Category Archives: music reviews

Music Cover Takes Over J&R

Left to Right: Megan Thomas, Shannon Conley, Steph Paynes

It was 15 minutes to 3 and I found myself running late for the event. Splish Splash, Splish, Splash, my pants was drenched wet, my socks soaked in rain, and my umbrella destroyed halfway battling against a 14 mph wind. I should have stayed in bed but instead I was rushing to see Lez Zeppelin.

Lez Zeppelin, the all female tribute band, not to be confused with Led Zeppelin, the all American male rock band from the 60s, performed at J&R music store on April 16. The band staged at the $5.99-$19.99 CD sections and was supposedly set to perform at 3pm.

A small crowd of 35 started to form, pre-dominantly middle aged males and a few families. I was lucky enough to get a close spot near the stage. However, it was unfortunate that the band didn’t show up on time and I was stuck in between aisles breathing in dust from the plastic wrap of the CD’s and the smell of unflattering cologne from the guy next to me.

The band setting up

The band arrived 45 minutes late and the crowd was less than welcoming after having their patience tested. The 4 band members, minus one group member, immediately set up and apologized for the delay. They started the event off with a song from their recent released album, Lez Zeppelin 1, track 2, “Baby, I’m going to leave you.”

“Baby, I’m going to leave you,” can be described as a drug, a repeating trance with a smooth calmness to the ear. When the chorus hit, it gets your head rocking wildly back and forth with the beat of the guitar.  Compared to the original version, Robert Plant, lead vocalist, sang it with soul while Shannon Conley sang it with a country, hippie accent that puts you into a dazed and relaxed the mind. I personally like both and applauded Steph Paynes, founder and guitarist of the group, for her amazing rock and roll solo. She rocked it out like Vinnie Moore. The riffs of her electric guitar quickly stirred up the ground, the vibrations crawled up my spine and spiked into my chest.

In unexpected times, Paynes slowed down the pace of her strumming and Conley comes back in with her trance-like vocal and ended it with a stretched. “It’s calling me, it’s calling me back…home…..” Megan Thomas sat there giving her support.

The band started out in New York in 2004. They devoted their performance to the original works of Led Zeppelin and within a year, they started to get more media attention. They appeared on Spin magazine, Chicago times, and CBS Good Morning America. They have toured in Europe, Japan, and the US. Right now, they are planning to do an extensive tour on the east coast.


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Video Daughters Makes Noise Become Music

Video Daughters takes you on a trip to the world of noise

If you don’t like noise, stay away from Video Daughters. Because if there is something this experimental band is good at, it is creating noise.

It is drums and hums turning into industrial noises, taking you into dark street corners. It is cars speeding on a highway. Its equally poppy and hard. And it is definitely not always rhythmical, but then again, clearly never boring.

Video Daughters, a Brooklyn based group of four is not a band that could step up on stage at Madison Square Garden. But in a place like Public Assembly in Williamsburg, an old factory building transformed into a popular performance space, Video Daughters fits perfectly. Dressed in plaid-shirts, with their long and unbrushed hair, the four members succeeds with the rough-enough-but-still-cute look, that easily attracts young hipsters from the neighborhood. This Sunday the 17th of April a crowd of about fifty, both female and male youngsters, gathered to nod their heads and swing their bodies to Video Daughters electric rhythms.

While setting up their gear on stage Mike Green, lead singer, guitarist and on-and-of drummer announced that there was a new addition to the band: Randy Riback, taking care of the drums. Prior to this new member,  all the other three musicians used to rotate back and forth between the drums and their main instruments. Now John Creedy stays steadily behind the guitar, Scott Townsend jams the base and Mike Green plays around with the keyboard and computer. But despite their more steady roles, the members are not afraid to use their energy, encouraging the crowd to follow their jumps and shaky dance.

Video Daughters starts of strongly, with their newest song “Get Me A Body.” This poppy song definitely brought out some smiles, and in my head it painted up a scenic view of a bike ride in the summer-time. The downside of this tune was its strong remembrance of  the experimental rock band Animal Collective’s music. Off course a band can have influences from other musicians, but “Get Me A Body” lacked something different and personal, and could easily have been mistaken for a Animal Collective song.

The show continued with older beats, and Video Daughters balanced the songs well. The longer and more repetitive songs could easily have put anyone to sleep after ten minutes, but just at that moment Mike Green gave out a loud shout – and everyone was awake.

One of the bands most popular songs, “Wild People,” explains itself in the title, and both the band and the audience definitely went wild to this simultaneously steady and off killer beat. It was adrenaline, sweat and beer all over.

The energetic performance of the band was admirable, but it had its downsides. While the lead singer Mike Green shone as a performer, dancing along while banging on the keyboard, the vocals suffered. Throughout the performance it was hard to hear the lyrics, and sometimes the loud instruments made the vocals entirely disappear. But then again, once caught in the electrical waves of Video Daughters, you don’t really need those words. It is all about noises and movement.

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MVP, Still a ‘Baadasssss’

Melvin Van Peebles is cooler than your grandfather.

Case in point, the controversial 78 year old singer/director/actor/writer still regularly performs with his band, cheekily named Laxative (because, according to their Facebook page, “they’re a crew of musicians who make sh** happen and get sh** done”).

The show opened with a masterful  jazz-funk cover of the song “Won’t Bleed Me” from Van Peebles’ notable 1971 Blaxploitation film, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song.  Armed with a large book, literally of Biblical proportions, Van Peebles took the stage.

Laxative provided smooth (pun slightly intended) background music complimentary to Van Peebles’ contrasting raspy vocals. Using a sprechgesang style of performing, each song was like an intimate storytelling session with a respected elder.

Encouraging audience participation and often referring to his band members as “brothers and sisters,” Van Peebles created a sense of community while sharing songs about relatable struggles such as heartbreak and financial hardships. The venue, Zebulon, instantly transformed from a standard Williamsburg bar into what felt like an intimate gathering in someone’s living room.

Though Earth, Wind, and Fire famously performed the soundtrack for Sweetback, Laxative does not possess their same finesse. While including a similar fusion of funk, soul, and blues, the band is more subtle and consists of a calculated roughness.

Performing regularly at local venues such as Zebulon, Laxative also plays internationally, having recently done a show in Paris in February. The audience consisted  mostly of 30-somethings and hipsters who just happened to stroll into the bar.

During intermission, Van Peebles mingled with members of the audience and his girlfriend, who, he joked on stage, was not his niece, but his “squeeze”.

A true character, Melvin Van Peebles himself is almost more entertaining than the band’s music.

During one of the songs, the band crooned, “We’re all just actors in life’s play” and going to see Laxative is like being a part of an underrated off-Broadway play- unexpectedly fun and entertaining.


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Tengo hambre, dame Quimbombo

Normally, I’d say Quimbombó tastes great but in this particular case, I say Quimbombó sounds wonderful. The former Quimbombó is a Latino gumbo, the latter a Cuban musical group specializing in Son Cubano. This group performed at the BAMCafé in my borough of Brooklyn to celebrate the citywide ¡Si Cuba! Festival.

The inside of BAMCafé is a claustrophobic’s worst nightmare. Every square inch of the already cozy space was occupied by a body. The air is dense as dozens of people patiently draw their breaths in anticipation for the performance. Downstairs the situation was even worse. Scores of poor, unfortunate souls waited there as if trapped in purgatory, unable to ascend the café’s escalator into its crowded heaven.

Though I’ve never had the pleasure of listening to this group perform before, when they hit the stage I was greeted by very familiar sounds. Son Cubano is a relative to Salsa, a musical style I’m quite familiar with. When they played, percussion of African origins filled the air. It resonated throughout the walls and into the body like a stylishly rhythmic heartbeat. This clearly African beat melds with the Spanish guitar and lyrics reflecting a society established by Spaniards centuries ago; a meeting of two very different cultures that invigorates. You needn’t take my word for it; one glance at the audience would tell you all you need to know. Excitement and passion replaces the discomfort. Hips undulate rhythmically, feet shift side to side despite the lack of space and even those who don’t know how to move like a Latino, move their bodies to the beat anyway. Yes, this is Son Cubano. All it needed was some more brass and it would be just like the very same music I grew up listening to. Of course, this doesn’t surprise me, both Cubans and Puerto Ricans are the result of the melding of Spaniard, Taíno and African peoples.

The excitement and desperation to see this band perform is well deserved.

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The Little Band That Could…

The number one rule for a free concert by a band that you barely know anything about is to not arrive a few minutes before the concert starts. You could be in for an unexpected surprise.

As we walked up the escalators into the dimly lit, intimate BAMcafe, the place was already packed at least an hour before the show. The tables in the front were filled, those who could not get seats stood in groups at the sides or in the back around the bar and others who were just coming in tried to squeeze themselves into whatever space was available. By the time the main attraction arrived, the room was at full capacity with a long line of people waiting downstairs hoping someone would leave so they could enter.

Inside Bamcafe

Then Quimbombó hit the stage for their second appearance at BAM, and the discomfort of the crowd slowly faded away. The Afro-Cuban band, which actually has eight members, only had five Friday night: two Conga drummers, two guitarists and a trumpeter. However, the size of the band did not stop them from filling the entire cafe with excitement, laughter and joy with its smooth, lyrical melodies and lively, danceable rhythms.

As part of the ¡Si Cuba! Festival, a New York celebration of Cuban arts and culture from March to June, the legendary band, whose name is Spanish for “okra” or “gumbo,” specializes in the Afro-Cuban style of Son. The genre of Son, which Black Cubans developed in the early 20th century, mixes together the guitars from Spanish culture and the percussion, and vocal and musical rhythms (ex. call-and-response, syncopation) from African culture.


The freedom and sensuality with which the band plays and sings stems not only from that mixture, but also the history of the genre, which was illegal in Cuba before 1925 in an effort to suppress black culture. Quimbombó definitely follows in the tradition of other Son bands, like the innovators, the Sexteto Tipico Habanero band from the 1920s, and stands with the genre’s derivative, Salsa, including musicians like Tito Puente and Celia Cruz.

Audience members, some from the Brooklyn area and others who traveled from as far as Cuba to see the band, could not resist the band’s grooves, especially in songs like “Con El Trapo Rojo.” Couples found whatever space they could to dance with each other. One man loosely glided across the floor, embarrassing his friend, who eventually got up to move herself. Two old ladies joined in on the fun and shook their hips. Even the rhythmically-challenged could not help but bop their heads.

Quimbombó played an acoustic set with the guitars playing sweetly and softly against the slightly forceful pulsating drums, and although the trumpeter only had a few parts, his sound added flavor to the other instruments by giving the band a bigger and fuller sound. The singers flowed with the instruments, falling somewhere between rhythmic rapping and singing with their call-and-response technique.

Since the band’s formation in 1995, Quimbombó has released two albums, Quimbombó (2004) and Conga Electrica (2008), both of which received critical acclaim. Currently they are touring the city, playing at various venues and answering booking requests.

Which brings us to rule number two: have a party coming up, book this band!

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A cup of coffee and live music soothes the soul

When under-the-radar, folk and pop artist Brooke Campbell took her corner of the modern art deco 92YTribeca Café to perform a free show,  I didn’t know what to expect. Listening to a few of her tracks online didn’t prepare enough for the mesmerizing performance I later heard in person.

Artist Brooke Campbell belts out a soulful lyric.

Settled with a coffee at my own high chair corner beside glass windows overlooking Hudson street, I was mere feet from the performer and instantly taken by both what I saw and heard. Performing with only a dark mahogany varnished guitar accompanying her soothing vocals, Campbell’s voice was nearly bare but beautiful. The singer opened her set to an audience of barely ten with a few soft words and soulful music and lyrics that had me moments from slipping into a dream and focused on the reality outside my window.

Hailing from the small coastal town of Whiteville, North Carolina, Campbell’s soft, southern drawl and clear folk music influences peeked out from below her voice. Her folksy yet jazzy and soulful pieces were laced with melancholy lyrics and breathless vocals reciting the trials of life and love. More than once, her crooning made me turn to look at the nighttime view outside and reflect on my own trials as the day looped to her soundtrack.

That soundtrack included tracks like “Sugar Spoon,” “Why,” and “Please Go,” off of her second, most recent release, Sugar Spoon, songs from her first album, Better, and covers of a few unknown folk songs. (Here’s a listen- Stretched Towards You)

One was based on a poem about Civil War soldiers returning to the women who had been doing their jobs in the mens’ absence.  Mentioning that she liked singing this especially because her brother had just safely returned from the war, Cambell allowed me to see a genuine personality to match her almost vulnerable voice.

With a sound similar to pre-pop Jewel and Ingrid Michaelson’s, Campbell voice was easily likable and her set pleasing to the ear. My only gripe might be that her music lacked variety. Theresa Roca related to this.

“Although Campbell clearly possesses the qualities of passion and talent, when on stage, she sings in the same quiet tone, lacking energy.” Roca said.

Campbell’s songs differed mainly in range. Some, she sang in a consistently mellow tone. On others, she reached for especially high notes that sounded a depth of feeling from more than her diaphragm. It was easily visible that these songs were being delivered from the heart from the way Campbell closed her eyes in intense focus on her vocals and guitar strumming. Similarly critically acclaimed by bloggers like The Wall Street Journal’s Terry Teachout, and playing a constantly changing calendar of live shows at similar venues, Campbell did her reputation and her music justice.

Share the love for a Better, Sugar Spoon

Those as captivated as I was by this promising artist could purchase either of her albums for $10 at the cafe. Diners I bumped into by the milk and sugar generously shared their positive critiques and I was positive Campbell had made such an impression that these might sell quick. It was a short and sweet performance for nothing but a coffee.

A sentimental and cautious musician with a well of emotion seeping through her words and vocal chords just like the lyrics to “Sugar Spoon” suggests; “Never felt more happy, or in control/ bouncing off the wall and into a dark hole,” Brooke Cambell is definitely an artist with great potential. With a little word of mouth, I think it’s only a matter of time until this artist gets a taste of her sugar spoon.

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Brooke Campbell proves to be a quiet storm at 92Y Tribeca’s Cafe Series

In a near empty room at the 92Y Tribeca cafe, there she stood calmly, clasping onto her guitar as if it was her shelter, eyes closed as if she was escaped, and voice soothing the air softly yet distinctly. As Brooke Campbell ended her first number, and from every number then on, she would say “Thank you very much,” in an unmistakable southern accent. Comforting the quiet room with a soft smile, she poured herself into another song, once again, escaping into a place where no one else was present. The world consisted of she and her guitar, and the crowd willingly watched her live in it.

Campbell defines herself as a folk-pop singer. Yet, her quiet, feather like tone rides the edge of soft blues, while drops of country itch out without knowing. It is a beautiful combination, paired with her guitar and innocent nature. She sings as if music is all she has left, sounding almost weak from her past endeavors. Blending in perfectly with her essence was the environment: the dim, red-lighted setting combined with the small yet homey art space of the café invited her voice right in. If a crowd member closed their eyes, they might just get lost in a world of their own.

Her music is somewhat on the sad end, a pro or a con depending on one’s mood. Singing lines such as, “Soon I’ll be just another girl. Soon it won’t matter that we loved,” her voice screamed of helplessness, while barely being loud of enough to catch the words.

Campbell performing at 92Y Tribeca.

After singing a few songs from her latest album, Sugar Spoon, such as Why?, Sugar Spoon, and Please Go, she sang covers of other artists, such as Willie Nelson’s Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain. If unfamiliar with Nelson’s music, the song could be mistaken for one of her own. Her distinctive nature is present in every song she sings—she simply does not try. It is who she is.

After her hour-long performance, her genuineness shined as she came and shook the hand and spoke to everyone in the crowd. Stating she originally is from North Carolina, her welcoming personality is now understood. She is a Southern belle at heart, and it shows throughout her music.

With the natural talent she holds, it is disheartening to see such a few number of people in the crowd, especially at a free event; there were no more than 15 people present. But like many other musicians, Campbell is working to make a name for herself. She has had three albums, the latest being Sugar Spoon which was released in 2009. She has gotten some attention from press, including the Arts Journal, but beyond that, she has a long road to travel before she claims any true acclaim.
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Nonetheless, regardless of anonymity or fame, Campbell is a talented musician who’s voice provides emotional relief from current troubles. If her next performance costs, it would be well worth the pay.

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Noize Brought Little Webster to Life

The streets were cluttered and the lights shined bright red, indicating to all that a huge event was underway. The loud sounds of bass could be heard from outside, reaching the ears of eager listeners, antsy to dance and party to the main event. As the doors opened and techno lovers began piling into the hall, it was obvious the main objective was to be captivated by the astonishing digital sounds of Boyz Noize.

“Do you guys know what time Boyz Noize performs,” said one excited man as he hurried up the steps and toward the bar to consume more of the alcohol that could be smelled on his breath.

The streets filled with comers and goers as people took pictures, passed out fliers, smoked cigarettes and attempted to hold their liquor down, as they waited to enter Webster Hall, located on 125 east 11th street. By the sight of the sidewalk being packed with people patiently waiting to hear the electronic sounds of the gifted DJ, it became no shock that this night in Webster would be one to remember.

When looking at Webster Hall, the small house like appearance can be deceiving, until you enter and find three floors, each with wide open dancing space, capable of holding large crowds. Certain areas of the floor were carpeted and black light shined in various places throughout the club, even the bathrooms in the lower levels.

The floors vibrated and the walls shook as the sounds penetrated each corner of the fog filled hall. Groups gathered around each of the three bars located on every floor with bartenders’ running back and forth making sure to get everyone’s order.

When the clock finally hit 1 am, fans charged upstairs to hear what they all paid for, Boyz Noize, and he didn’t disappoint. The German DJ took control of the masses with quick, pulsating synthesized beats that literally could be felt through the body like an additional pulse. Spectators jumped to the sounds that shot from the advanced computerized equipment as DJ Alexander Ridha mixed and scratched.

Beginning in 2004, Ridha or as known by his stage name, Boyz Noize has received a number of awards including the 2010 Independent Music Award as well as Best Electronic Artist on Beatport for three years straight. These achievements are among a few that have earned the title as one of the most valuable electronic artists.

Ridha has worked on multiple albums such as “Death Suite” and “Lemonade,” collaborating with a number of artists. He has also remixed and worked on various songs with such artists and music talents as The Chemical Brothers, N.E.R.D, Snoop Dogg and the Black Eyed Peas.

Without a doubt, Boyz Noize has a knack for stealing the show with his bright, multicolored strobe lights and multiple screened monitors flashing his name, as well as lights, further amazing the audience.

Though, he mysteriously appeared out of nowhere without being announced, once the beats exploded from his turntables and computers through the large speakers upstairs, crowds throughout the club, on each floor, rushed to the stage. The night was of epic proportion as people seemingly worshipped his feet as his synthesized music penetrated the ears and gave Webster Hall a unique heartbeat.

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Singer/ songwriter Brooke Campbell Shares Her Talent at the 92nd Street Y

There she was- with her black hair in a ponytail wearing a black shirt covered by a white sweater and blackish-gray denim jeans. Her wardrobe was accessorized by her brown six-string guitar.

As folk singer/songwriter Brooke Campbell readied herself for her performance at the 92nd Street Y Tribeca she walked on and off the black mini stage, which should rightly be described as a small square in the corner where naughty children would be placed for time-outs, placing candles on a table to add to the ambiance and illuminate the small stage.

Campbell is originally from North Carolina and although her primary residence now is Nashville Tennessee she is residing in New York until this summer.

Campbell, although she would sing songs such as harmonies, Christmas songs and songs from the fifties with her mom in the car growing up, did not really commit to becoming a musician until she attended college. As for picking up a guitar she did not do so until she was 21. Campbell, in an interview for the website, said that she began taking her talent seriously the same time she began to for a relationship with God.

When it comes to writing and sharing her music she feels, as she told the website, that it is “a great responsibility to tell the truth before God.”

As she walked on the stage again to do her mic-check, and fiddle with her strings to make sure they were properly tuned, just a couple of inches from her stood a  four foot stool, the color of dirty grey, which had a coffee and a glass of wine placed on top of it. As she finished preparing she would take sips of each one.

The couple of people who were there prior to her showcase where busy talking either on their phones or to each other to notice that the singer/songwriter was there.

As she began her set at 8:15 PM, 15 minutes prior to starting time, she announced to the small group and those who were still getting themselves seated, with a smile on her face, who she was and that she would play for them for a while.

Singer/ Songwriter Brooke Campbell

As soon as she began to sing it felt as if you were transported into the early to mid 90’s. Closing your eyes you would’ve believed that it was singer/ songwriter Jewel up there; both having a soft melodic folksy sound to their voice. The kind of sound that is appropriate for a coffee house style venue. The sort of music that when song the amount of people in the crowd becomes irrelevant because no matter who you happen to be that song, no matter how long it is, is about you and is being song for you. The type of music that causes you to connect with a complete stranger.

The title track from her album Sugar Spoon is a 3 minute 5 second version of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. In the upbeat folk track Campbell sings about locking herself “inside the house and melting down the key turned it to a sugar spoon to talk to my coffee.” Later in her lyrics she mentions climbing into a bottle and going down a rabbit hole.

A connection to Jewel can also be made there. In her 1995 album ‘Pieces of You’ in her song ‘You Were Meant for Me’ Jewel sings about breaking the yolks to make a smiley face and consoling a cup of coffee that didn’t want to talk. The huge difference in both tracks in both tracks was the topic; whereas Campbell’s song was upbeat Jewel’s concentrated on a breakup.

Unlike the album’s title track where Campbell’s lyrics suggest that she welcomes the confusion, ‘Why?’ is a song that speaks about the confusion brought on when it comes to love and her emotions surrounding it.:“I slam doors close and even I don’t know why love scares me so.”

Listening carefully it becomes apparent that Campbell makes a transition from feeling love in her relationship to feeling ignored.  Some of the most poignant of the lyrics were: “I am full of bullet holes through my back and through my soul as I bring you your beer/ You don’t even know my name you look pass me to the game.”

As she kept playing her songs, every once and a while stopping to adjust her guitar to the tune appropriate to the next track or remove her sweater, she would tap her foot to keep along with the beat. She was wearing black shoes that seemed to have a weaved overlapping zigzag design to them.

Every once and a while the people would clap and she would respond with a “thank you” and a smile to the small gathering. Over the course of the performance there were people still coming in to sit down, and even though it was not a pack house she appreciated those who were there.

Kari Pulizzano, who did not attend the showcase but did listen to Campbell’s tracks feels that although she has “the upmost respect for self-made musicians” in her view Campbell was “an average chick with an acoustic guitar, singing little bits of her life to strangers in a small bar with a brick backdrop.”

Pulizzano did say that Campbell “appears to have a great passion for what she’s doing” and that she would not mind hearing her on a weeknight out having drinks and dinner, but that Campbell’s voice seemed “strained and nasally” and that her guitar playing was average and that she, Pulizzano, wouldn’t go out of her way to catch the singer/ songwriter’s set.

She also preformed covers in her set. One of them was for her brother who, she informed the crowd, had just returned from a tour in the army.  The song had no title but she explained that it was found in a church a long time ago and was written about soldiers who died in war.

Another cover was Patty Griffin’s song “Long Ride Home.”

Brooke Campbell-Long Ride Home

When she finished her set she walked up to the people sitting in the front tables (those who seemed to be really paying attention to her) and said “thank you for coming” and smiled.

Brooke Campbell’s album ‘Sugar Spoon’ can be found on iTunes.


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Turn That Noise Down!

Within the haziness that hovered over a crowd that filled the capacity of Webster Hall’s Grand Ballroom, electronic musician Boys Noize was performing, which should not be noised about.

Boys Noize In His Usual Attire of a Tee and Cap

Using Twitter as a reference, Boys Noize has no less than 75,000 fans and has accumulated his following since merging on the scene in 2005 with his launch of BNR, BoysNoize Records, which allowed him to release his music the way he wanted it.

In front of Webster Hall, there was a sizable group of loyal electro fans standing outside in the misty rain by 10 p.m., when the doors were scheduled to open. It was the night of Good Friday, but the German native Boys Noize, real name Alex Ridha, would not hit the stage till early Saturday. Still, the long wait was not to build anticipation since he tweeted that his performance would begin at 2 a.m. ahead of time.

This was not a regular concert, for, every Friday at Webster Hall, the popular Girls & Boys Electro Party is thrown; Boys Noize was just headlining. There were festivities going on in The Studio, which was more enjoyable than Ridha’s show in the Grand Ballroom. Though the music played by The Studio’s disc jockey was outdated hip-hop songs for the most part, it was actual music with lyrics.

The Studio

After partying at The Studio, Boy Noize’s performance became less painful to one’s eardrums and more bearable to one’s upbeat mood. If not for The Studio, one would be burdened to listen to the Boys Noize’s annoying noises that echo the sound of one’s doorbell being rung at a supersonic frequency at one end and a neighbor pounding one’s thin wall at the other. Even so, some managed to enjoy it, including MTV’s reputable Sway who was there and tweeted to Ridha, “Man I had a great time! Lmk know when ur back in NY!”

Aside from Sway, the timing appeared inopportune for Ridha’s performance in New York. The show was the 22nd of April, and Brooklyn rapper Fabolous released The Soul Tape April 21st. The record is brimful of peerless lyrics rapped over nothing but soulful instrumentals. The following day, Boys Noize performed his overbearing electronic sounds that are meant to compliment his toneless bass, and, after listening to The Soul Tape the day before and on the way to the show, Ridha was prejudged as disappointing.

One agreeable thing about Boys Noize is that the alias gives the indication that he produces noise rather than music, which is rational and beneficial. The benefit was for that particular Friday audience. Since it is noise and not music, they did not have to dance, which they could not. Their best moves included: moving their heads, in haste, in one direction with their lower body moving in the opposite direction, jumping jacks, and fist pumping. All the same, they had fun.

Within the electro fan base, Boys Noize is someone to noise about, yet people have voiced outlandish opinions before.


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