Village Voice published my Phish Hand Signals piece

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While I was away, the Village Voice published my Guide to Phish’s Hand Signals piece. It’s just a little entertainment piece, not meant to actually be considering some official guide. Most are from the Red Rocks show filled with one-offs because I didn’t want to give too many of their secrets away (plus, it’s hard to find video of the signals, most Youtubes start when the music starts). Obviously, they don’t use signals all the time, but it’s a fun treat to catch one. Read the humor piece at the Village Voice here:

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/2014/03/a_guide_to_phish_hand_signals.php

UPDATE: over 100,000 views on this article! Thanks to my wonderful, goofy readers!

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Got just under two minutes?

Dances

Listen to Dances new single “Rat” today off their debut EP coming out this spring on Black Bell Records. One minute and 41 seconds of reckless, jangly, melodic fury. In their press release it says they are influenced by 60’s psych and 90’s alternative, I didn’t have to read further. Sold. The NY trio will be playing the Sailor Jerry party at SXSW on 3.13, won’t be missing that one.

Woods continues to deliver with “Moving to the Left”

Woods

Woods continues to put out perfect songs, this time letting the musical saw and almost theatrical enunciation take the lead. Just a whole bunch of prettiness down to the “ooh ooh ooh’s”. The song has a swagger befitting a walk down a coastal boardwalk wearing nothing but a bathing suit, confidence and a smile. The musical saw wavers in and out like a polite alien abduction of a falsetto hero:

Woods new single “Leaves Like Glass” has a Bob Dylan feel

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As New York’s psych folk rock act Woods‘ sound constantly evolves, it bears to note that it always evolves for the better. The new single “Leaves Like Glass” from their upcoming album With Light and with Love has a perfect, sunshine-y, jangly spring sound that will be perfectly timed with its April 15th release date. Dylan-esque vocal inflections mix with beautiful organ chords and tambourine to create a perfect pop gem that is at once joyful as well as melancholy and bittersweet; the music builds gracefully before reaching a blissful crescendo.

Habibi- “I Got the Moves”

habibi

Brooklyn girl group Habibi‘s new single is a little cloudpuff of a song, the smooth 60’s garagepop sound sweet but not too syrupy. Their name means “my love” in Arabic, and their sound is feminine and sexy. Hope they make it out to SXSW again this year. Listen here:

Couldn’t have asked for more at Phish NYE

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I was supposed to review String Cheese Incident in Denver for New Year’s Eve, but as is typical in the world of Phish, they started playing too well so we last second booked the last two seats flying out of Denver that morning. We stayed with wonderful friends in Williamsburg who had a view of the Empire Building from their fire escape, and even managed to get tickets for face value (one a shiny glittery lotto ticket!). It was fairly amusing that coming to NYE last second took way less planning and stress than if I had decided to go months ago, but isn’t that always the case? The city streets were absolutely electric with excitement, topped only by what Phish was about to pull off inside. My best moments of the NYE run article was published today at the Westword, read all my gushings here. It’s days later and I still spring little tears of joy and gratitude thinking about that Forbin’s.

Read here: http://blogs.westword.com/backbeat/2014/01/best_moments_phish_madison_square_garden_new_years_eve_2013.php

I could sit here for a lifetime:

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Superhuman Happiness – Band to Watch

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Their last release “Hands” by Superhuman Happiness starts with what else – hands. “Our Favorite Part” begins with syncopated layers of handclaps, and by the time the vocals come in, the party has started. These guys made a name for themselves playing energetic Brooklyn dance parties, and the vibe is still the same, just on a more grand scale now. They grew a reputation touring with Rubblebucket and Marco Benevento, signed with The Royal Potato Family, and now we have a full length release that’s built up steam for a few months and are about ready to pop.

I have really been anticipating this album since I was told each song segues into each other on the album. The Phish fan in me is always yearning for that seamless transition between songs (pronounced “seegs” by the guys in the poster line in Tahoe), and you do indeed get nonstop music. This album should be in every party host’s catalog, it does the DJ work for you. The handclaps continue through the whole album, and I think they are particularly fitting in the breakdown of “I Can Hear You Calling”. As the theme is repeated and slowly deconstructed, that clapping provides a perfect backbone for any chances the musicians want to take.

“Sentimental Pieces” is a slinky cool groove with vocals that sound a little Eels-like, and “Second Heart” brings the horns and harder dance beats. Once again, syncopated handclaps lead in for “Elevator Elation”, a building, driving song with horns going up in half steps, pushing you further into the ascension. By the time the peak is reached, I’m dancing in my living room, impossible to sit still. As a fan of extended instrumentals, I hope this gets some radio play, it’s definitely the highlight of the album for me. The album ends with “Second Heart Reprise”, a lovely coda that gives the whole album a nice cohesion.

Keep your eyes on these guys, with members from Antibalas, TV on the Radio and tUnE-yArDs making smart pop that at moments sounds like it was written by David Byrne, it’s pretty hard to go wrong.

Listen to “Sentimental Pieces” radio edit here: Superhuman Happiness Soundcloud

Watch a video for “Elevator Elation” here: youtube video