Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam
Album: I Had a Dream that You Were Mine
Track: In a Blackout
I first saw the Hamilton Leithauser fronted band The Walkmen at the Bowery Ballroom back in 2002 or so. I saw them again at Maxwell’s (a much smaller venue) where they only played for a half hour. I approached the bassist at the bar after and told him it was a great set, but it was a little short. He profusely apologized. I always felt bad about that.
Anyway, Leithauser teamed up with one of the dudes from Vampire Weekend and recorded a gorgeous album. You’ll probably know this track from that Apple ad.
Album: What Will Destroy You
Track: The Aftermath or Water Torture or Gestalt
Kyle Morton’s band Typhoon has been around since 2005, culminating with their 2011 masterpiece White Lighter. The band typically has 11 or so members—practically a mini-orchestra.
Morton owes a lot of his lyrics to Christian philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, and this continues with his first solo album.
Track: Surving October
The Syracuse University sports teams play at the Carrier Dome. A few years ago, a bunch of enterprising students, led by Lorenzo Gillis Cook converted their rented student house into a do-it-yourself music venue called the Scarier Dome. Why no one did this when I was a student there in the 90s is beyond me.
Anyway, Cook’s band Petite League is low-fi indie pop band that reminds me of Apples in Stereo, Guided by Voices, and Radiator Hospital.
Album: Guided Meditation
track:I’m with you or Fascination
REM, The Replacements, Teenage Fanclub, Matthew Sweet and countless other bands cite Big Star as a major influence. Philly’s Hurry is firmly entrenched in the Big Star family tree.
Track: Opening Mail for My Grandmother
There’s a fourth wave of emo, and while it isn’t a subgenre I was hardcore about in the past, I’ve always been into a few of the bands in the second wave. My friend Andrew noted, “It was like walking into someone else’s high school reunion”, when we saw them at the Bowery Ballroom over the summer.
This wasn’t a diss, and I really enjoyed seeing the crowd sing every lyric.
Lead vocalist Michelle Zauner used to front the now-defunct Little Big League — a band I adore. But now she fronts Japanese Breakfast. Her voice reminds me a bit of the Sundays.
Track: Size of the Moon
There isn’t too much more I can say about Pinegrove since I interviewed Evan Stephens Hall last year. It’s fun to see a band rise after checking them out at a basement show at Rutgers.
Album: White Hot Moon
Lead vocalist and guitarist Brennan Greaves shared lead vocals and guitars with Britty Drake. Unfortunately when I saw them, Drake quit the band. And even more unfortunately, the band has taken an “indefinite hiatus.”
Anyway, picture Dinosaur Jr. with J. Mascis sharing vocals with a Sundays type vocalist and you have Pity Sex.
Angels in the Sunshine Hotel
Sam Cook-Parrott of Radiator Hospital and Michael Cantor of The Goodbye Party have teamed up to form the Afterglows. Their self-titled album also gives off a Big Star/Teenage Fanclub vibe, but mellower.