Another year, another edition of L Magazine‘s “8 NYC Bands You Need To Hear.” Said this last time around, but the point bears repeating: handpicking a barful of relatively intriguing unknowns in this city isn’t an easy task, nor has it gotten any simpler in the last 12 months, especially when “Brooklyn is the center of the universe” is a blog-tag punchline. No, you can’t keep secrets here now, if you ever could — you can’t even have acquaintances string guitars in your basement without somebody telling the world — and, for all but a few, attempting to king-make bands in New York City is a fool’s errand.
But once again L Magazine has selected eight bands, admittedly inoffensively rockist in predilection, but a good percentage of whom are above the Deli Magazine slushpile, but below the incessant blog-babbling radar. The Vegan gallery is characteristically underwhelmed (“25 white people you’ll need to order from if you want food on a weeknight in Williamsburg”) and currently obsessed with the Asa Ransom guy in a bowtie. But props to the fact that even the obvious guesses aren’t entertained — no Beach Fossils, Tanlines, Class Actress, or Freelance Whales. One-fourth has surfaced in our/Weingarten’s Yes in My Backyard column, like Carlos Hernandez’s “bedroom-soul project” Ava Luna (download “Clips” here) and Bogmen-teetering, herky-jerky noodle-heads Miniboone. (Ignore their comment-spamming, along with the L‘s CYHSY mention, if you don’t want to punch a dog today.) And we enthusiastically co-sign Twin Sister, who were expertly singled out by Rob before SXSW, and are a gorgeously transfixing five-piece making mixtape anthems for table-clothed dinner-dates.
But there’re a few other potentially promising outfits we don’t know shit about, like Ball of Flame Shoot Fire (who must’ve gone to band-naming school with Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly) or Nohow On, who, despite stealing pacing and phrasing from Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” for their song “You and Me” (streaming here), don’t sound half-bad. Lastly, big-ups to Human Resources, the solo project of Villagevoice.com contributor/office homie Jeremy Krinsley, for landing an honorable mention. “Yellow Cake” is the jam.