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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R.I.P. 5 Pointz

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This month I was fortunate enough to be near Queens, NY to see the famed street art Mecca before it was torn down to be turned into condos. The place had a couple guys taking pics of their cars up on the sidewalk, and you had to get out of the way of delivery trucks (the place still has companies doing business inside), but otherwise it was fairly empty and magical. The owner whitewashed the building last Tuesday, saying it would break his heart to see the art go down with the building, an excuse not very well-received. Recent news is that he may have to pay damage costs to the artists, and numerous people have been arrested for tagging the white washed building. End of an era.

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For decades artists came here to legally paint on the walls, from elaborate bubble letters to giant Biggie murals, the styles displayed on the place reached far in variation. Leased to a company that made 8-tracks then cd covers, the digital world left business slowing down, and art then going up.

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Since Banksy was in town when I went, I was on the hunt. I had a mini heart attack when I saw this little boy with dynamite stencil, thinking I’d found one early. Alas, upon closer inspection, it had been there for awhile. Anyone know who did this?

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Luckily, I was near Coney Island and managed to get a pic with the Banksy piece that day an hour before they put a metal gate over it. Street art is temporary, get out there!

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What 5 Pointz looks like now: whitewashed 5 Pointz

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

Hunters Sign with Mom+Pop Records- Band to Watch

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Hunters are a rowdy group from Brooklyn who just signed with Mom+Pop Records and are already opening for JEFF the Brotherhood, a personal favorite of mine. Listen to their 5 song EP, it gets better and better song by song, fuzzy rock that is reminiscent of Sonic Youth in a way, and the tracks progressively build until track 5 is just full blast. Love the alternating vocals, reminds me of the angel and devil screeching in each ear. As soon as they start, they light the stage up. And why yes, I do love her hair.

great live video of “Deadbeat” and tour dates

hear their EP free or buy