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Singer Songwriter Circle finalists include Amber Skye, Lucius, Todd Alsup

The NYC Singer Songwriter Circle has been around for about 20 years, constantly supporting talent from the entire North America, in particular through their Annual Songwriting Contest, now in its 5th year. In the past the contests the Circle's jury was able to recognize the potential of artist such as Norah Jones, Vanessa Carlton and Lisa Loeb among others before they became mainstream. The Circle recently announced the 12 finalists of the 2010 contest - chosen from thousands of submissions. The NYC/NJ area is well represented by female duo Lucius, Todd Alsup and NJ based Amber Skye (in the picture). The SongCircle's 2010 Grand Prize winner will be determined by live performances by the twelve finalists before an esteemed panel of judges on November 18 and the 19th at the City Winery in New York City. Tickets for both shows can be purchased online here for $25.

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Belty Betty's Thanksgiving Pageant @ The End, 11/14/10

There are no words to describe the type of entertaining show that Belty Betty puts on - you just have to see one. The alter-ego comedienne of local musician Erin Manning, Belty Betty's pseudo-concerts are full of humor, satire, and surprises - and last night was no exception (with TWO opening acts! ). Supporting Betty were openers B.ET.A as well as Lea Marie - past American Idol contestant and rabid YouTube user (check it out here).

The End was a perfect venue for the mischief/ debauchery that followed... I had only heard one song by B.ET.A (Brianne Angarole) before Sunday night’s performance, so I had no idea what to expect, but B.ET.A is truly an entertainer. Her set was so high-energy, so outrageous, and so good. The electronic/pop mix was really clever – but not too electronic heavy, and B.ET.A’s vocals were effortless. Although it was an opening set for a comedy-based show, it was a great performance. Lea Marie was...indescribable. But I'll try. The self-proclaimed "teen singing sensation" didn't actually sing one note on stage. She was a huge hit, however. Her two male back-up dancers didn’t help the cause – clad in Nike Airs and black pleather pants, the entire performance seemed like a joke. Her last song, “Your Brother’s Girl,” was definitely the crowd favorite – echoes of the song could be heard out on the patio after her performance was over. Bottom line: it was a great experience.

The majestic Belty Betty took the stage with a bang – a medley of classic patriotic songs. The ensemble was very diverse – Indians, pilgrims, a turkey and even Lady Liberty. What ensued was nothing short of a hilarious party on the stage. Choreographed dances, an oversize stage prop pot for “Melting Pot,” burning sparklers, Thanksgiving Day ingredients being thrown down on the stage… it was epic. Even the interludes – a turkey being chased by a pilgrim, an African dance to “Whip My Hair,” were as strange and entertaining as the show. The audience was glued to the stage during the entire performance – laughing, dancing, singing and worshiping Belty Betty. My personal favorite was the “Native American Struggles” medley, which ranged from “Indian Outlaw” to Pocahontas themes. The set ended with Betty’s version of the Star- Spangled Banner, which absolutely stole the show. You are truly missing out if you haven’t caught Belty Betty live – make that your 2011 New Year’s Resolution.--Lindsay Hayes

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Callers celebrate CD release party at Le Poisson Rouge on 11.22

Stressed out New Yorkers should listen to Callers on their way back home from work - these guys' music has therapeutic, stress relieving effects. Sparse to the point of no return, this Brooklyn based duo plays some of the most elegant and sophisticated alt soul out there. Also the "video in the video" concept is pretty cool here. Don't miss their CD release party at Le Poisson Rouge on 11.22

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Gamble & Huff Get Their Own Strip of Land and Celebrate with The Sound of Philadelphia Showcase

Congrats to legendary Philly music pioneers Gamble & Huff! After today, the 300 Block of South Broad St. will be named Gamble & Huff Walk by the City of Philadelphia. The ceremony took place earlier today in front of the Philadelphia International Records building. There will also be The Sound of Philadelphia Showcase at the historic space tomorrow evening at 8:30pm with headliner up-and-coming funksters Swift Technique. Here are some details from the crew that you might want to know: “Tickets are $15 and can only be purchased at the door prior to the event.  Because space is very limited, please arrive by 7pm if you are attending the show.” - The Deli Staff
 
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November 2010
The Dashing Suns
"Really Like You
"
mp3

There seems to be a burgeoning movement of early 60s garage-inspired neo-surf rock developing around us of late. Locally with Sonny and the Sunsets, Hunx and his Punx, and the Royal Baths, and nationally with acts like Harlem and Vivian Girls, there is a wave of kitschy low-fi rock innocence crashing upon the music community. Riding high on this wave, and taking the best traditions of The Kinks, The Dashing Suns debut album Really Like You is an exciting jovial explosion of good old-fashioned rock and roll.

Ripped right from the Smiley Smile playbook, "Good Bad Vibrations" opens the album in a psychedelic swirl that would make Brian Wilson proud. By far the odd ball out on the album, “Good Bad Vibrations” (interesting and exciting as it is) differs greatly in style from the rest of the songs. Perhaps its strangeness is its purpose; quizzically opening the listener for the explosion of gritty rock that follows.

Taking off like a rocket, “Sally Moore” fires away from the eerie loops that proceeded it and really sets the mood of the album: youthful exuberance in brief volatile intervals rarely exceeding three minutes. The grittiest song on the album, and one of my favorites, “Sally Moore” is a thunderous wall of distorted guitar with a fabulous, mostly two-note solo that really highlights potential for perfection in pure simplicity.

Along with its high level of energy, Really Like You’s simplicity is one of it great strengths. Lyrically, the themes don’t extend much farther than adolescent notions of love and relationships, simple rhymes, and straightforward metaphors. This could seem incredibly superficial but in a world of such weight, unassuming levity is something of a breath of fresh air.

There is a particularly unique sort of depth to what can otherwise be termed shallow music. Shifting focus from technical aspects towards the expressive often better highlights the basic emotive value of a song; rawness that can be as deep as a magnum opus. Think of the depth in the pure expression of punk rock. Achieving greater accessibility to the fundamental feeling of the music by stripping the pretense of the form can codify a system of complex ideas that is expressed intangibly. For The Dashing Suns the energetic sound of fun can be just as loaded and invigorating as the most complex of soundscapes.

Catchy and exciting, Really Like You is highly recommended. Firmly rooted in the traditions of Herman's Hermits and The Troggs, Really Like You is a twelve track adventure into some fantastic rock and roll. Rising with the tide of like-minded 60s garage inspired groups,The Dashing Suns Really Like You should have no problem reaching the crest of this wave.

 

-Ada Lann

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