Artist of the Week Archive


#AOTW: The Gents

I feel like new music doesn’t just fall into your lap anymore. It used to be as simple and flipping on the radio and waiting. That’s gotta be happening less and less considering radio has pretty much shit the bed. Can anyone honestly remember the last time they listened to the radio and heard a brand new track, because I certainly can’t.


Scratch that. Yes I can, it was Pickwick on KEXP. But still, that was like two years ago so it doesn’t count. Granted there are many more avenues to find music now, but there’s really something about simply flicking the on switch of an AM/FM radio and finding magic. Finding this week’s ARTIST OF THE WEEK was almost as simple as that.


I’m not what you would call an “avid tweeter”. Sure I have a handle and what not, but I’m averaging a tweet a week which is a pretty good clip or me, so when I get a new follower, I tend to take notice. This week I got followed by a group of guys known as The Gents. I don’t know why. I don’t really care. All I know is after a little digging I came across their self-titled EP and damnit if I wasn’t delighted. 1238945_532120800242900_1060822537_nThis week’s ARTIST OF THE WEEK: The Gents. Let’s kick things off with their opening track, which is available for free download on their Soundcloud, titled My Days. It’s a harmony filled ditty that will get your feet tapping. No doubt about that at all.

The Gents are made up of these fine gents:

Matthew Blissard: Vocals, Guitar, Bass

Tyler Jordan: Vocals, Guitar, Bass

Kevin Manship: Vocals, Guitar

Martin McCain: Percussion


The Gents formed in the Texas musical capitol of Austin where they spend their nights wowing crowds with their heart felt Americana rock that is chock full of three part harmonies. All three of the fellas strumming away on their guitars also happen to be song writers so it’s not surprising when a different member of the band steps up to take the lead on a track, you end up with something that has a completely different vibe. Their overall sound finds a sweet spot in the mix of folk, bluegrass, and southern rock. A song that sways more on the folky side and reminds me of the Barenaked Ladies in the best of ways is Week 2. The Barenaked Ladies never really got their due did they?

It’s weird that this song sounds a bit like the Barenaked Ladies and is called Week 2 and the Barenaked Ladies’ biggest hit was One Week…creepy.the-gents-band


Currently the guys are playing in and around Austin, hopefully soon they will branch out. Maybe even make their way to NYC so I can see them. Fingers crossed. For now, download their EP. It’s catchy and fun as all get out.


Big Hugs,





#AOTW: Parquet Courts

DSC_8513-copy_905Well it happened. The Ramones are no more. Tommy Ramone, the last original member, passed away this past week. The Ramones were always in heavy rotation for me. I just couldn’t get enough of those driving guitars with the catchy as hell hooks. Those were songs that I will always remember blasting as loud as I could while I bounced off the walls of my bedroom, yelling every along with every line.


Now they were an old band 15 years ago when I was jumping on my bed. They’re an even older band now. But they never seemed so old that all of the original members should be dead. The Rolling Stones should be dead, but no, still alive and touring. In honor of The Ramones, I found the most Ramones-esque band I could. Today we celebrate those bastards by jamming to a band that has Ramones influence out the ass. This week’s ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Parquet Courts. Let’s start things off with the savage title track off their latest release titled Sunbathing Animal.


This Texas to New York transplant band has been killing it with their post punk/ punk garage rock that brings up my memories of sweaty basement parties and having warm beer thrown at me. It’s the perfect way to get things going.


This Americana punk is of a bygone era, but it’s about time it made a comeback. They’ve been gigging heavily in the NYC areaparquetcourts_bybenrayner2-e1400558731629 since 2011, tearing it up. Grantland even had the sack to refer to them as New York’s Last Great Rock BandTheir previous album Light Up Gold is still my favorite. The track Donuts Only blows my mind. It’s a minute and twenty-one seconds of trippy feedback followed by a violently pontificated rant about a store that only has donuts. It’s like an angrier Craig Finn has taken the mic.



Check these guys out for sure. I highly recommend watching their full KEXP performance. It’s a  banger.

Big Hugs,





#AOTW- The Rotaries

rsz_dsc_3602Been working fairly regularly these days. By regularly I mean I get pulled in for these 5 day edit sessions where you spend 20 hours of every day in a small room tweaking a 4 minutes video that will be seen by a total of 15 people. But that’s all right by me. It’s collaborative work and I enjoy it. After days like that though, I like to come home and just kick back. Things are different this time around. Normally I come home and there is a bevy of activity going on. This is the first time in a very long time that I can remember coming home to nothing. My girlfriend is on vacation and I am left to my own devices. Those devices being ice cold white wine and blaring music, which are pretty nice. I get to sit back and really get into some new music. Really listen to it, ya know? Like at the end of Dazed and Confused when the kid who keeps pinching the bridge of his nose comes home after his big night out and throws the headphones on and starts vibing to Slow Ride. That’s what I’ve been doing with this week’s artist of the week. Some new rock that really brings it back to the good old days. ARTIST OF THE WEEK: The Rotaries. Let’s kick things off with first song off their only LP Before Leaving titled Tomorrow’s Game.

The sound is warm. It reminds me of the first half of a Dr. Dog song, before they go a trippy. The Rotaries stay right in the sweet spot of indie-rock without ever drifting too far into pop. The band consists of three fine New York fellows.


Bernard Casserly: Bassuntitled-75

Danny Nosonowitz: Drums

James Rapp: Guitar/ Vocals


The music is familiar and catchy. Even though these guys are a newer band, when I first heard their 2012 LP Before Leaving, I got that sense that I had when I was a kid and I’d drive around with my dad while listening to classic rock radio. I may have been hearing the songs for the first time, yet I found them familiar and comforting. I’m not trying to blow expectations out of the water here, but the songs seem to come from a bygone era of pick up trucks and warm beer rather than the blogosphere (I fucking hate that word so much).



They have a brand new EP coming out shortly titled On The Outs. And I can’t wait. I want to hear more from these guys. Their music is something I can see myself kicking back to for the foreseeable future. Let’s go out with their track Problems For Sale. I know it has a ukulele in it which is an instrument so over used in indie bands that at times I want to puke in my mouth when I hear it, but in this instance it’s pretty okay. Rapp’s voice really sells it.

Big Hugs,


Kelly McDermid



#AOTW: Young & Sick

095Sweet Jesus. It’s hot, so god damn hot. I don’t think I’ve stopped sweating for a week, which in turn has caused me to discover all the wondrous aromas my body expels during the summer months. It’s a real bad scene in my armpit regions. I know I usually call out for tracks that turn up the heat, but right now that’s entirely out of the question. I need some cool down shizz. For jams like that I turn to this week’s ARTIST OF THE WEEK, a darling of the Dutch art music community, who released his first album, a self-titled full length, in April of 2014. That artist is Young & Sick. Let’s start things off with the first single off the album titled Heartache Fetish.


The vocals sound a bit like The Flight of The Concords but the songs themselves go down like a  straight up 90’s R&B jam. The composition is smooth as silk with a heavy hitting bass. It’s a big boom with a driving high hat, accompanied with some trippy synth really ties the whole thing together like a nice rug.


Based out of LA Young & Sick Dutch mastermind Nick Van Hofwegan is behind everything having to do with the band. Not only that but he himself is AR-AF524_SICK_DV_20140327174142responsible for some recent notable artwork for other bands, creating works for Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines, Foster The People’s Torches, Micky Echo, and T. Mills, not to mention creating a piece designed for Katz’s Deli’s gallery “The Space.”


My other favorite track on this record was previously an EP all it’s own titled Glass. It’s like The Pet Shop Boys did instrumentals and MGMT pitched in on vox to create an electro symphony. It’s a great jam.


Last but not least we are going to bring it down with the mellowest of mellow on the track Valium. Listening to it gets you feeling sexy unlike actual Valium which just drops a case of the sleepies in your gut.



Check out Young & Sick on one of those hot & sticky nights. Maybe it will help chill you out. If that doesn’t work I suggest hanging in a kiddie pool on the regular.

Big Hugs,





#AOTW: Marvin Berry & The New Sound

52d80908e17037.36444447Sweet Fancy Moses, real hell of a week since I wrote last! I had my first festival experience at Brooklyn’s Northside Festival and I can honestly say, it didn’t disappoint. I got to see some of my favorite smaller bands in some intimate club settings, most notably the very last performance from former artist of The Week Steel Phantoms, then soak in larger acts like Beirut and War of Drugs at a beautiful outdoor stage by the water. It was nothing but music for 3 days straight. Needless to say I was a little burned out. But that didn’t stop me from finding something for you guys this week. Just as the heat starts to hit, we need something that inspires fun in the sun. You’re in luck because this week I’ve found the 70’s new wave/ punk sound of this week’s ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Marvin Berry & The New Sound. Let’s kick it off with the single of their debut album Bootleg titled Good Lookin’.


The band is made up of these duders:

Joe Porter : vocals
Jon Davies : guitar + vocals
Nick Andreoli : drums
Chuck van Dyck : guitar
Danny Zaj : bass + vocals

The name is an obvious nod to this memorable back to the future moment. It warms my damn heart.

I think Marty Mcfly fronted Starlighters would tip their cap to these fellas.


The band formed in 2010 and has been tooling around Brooklyn for the past few years raging at bar/ club shows. You 250524_209990762374071_112716315434850_587319_515164_n-1wouldn’t know it from the vocals though. These guys sound like they would be right at home in a grimy London pub in 1974. Their album Bootleg was recorded in 2012 but didn’t get distribution until now on Don Giovani Records. Needless to say, I’m glad it did.


These guys are a bit different than most of the Brooklyn scene right now which seems to be overrun by electro-dance bands that seem to take themselves way too seriously for music that’s generated for people high on coke. I like a band that has some fun. These guys seem like good dudes so why not root for them. Especially since they at one point they donned some 70’s style get ups and formed what was dubbed American Ruse, an MC5 cover band. That’s just rad.


Marvin Berry & The New Sound pack a hurricane’s wallop. Upon first listen my thought was “it sounds like as if The Shins went 60’s surf rock.” I hope no one takes that as an insult, but the thought popped in there. I’m not gonna sit here and lie about it. After repeated listens I really found that new wave groove in the songs. Especially on tracks like Space Age and Black Eggish


I like these guys. They are the perfect appetizer for what’s to come this summer. Check them out.

Big hugs,





#AOTW: Such Hounds

It’s festival season guys!!! That usually doesn’t mean much for a man like myself, mostly due to the fact I can’t stand the idea of dropping $700 in order to spend a full weekend wandering some the desert/ mountains/ farmland locales surrounded by white guys in Indian headdresses and girls trying to take Instagram pics of their homemade jean shorts #yolo #blessed. I don’t have the time for that. I’ve never been a fan of festivals in general mostly because of the fact that I prefer being able to go home at the end of the day apposed to crashing in a tent with no AC, surrounded by crushed Pabst cans. However there is the rare festival occasion that I can get down with. This weekend’s Northside festival is exactly one of those occasions. The festival is a mix of free shows and low cost club gigs. If there are only a few bands you want to see, the whole weekend would cost you no more than $30. Best part is, it’s all held in the concrete cosuchhounds_slidenfines of Brooklyn, far from the naturalistic settings. This is my type of festival. In preparation, this past week I’ve been going through the schedule finding the bands that I know I want to see, as well as finding the bands I didn’t know I wanted to see. Scouring Soundcloud accounts isn’t exactly glamorous, but sometimes it’s what you’ve got to do. Luckily during this time I found a band that truly struck a chord. They also just so happen to be playing the midnight slot Friday night at Deli Magazine’s “up and comers” stage. This week’s ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Such Hounds.

Let’s Kick things off with Sold My Soul, off of their EP I Hate Summer.


In my opinion this song pairs well with a BBQ sandwich and ice-cold beer. I’m not saying you have to have those things to make this a great track, but it certainly adds a certain “je ne sais quoi” to the vibe.34228954832


The band formed in college through various social networks, signed with the Brooklyn indie The Sleepover Party and have been rocking clubs ever since. The band captures that Americana sound that I dig most during the summer months, but still maintains an aggressive edge. It’s the perfect blend for day drinking and getting rowdy, which is what summer is all about isn’t it? Strange considering the EP is titled I Hate Summer. I can relate. Who wants to be hot and sweaty all the time? Here isToo Late. A Deer Tick-esque track that I dig a great deal.


While I Hate Summer is great, don’t miss their freshman self-titled EP, which happens to be available for free download at:

It’s three tracks of the sort of alt-folk that you can get lost in. I can’t wait to see these guys tomorrow night. If you’re in the NYC area I suggest checking them out at Spike Hill on Friday.

Check this band out. You won’t regret it.

Big hugs,






I’ve started the summer off proper. Been to a slew of live shows as of late and I’ll be damned they’ve all been great. My attendance to club shows has been lacking this past year. Living in Los Angeles it you can burn out on live tunes pretty quick. Not because the music isn’t any good, it’s all that comes with attending live music out there. There’s the traffic, the parking, finding a designated driver…I realize that those are all car related but the fact is when going out constantly involves getting behind the wheel, it gets old fast. The LA crowds also are pretty iffy too. Ask any entertainer, it’s hard to get anyone in LA to go out to see anything. Half the time the crowd seems apathetic about any band that they specifically didn’t come to see. I hate that. Especially when it involves rock music. Apathy has never encouraged a crowd to surge along with the band. You gotta get sweaty. Get messy. Make it happen. When you go out for live music, you’re guaranteed exposure to at least 2-3 new bands in a single night. Not all good, but hey, you can’t win all the time and that’s okay. All the stinkers make the great ones that much better.

a2404134072_2This past weekend I attended the record release for the band BOY TOY. I already knew they were a great band, so I entrusted them to pull together a lineup of other great bands. I had faith. That faith led me through a Friday night thunderstorm to a small bar called Baby’s All Right. BOY TOY didn’t go on until 11, but I had to check out the first of 3 opening acts. The little taste I got from their Soundcloud account was motivation enough to push me through the downpour. That and the promise of free Cutty Sark. As you guys know, I’m a sucker for whiskey. I’ll do a lot of heavy lifting when promised cheap tickets and free booze. As promised the Cutty Sark was flowing and the first opener METLALEG took the stage right on time. This week’s ARTIST OF THE WEEK: METALLEG.

Let’s kick things off with their song Leather and Velvet off of the METALLEG EP. Someone was nice enough to take the time and cut a video to this song made up of footage from the horror movie Basket Case (movie about an evil deformed formerly conjoined twin who lives in a basket) and some other flick that features a demon baby being dropped into a blender. Time well spent. I wasted a good amount of time Googling the name of this evil baby movie but you can only do that for so long before you start getting grossed out.

Despite the name, Metal s not METALLEG’s jam. They’ve dubbed themselves “gutter pop” and the sub-genre is fitting. Each track features short bursts of rock harmonies and catchy ass hooks. Their Ramones influence is quite obvious. Hell they even have the count off at the top of most of their tracks. Bottom line, these guys are rock and roll. They’re what rock and roll used to be, and what it should be. Their newest album Hit of The Week is a batch of old-school New York punk tracks that are delight to the eardrums. Here’s their single off of Hit of The Week titled…Hit of The Week.

My favorite track, as of late, has been the simplistic blast that is Bleed A Lot. I can’t stop playing that song. There isn’t a whole lot to it, but who cares? If This doesn’t get you moving then I think you’ve got problems.

I like METALLEG. I like them a lot. I think you guys will too. They know what they want to do and they do it. No bells and whistles, just rad rock songs. Check them out. You won’t regret it. Even if you do regret it, that feeling will be fleeting because their album is only 20 minutes long so it wasn’t a huge time investment for you anyway.

Big Hugs,





#AOTW: Honduras

honduras-bordersThese past few weeks my life has been truly bringing the noise. It’s hard to put that any other way. Between the city streets, the thunderstorms and the new rock, my ear drums have been busting. The start of summer has been loud as hell and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. This week the noise continues, we have another rock band out of New York that has been mixing it up for the past two years and aims to break into The Big Time at any moment now. This week’s ARTIST OF THE WEEK brings back the punk sounds that called London home in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Despite the name, these guys came up stateside and are keeping New York City louder than ever. This week’s ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Honduras. Here’s their first single off the record Borders.

If that doesn’t get your blood going, then I don’t know what will. The band put out their Morality EP this past February. Thehonduras EP is bursting at the seams with kinetic rock and catchy hooks to boot. The popular commentary on these guys from most media outlets is “Alex Turner (The Arctic Monkeys) meets the Sex Pistols.” The instrumentals certainly hint at a less friendly version of the Arctic Monkey’s but when I hear the vocals I can’t help but think that Colin Meloy formed a band that encourages pogoing while drenched in sweat and cheap beer. For those who are too young, pogoing is a dance move from back in the day where you jump up and down. It gets it’s name from the prehistoric toy know as the pogo stick. Here is the newest single off Morality, Ace. It’s definitely the type of song you could get into trouble to.

While many have sounded off on the shear awesomeness of the of Morality EP, I don’t want you guys to miss out their dynamite freshman effort Cahokia. It’s the same fast paced guitars and thumping drums but features a distortion on the vocals that gives the band a Growlerslike sound. For me that’s really nice because I love The Growlers. Here’s their song Alien off of the Cahokia. The video features a pretty sweet fight. If I get into a fight this summer, I can only hope that this is playing in the background. Might juice me up enough to pick up the W.

If you’re in the New York City area this Memorial Day weekend, these guys are playing a show at the Mecurey Lounge on Sunday night at 7PM. You can bet on me being there since I like loud rock music. Check them out. You won’t regret it, unless you’re a total softie and you dig Barry Manilow or some shit. If that’s the case then maybe these guys aren’t your steez. Oh, who am I kidding? I’m a Fanilow through and through and I like these guys as much as anybody. Party on.


Big Hugs,






#AOTW: Mannequin Pussy

mannequinpussy560Boy howdy it’s good to be back this week. I say that for one big reason really. Punk. It’s been a while since we featured a band on here that liked to play it fast, loose, and loud. Sometimes you really crave some music that jumps out and kicks you in the dick. This week we feature a band that does exactly that. They’re currently out there banging with the rest of them in NYC and they are doing so with one of the best band names I’ve heard in a while. This week’s ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Mannequin Pussy.




Marisita Dabeast: Guitar/ Vocals

Drew Adler: Drums

Anthanasios Paul: Guitar


I first heard about Mannequin Pussy when I went to Sent New York. It’s one of those stores that specialize in printing things and sending your mail out for you. I don’t even know what to call it. Yelp calls it a “shipping center” but I think that’s a bit grandiose for a place that sells highlighters and overcharges you for stamps. Anyways, I was waiting in line and there was a local magazine sitting on the counter. On the cover were the words Mannequin Pussy. Being a grown man, if I see the word “pussy” anywhere, I’ve been trained since my teen years to investigate further. In this case I opened up the mag and found an interview with what was in fact a band named Mannequin Pussy. Not a series Sears mannequin crotch shots.tumblr_mz6tmgVmZe1qz92gso9_1280


You guys know I’m a sucker for a whack-a-doo band name. Hell on this blog alone we’ve talked about bands like Cheeseburger, Diarrhea Planet, Shannon & The Clams, and Butt Fucker and The Truckers. Ok that last one was fake but let’s face it, you’d totally go see BF&TTs. Upon returning from the “shipping center” I hopped on the old lap top, waited 20 minutes for it to boot up because as I said it’s “the old laptop,” and then I did some digging. The first thing I found was the delightful punk jam Clue Juice. When I first listened to this song I felt like I was 16 again. An age where all I wanted to do what jump around a break myself or some one else. Here’s the video for Clue Juice.



I was instantly hooked. It was dirty, raw; thrash punk, with some killer female vocals. The song is their first track of their album Gypsy Pervert which will be re-released on vinyl this summer by Tiny Engine Records. I’ve been having trouble finding a digital copy of the record as of late so while I wait for the re-release I’ve been jamming to their live set @ Shea Stadium in Brooklyn. It rips. While I love when Mannequin Pussy hits hard and fast on songs like Clue Juice and My Baby (Axe Nice)



I really love it when they slow things down and show that they are a bit more than a series of sonic blasts. You hear the slow down most on Meatslave 2. I imagine it’s a nice break during their live set. The constant frenetic expulsion of energy and then finally this small break in the chaos where you don’t have people slamming into you for 3 minutes.


Check out Mannequin Pussy. Keep and eye out for that vinyl re-release and tickets for their upcoming tour. If they make a stop in you neck of the woods they are definitely worth a look.


Big Hugs,






boytoyHPI think I’m entering my own personal chick-rock renaissance. I know that sounds weird, but stay with me. I’m not saying I wasn’t listening to girl groups in the past. I was down with the Heartless Bastards and The Donnas way back when, but honestly that was about it. I don’t know why. Did I have blinders on before? Was I sexist pig that has only now accepted the fact that ladies are rock stars too? Both are possibilities. Regardless of my lacking past, in the recent months I’ve been listening to more lady rock than ever before. The Coathangers, Dum Dum Girls, Haim, Nelson Can…all of them ladies and all of them rocking harder than most bands out there today. This week I add another band led by the fairer of the two sexes. They are 2 girls and 1 dude mixed and served as the trio known as BOYTOY. They’re this week’s ARTIST OF THE WEEK!

The line up is as follows:

Vocals: Saara Untracht Oakner

Guitar: Glenn Michael VanDyke

Drums: Mathew Gregory (Drummer on EP is Dylan Ramsey)

BOYTOY is a Brooklyn/ Boston based trio offering up a heavy dose fun with songs that feature dueling guitars, sugary pop melodies, and playful lyrics and harmonies. Their songs are upbeat and unbelievably catchy. It’s near impossible to keep your feet from tapping while listening to the latest release TV Dreams.

Prior to TV Dreams, BOYTOY tantalized listeners with their pop laced rock track Visits, which harks back to the days of 90’s rock like the Breeders. Other writers have made that comparison as well. It was inevitable that comparison get made because this is a band fronted by women. Occasionally their songs do have a Breeders vibe, but in my personal opinion BOYTOY is way more fun than The Breeders ever were. In January they released their video for Visits . It stars Horatio Sanz. Where’s that dude been? You can download the track now though their bandcamp.

One of my favorite tracks they have out currently is their song Runner. The opening to the song starts with a parade of drums and a wailing amp squeal. Reminds me of the opening to Nirvana’s School. Where Nirvana went full thrash on that song, BOYTOY flips Runner on it’s head and turns what begins as an assault, into a warm embrace.

I recently saw BOYTOY perform at Niagra bar in New York City and they did not disappoint. The fact that they closed with The Ramones’ The KKK Took My Baby Away was really the icing on the cake for me. Check out this band. Make sure to download their self-titled EP due out May 13th. If you’re in the New York area, they will be having a record release show on May 23rd. Check out the details on their Facebook page.

Big Hugs,