The mid 2000′s produced some great singer/songwriters and one of the best voices to come out of this period was Regina Spektor.
Her career really took off in my old stomping grounds of the East Village in NYC, and the video below is a deep dive into her archives with a 2004 performance of her song “Hero”, recorded at the famous Knitting Factory. This song was made more popular in recent years as it was featured in the film (500) Days of Summer, but I like this video because its raw and shows her talent and uniqueness before she really blew up.
The other interesting tidbit about her is that she shares managers with my 2AM Club crew. Maybe thats not interesting to you, but there it is nonetheless
I remember when The Strokes were blowing up in NYC in the mid 00′s and they were the absolute darlings of the music industry. Everyone praised them like there were gods gift to music and they certainly were talented and in many ways elevated the East Village/Lower East Side New York vibe which in turn really ramped up what we now call the hipster culture. These guys were rockers and in many ways earned the praise they received.
While they’ve released a few albums now, they havent been able to duplicate their early success to date. I enjoyed Julian Casablancas solo effort as I wrote in an earlier post, but the folks that were drooling over them a few years ago have definitely moved on it seems. Last year they dropped another album and it didnt make much noise, but I really enjoyed the title track called “Under Cover of Darkness” which to me is a classic indie rock song that really captures some of their early brilliance. Check it out and let me know what you think.
If there is a band that defined the year of my life when I moved back to NYC from LA in 2005 it has to be Brazilian Girls. I used to see these guys (actually 3 guys and 1 girl lead singer, none from Brazil) almost weekly at one of my favorite speakeasy clubs in the East Village, Nublu, whose entrance was marked by a blue light which was the only distinction between it and an old alleyway.
Their music will bring you somewhere, where that is is up to you. For me, it was this small dark venue where they performed without a stage, so you literally would walk almost through them to get from the bar to the dance floor. The crowd was either European, South American or the NYC music/arts crowd. The unifying factor in the crowd was a desire to disconnect, dance and appreciate the art of music and dance. On countless occasions I saw people join in with their instruments to play along, or conversely you may see their lead singer Sabina join the patrons on the dancefloor. No matter what, you were transported to a place where music and dance ruled and nothing else mattered.
I had the good fortune of spending New Years Eve 2005/2006 with this crew and it proved to be a night of epic proportions. Enjoy the song and check out the others from their self titled debut album.