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The Morning After Pills blog's CMJ picks: Automelodi, Dream Affair, YOU.

CMJ can be overwhelming, even from just looking at the schedule. Not to mention how disappointed we get when we realize we physically cannot make it to all the shows we want to. This year, The Morning After Pills blog took a bit of an alternative route and sought out unofficial showcases during the week. Isn't it fun discovering great bands that don't even make it on CMJ's radar? How underground of us. From the unofficial bands we saw, we picked three winners, who all happened to play on the same night.

First is Automelodi, Wierd Records' French-Canadian coldwave band. Led by front man Xavier Paradis, the band is one of our favorite current synth bands and amazing to see live. Check out their beautiful self-titled LP and you will hear hints of New Romanticism.

Dream Affair is another great band of a similar caliber. Listening to singer Hayden Payne's voice, it's hard to miss the similarities to post-punk's early favorites like Joy Division. Look out for their 7" to be released late winter/early spring on Five Three Dial Tone Records.

Lastly, we had the pleasure of seeing YOU., a three-piece who plays electronic dance-invoking goodness in an other-worldly fashion. Find their music on Blind Prophet Records - it's unlike anything you've heard before. - Kristen Yoonsoo Kim


NYC Rappers on the Rise: Nyle and the Naysayers

Nyle made headlines a couple years back when Kanye put his “Let the beat build” video up on his blog. Since then, the kid has been everywhere from the Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest to MTV. His crowd is mostly 20-somethings thanks to his gratuitous nods to NYU (his alma mater), but his talent and energy are undeniable. Old school flavors and an amazing live band quickly morph his shows into sweaty dance pits. Nyle says: “I’m handling rappers like a lifestyles factory. Used to be Screech now I’m feeling like Zachary Banks like Carlton and Ashley’s. Nah, actually I’m Jazzy banging Hillary or Shaggy shagging Daphne. I’m the underdog that finally gets the girl: Cory from boy meets world, or Doug doing Patti. I’m nasty; 5 percenters call me blasphemy. I cause more catastrophe than a natural disaster scene.” - BrokeMC


Kayo Dot release new EP + tours North East

Avant-and-or-compositional-rock band Kayo Dot is about to embark upon a Northeast U.S. and Canada tour in support of their new EP, "Stained Glass", which is a long, floating, vibraphone-centric distortion cloud representing a Luciferian musical journey across the colorful windows of a cathedral. They are also celebrating the vinyl release of their last album, "Coyote". You'll be able to see them in NYC at Littlefield on 11.14.


Toy Soldiers’ Ron Gallo Stripped-down at Triumph Brewing Co. Nov. 3

You may recognize Ron Gallo as the charismatic frontman of soulful roots rockers Toy Soldiers. But he has also recorded a catalogue of solo albums between 2006 and 2009 that show a whole other side of the talented songwriter. When you hear him play a stripped-down, intimate set as part of Triumph Brewing Company’s Live & Local Music Series tonight, you’ll hear his patented Americana folk that you know and love. But you also might here some candid moments thanks to songs such as “C.C. Rag” and “Time Covers House in Vines”. Gallo may be working on rebuilding the lineup for Toy Soldiers again, but you can bet that the determined Temple student will remain a fixture in the local music community. Joining him on the bill will be another young dynamic singer-songwriter in Kevin James Devine. Between his debut album “Through the Fields” and the online mix tape he released in September, he has been able to impress with his honest lyrics and echoes of early Springsteen. Triumph Brewery, 117 Chestnut St., 8pm, Free, 21+ - Bill McThrill

Review of Grandmother's, "Invade/Sublet"

While a plethora of music journalism in Nashville revolves around well documented and overly attended events that seem to occur repeatedly throughout the year to an almost detrimental extent, most of the mainstays emerged quickly from a period of either non existence or relative obscurity. Deep under the radar of Nashville's utility musicians-turned-journalists and/or bloggers community lies an assortment of abrasive musical acts whose shows are attended by a crowd who, while sporadic in number, are most assuredly devoted to the challenging nature of these musicians.

Grandmother's "Invade/Sublet" release, the first on experimental music label Destined For Increase, is a shining example of said abrasion. Functioning as a sort of earmark for any individual's field of musical tolerance, this three piece conducts a sonic assault of whirrs, clicks, feedback, and guttural bursts via specifically manipulated electronics and carefully orchestrated chains of every effect imaginable. Anyone looking for standard structure to bop your head to will no doubt experience the losing side of a violent altercation in their ears. The subtlety of musical application throughout this release should, however, appeal greatly to those open to experimentation, progression, and new interpretations of theory. It's quite rewarding to discern the extreme use of dynamic herein through the harsh and amoebic flow of "Invade/Sublet" while also picking out the use of these seemingly improvised noises as pseudo-sources of rhythm and melody. Repeated occurrences of particular relationships between the distorted vocals, over-active drum loops, and feedback inducing squelches make these tracks function better on the whole than individually. Traits such as these render the workings of Grandmother quite similar to traditional orchestral releases.

While the release can be a challenging listen to unwilling ears, a little imagination can lead to some severe moments of joy from an unexpected place. Grandmother's live shows are also exemplary of this statement, and are somewhat like watching a group of men battle their instruments to an epic soundtrack while clamoring for victory over something they have themselves created. In short, a must-see and a must-listen. The "Invade/Sublet" cassette (which is limited to only 100 copies) is available to order now, and to get yourself a copy and more information on Grandmother and experimental label Destined For Increase, visit destinedforincrease.blogspot.com. - Jesse Baker


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