izakaya restaurant, followed by a three-and-a-half-hour meditative listening session curated by Weird Science (bring pillows if that’s your thing), then rages all the way around the clock, from an 11pm set by resident DJ collective Analog Soul to a late-afternoon New Year’s Day finale by house legend Tony Humphries.
Jules & Co. were hailed as saviors of a flagging genre when they stormed the world at the dawn of the century. In 2019, rock’s decline seems terminal, but the band’s early catalog of razor-sharp hooks and minimalist riffs feels just as vital as it did in the second Bush era.
Night + Day
Gowanus’s Public Records opened earlier this year with a custom-built sound system and a New Age–y take on nightclubbing that includes an attached vegan restaurant (see our review, page 26) and a bar that pours plenty of sober options. For New Year’s, Beautiful Swimmers, Regularfantasy and Lawrence will spin psychedelically infused house, techno and disco for the entire evening; after that, the affair transitions into a plant-based breakfast accompanied by live ambient music from Laurel Halo.
The Jesus Lizard + Protomartyr
Let’s face it: The rich will keep getting richer, the oceans will continue to rise, and whoever wins the election next year won’t fix any of it. Nineties noise-rock icons the Jesus Lizard and Detroit post-punks Protomartyr both make bum-out anthems that elevate everyday misery into a mystically cathartic experience.
Hot Rabbit's Resolutions LGBTQ New Year's Eve
Since its launch in 2011, Hot Rabbit has become one of the most consistent and beloved purveyors of queer happenings that bring together a rainbow of gender expressions and sexual identities. This all-night fete enlists DJs, live performers, voguing by the House of Olympus and prizes for the most outlandishly dressed revelers.
NYC is becoming a playground for (actually cool) sponsored gigs
Like a lot of music snobs, I used to scoff at the mere idea of sponsored gigs. But that was back when “branded experience” was shorthand for “slapping a logo on an indie-rock show’s banner”—and, frankly, when people still believed that selling out was inherently a bad thing. These days, marketers are more sophisticated, and artists don’t worry as much about the backlash that they’ll receive for cashing in. Because of this, an underground world of legitimately cool sponsored events has arrived—in sneaker stores and other off-the-grid locales—and I’m hooked. The best part? Pretty much all yours in exchange for an RSVP. You can catch buzzy names and promising young talent in relatively intimate settings at branded venues like the tech-heavy Samsung 837. Back in November, Invisible NYC, a pop-up rap club disguised as a phone repair shop (sponsored by mobile service provider Visible) attracted the likes of A$AP Ferg to its tiny Soho digs. Meanwhile, other gigs offer immersive, eccentric experiences, such as last year’s overnight performance of composer Max Richter’s eight-hour SLEEP, which provided a bed for each attendee (supplied by the sponsor, Beautyrest, of course), or the trippy art raves thrown by creative studio Offline Projects and backed by record labels. Lately, there’s also been an uptick in music-adjacent events that may be too niche to thrive without a company footing the bill. Take Sonos, which has exhibited the archives of crazy-obscure vintage punk zines at its d
The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn finds hope in these strange times
The six albums Craig Finn has made with the Hold Steady have established him as one of the United States’ foremost flamekeepers of classic American guitar rock. More quietly, Finn, who lives in Greenpoint, has also become one of our greatest working poets through his empathetic portraits of people struggling, and often failing, to find their place in the world. Words take center stage on his recent run of solo albums, which offer a more delicate setting for his distinctive talk-sung vocals. His latest, We All Want the Same Things, out Friday, March 24, pairs his increasingly impressionistic lyrics with sumptuous soft-rock arrangements. As someone who’s deeply familiar with rock history, were you self-conscious about avoiding the clichés of the solo project?You don’t want it to sound like the tossed-off songs that your band didn’t want. You want to sound different.Also there’s some amount, with solo records, that you think of indulgence. But yeah, the solo record... I’ll be honest, sometimes when you’re into a band and you hear, “Oh, the singer has a solo record,” you’re, like, a little less interested in it, even though you love the band and you love the singer. You just did a tour during where you played living rooms in people’s homes.It was really cool. I just think that we live in strange times, and the act of inviting strangers into your living room to hear music is slightly revolutionary right now. There were these guys I was talking to who were like, “We were so nervou
Here are the five most terrifying parents in movies
To mark the upcoming release of the racially charged horror film Get Out (check out our chat with director Jordan Peele and costar Allison Williams), here are the most horrifying mommies and daddies ever to hit the silver screen: Darth Vader in Star Wars Episodes IV, V and VI (1977–83) Between chopping off his son’s hand and leaving him for dead and the whole daughter-he-didn’t-even-know-existed thing, the Galactic Empire’s most-feared figure may also be the galaxy’s worst dad. Lt. Col. Wilbur “Bull” Meechum in The Great Santini (1979) Robert Duvall looms over this drama as the walking embodiment of American authoritarianism; his sense of honor goes hand in hand with a savage drive for retribution. Jack Torrance in The Shining (1980) Under the eye of Stanley Kubrick, Jack Nicholson transformed Stephen King’s real-life anxieties around fatherhood into one of the most disturbing, killer performances in horror-movie history. Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest (1981) Yes, Faye Dunaway’s turn as the glamorous and violently unstable screen icon Joan Crawford was a camp touchstone as soon as it was released, but it was also genuinely terrifying. Mary Lee Johnston in Precious (2009) This bleak and utterly brutal slice of late-’80s Harlem life will always be remembered for introducing the world to Gabourey Sidibe, but the engine that drives its plot is Mo’Nique’s portrayal of a truly monstrous mother.
Five reasons not to miss this year's Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival
Back in 2008, Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival launched just as electronic dance music was surging into the U.S. mainstream (only a couple decades behind the rest of the world). The fest offered a much-needed alternative to the sensory-overloading, brocentric EDM raves that were popping up around the country. And while BEMF bookers indeed nabbed sought-after talent from around the globe, the focus remained on underground sounds and community building, not fist-pump–inducing partying at the biggest clubs in NYC. This year the festival spans a whopping 10-day stretch at eight venues scattered around the borough, and for the first time, it offers activities beyond DJ sets and live performances. “There will be movie screenings and panel discussions [about] the dialogue around dance music,” says festival cofounder Katie Longmyer. In short, she says, “we want people to dive into and celebrate Brooklyn.” If you’re intrigued but still not sold, let us convince you: These are the top five reasons to check out this bangin’ venue-hopping extravaganza. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival 1. It’s a great excuse to check out the latest club destination in Gowanus. The venues hosting BEMF events this year run the gamut, from the low-key DIY atmosphere of Trans-Pecos to Output’s high-price, clubby digs. Analog BKNY sits somewhere in the middle. Opened in March, on an industrial stretch of Gowanus, Analog is part of a wave of new clubs aiming to satisfy die-hard da
Seven essential releases to snag on Record Store Day
Record Store Day is upon us! Every April, the international celebration of all things vinyl brings exclusive releases and special events to cities around the world. Whether you're looking to start a collection or bolster your already killer stash, there are plenty of participating NYC stores to hit up. Here are the best RSD releases to look out for. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Record Store Day Jay Reatard, Blood VisionsThe dearly departed Memphis garage punk’s blistering solo debut, a fuck-it-all sonic assault packed with lyrical nuggets like “it’s so easy when your friends are dead,” turns the big 1-0 this year, and this spiffy reissue—pressed, appropriately, on blood-red vinyl—boasts a bonus seven-inch of demos. David Bowie, The Man Who Sold the World picture discThis early-career Bowie classic is best known for its chicly androgynous cover portrait of the Thin White Duke lounging in a dress, but the trippy artwork from the original German pressing—plastered beautifully on the record, no less—makes this a fitting aesthetic tribute to the late icon’s early psychedelic years. Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1969 Box SetThis deluxe offering pays tribute to CCR’s unbelievably productive 1969, when it released three Top 10 albums, not to mention four Top 10 singles. This set includes three colored vinyl LPs and seven-inches (that’s six releases in total, smart guy), plus various bits of memorabilia, all painstakingly reproduced from the original material. J Dilla, The DiaryWhen