Review: Daylight Vampires – Vampire Weekend

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As I get older, I realize that I am uncomfortable with constantly taking the “safe” route. This sentiment especially applies to the way I feel about the state of music in its evolution. For example, I am always wary of the typical Beatles “fan,” due to the simple fact that the revolutionary group is a safe mention to anyone looking for acceptance amongst music aficionados. That is not to say that all Beatles’ fans ONLY refer to the Beatles when talking about music, it is just an observation.

Regardless of my armchair philosophy, I do realize that there is “safe” music that is good (at times, even great) and catchy, while also being able to satisfy the left side of the cranium. This is something that New York indie pop outfit Vampire Weekend has been able to constantly do throughout their short but rather definitive career. The quartet continues to do so on their latest full length, Modern Vampires of the City, releasing a collection of accessible, fun and baroque pop songs of the independent persuasion.

Hit the jump for the full review!

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Listen: PJ Katz – Ear Food Volume 1

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I’ve been listening to the latest release from Pig Food Records all weekend and then some. If you’ve become familiar with my writing and tastes over the past couple years then you know this is definitely my style – plus the type of music that I want to share with everyone.

Ear Food Volume 1 is a compilation of 23 brand new instrumental beats by producer PJ Katz. I’m glad I’m not a rapper or DJ because if that were the case I would definitely be interested in stopping what I’m doing immediately to work with these beats. That being said, this release isn’t solely for the music and tastemakers, it’s one for fans of simply good music too.

PJ Katz is a thoughtful producer who thinks about the experience of listening both as a whole and of individual components alike. Each track is balanced, creative, interesting and perhaps one could even say organic. It bangs and it flows.

In addition, the guys at Pig Food Records have taken a unique take on the release, making it available locally first and digitally secondary. They want you to get out of the house, which I am in full support of, especially since it’s for the purpose of seeking out music.

Ear Food Volume 1 is available exclusively at local businesses, Fuzz Records, Seasons Skate Shop and Some Girls Boutique.

Go pick it up. All you have to do is ask the staff for a download card. If you live outside of the Albany area, the release will be available for a free download sometime next month. But until then, go take a walk down Lark street or in Troy. You’ll be glad you did.

The best record shop in Albany

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The best record shop in Albany is Fuzz Records on Lark Street. The shop owners are your tastemakers, and there’s not an overwhelming amount of records to go through, meaning that any record you find there is of quality and carefully selected. That being said, if a record you are looking for isn’t there, they will happily order it for you. Occasionally, they will host shows which are intimate performances by default due to the size of the shop, which makes for a unique live music experience. The shop is also beginning its own record label, with its first vinyl pressing set for release in April.

However, if you are in the mood for digging, Last Vestige on Quail Street is your spot.

Fuzz Records, 209 Lark St, Albany, NY

Albany Music Coalition to host songwriting workshop series

The Albany Music Coalition has announces a free (donations accepted) series of songwriting workshops which will take place at Fuzz Records. All sessions take place at 6:30pm starting on August 2nd. The schedule is as follows:

“Lyrics First”
August 2, with panelists:
Eric Margan (The Red Lions)
Eric Krans (The Parlor)
Jen O’Connor (The Parlor)

“Instrumentals First”
August 23, with panelists:
Tim Koch (Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned)
Chris Tenerowicz (Aficionado)

“Structure & Arrangement”
September 13, with panelists:
Meagan Duffy (Hand Habits)
Michael Eck (Ramblin Jug Stompers)
Matthew Loiacono (Matthew Carefully, Rosary Beard)

AMC says more panels may be coming down the pipes, which is awesome. You are encouraged to bring an instrument if you would like, but it’s not a requirement. It would be really awesome if this expanded to include electronic music as I know many people who struggle with software. This is such an awesome opportunity to see how your favorite local musicians work and have them teach you at the same time.

Read the full press release on the Albany Music Coalition website.