New York

Four NYC Bands, One Monster Riff


The IOs + Surefire + PS + The Soft Explosions at Rothko
Tuesday July 19


You can’t see it but behind the table that guy’s holding a stack of Magic cards

To think: Every seven seconds in New York City, a child–or a fully-grown adult, or a ghost with diabetes–finds himself attending a rock concert. Sometimes people don’t even realize it. Other times they willingly subject themselves to the whim of rock bands they’ve neither heard nor heard of. Most times they keep their Chuck Klosterman parodies to themselves.

In the spirit of buying records based on cover art and the band’s name, Tuesday night I decided to attend a random rock&roll show based strictly on the bands’ names, my close geographical proximity to Rothko, and a stack of two dollar bills in my wallet just begging to be stacked. I entered bummed to find out that the legendary The Harlem Shakes–who (I assume) boast some soulful take on what Kula Shakur might sound like if they lived uptown, with delirium tremens–had bucked the bill because their guitarist was in a Vespa accident. He’s fine–just a little “shaken up.” From the tremens.

Below’s my score card. Underneath each band I list my predictions for their sound and demeanor, and under that I list what really happened.

The IOs

Download: “Every Waking Moment”
Download: “Everyone As One”
Download: “Come True”

My Predictions:
-mindblowing indie-pop
-token classical string instrument on most songs, or some “electronica”
-sometimes ironic (ironically)
-an act not to be missed

What Really Happened:
I did not see the IOs.


Stream: “What Else Could I Say”
Stream: “Hung”

My Predictions:
-lead singer loves blazers but hasn’t found one that fits him
-sound like a band everybody forgot about, such as Electric Soft Parade, or R.E.M.
-drummer is vegetarian
-at least one band parent is a famous politician

What Really Happened:
-sound like Electric Soft Parade with better songs and vox
-drummer is asian
-all band parents are famous registered voters
-tomorrow I’m taking the lead singer blazer-shopping


Download: “Pylons”
Download: “Spelling”

My Predictions:
-band name is short for some inside joke from college
-perhaps lead singer once known as “PS” a/k/a “Panty Snatcher”?
-often try to freeze time by playing variations on Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris” and that Coldplay song over and over until nature revolts
-from a distance, drummer looks like a handsomer Moby

What Really Happened:
-unable to confirm “Panty Snatcher”
-the Coldplay song I’m thinking of is actually a Travis song

The Soft Explosions

Visit: their MySpace page

My Predictions:
-hip-hop collective with Christian bent OR garage rock
-like riffs (a plus)
-always exploding

What Really Happened:
-bassist has the same name as somebody in my freshman year entryway
-have a song that jacks “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, but so does every band like this I guess
-exploded three times

Check out the wonderful Melody Nelson for concert info and more.

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