Gramercy Arms Brings New Meaning to the Word “Supergroup”

What do you get when you cross The Damnbuilders, Guided By Voices, Luna and Joan As Policewoman?  Why, Gramercy Arms of course.  This new band/collective features members of all of the above, and on their self-titled Cheap Lullaby debut, they’ve also enlisted a ridiculous amount of guests.  They’ve got Joan Wasser herself, Matthew Caws from Nada Surf, Lloyd Cole, members of The Pernice Brothers, Shudder to Think and comedienne Sarah Silverman.

The least surprising of the above contributors is probably Matthew Caws, not because of his friendship with band leaders Dave Derby and Rainy Orteca, but because of Gramercy Arms’ sleek sound, which quickly reminds us of Nada Surf.  The two bands share a similar approach to writing glittery pop songs with catchy guitar-rock hooks.

They will also be sharing the stage on December 6th, when Gramercy Arms celebrates the album’s release with their lone live performance of the winter alongside Nada Surf and Jealous Girlfriends at Bowery Ballroom in NYC.  Check out “Looking At The Sun” right here for more Gramercy/Surf action.

MP3: Looking At The Sun – Gramercy Arms

Passion Pit: Recommended and Remixable!

Sort of an afterthought at this point, considering the monsterous CMJ these guys had, but Pitchfork finally weighed in on Passion Pit ‘s debut EP, Chunk of Change . Recommended, indeed! Buy it, people. Buy it !

And if you don’t buy it, at least try your hand at remixing “Sleepyhead.”The kids at Finger on the Pulse, who’ll host the band at their No Big Deal event on December 5th in Brooklyn, are hosting a remix contest until December 2nd. You can grab the parts here , and send your remixes to with “Passion Pit Remix” in the subject. Show info after the jump.

MP3 : Passion Pit – Sleepyhead


Wise Words from Dizzee Rascal: “If You Believe, You Can Achieve”

Barack Obama’s historic win on Tuesday night has sent the hip-hop community celebrating both in the states and abroad. Britain’s BBC News Network quickly tapped world-wide sensation Dizzee Rascal for his thoughts on an Obama presidency and whether the same could be done in the UK. Rascal called Obama a “media symbol of unity” and attributed much of the President-elect’s success to hip-hop’s ability to mobilize the youth of today. Asked if he could see a similar win in Britian, Rascal responded “in time…if you believe, you can acheive” before adding, “Dizzee Rascal for Prime Minister one day.”

Check the clip here .

MP3 : Dizzee Rascal – Where’s Da G’s featuring Bun B.

Videohippos Supporting HEALTH in NYC, Baltimore

Baltimore’s Videohippos got our attention last year with the release of their hip-shakin’ Monitor Records‘ debut, Unbeast the Leash.  Filled with driving beats and fuzzy 8-bit sounds not unlike those of their Wham City compadre Dan Deacon, Unbeast can be described kind of as a roller coaster ride through space.

The duo has been far from inactive since the Monitor release – touring, touring, and making a little documentary about…  you guessed it, touring.  But especially exciting is the fact that they’ll be back in their hood (and ours) this week, supporting LA Smell-collective party-starters HEALTH.  Thanks to The Tripwire for the news.

Friday night brings the bands to New York’s Knitting Factory, where they’ll be joined by Dirty Projectors’ Angel Deradoorian, and Monday finds them back in Baltimore at monolithic venue Sonar.  If you’re in either area, check ’em out, but make sure you’re ready to dance!

The Humble Preoccupations of Just Jack

Jack Allsopp found solace in hip hop and house music during the days of his youth in North London. Now as an artist with the modest pseudonym Just Jack, his rhythmic vocals lay down catchy melodies over pop-funk dance beats that’ll satiate your electro-inclined taste buds. Jack’s rap delivery is also distinctly British sounding, similar to Mike Skinner from The Streets, especially on such tracks as “Glory Days,” where his calm reflection rides comfortably over a Stevie-worthy beat.

Even with such mainstream success as grabbing number two on the UK Singles Chart for “Starz In Their Eyes” and collaborating with Kylie Minogue on “I Talk Too Much,” Jack’s groove-inducing jams don’t lack on the side of lyrical substance. The weight of Just Jack’s newest album, Overtones, wasn’t lost on Benjamin Squires at Music Spectrum either. In fact, Ben’s found that “there’s a way to outline a whole adult Bible study based on each track of Overtones.” It’s a rare gem to find so much room for reflection with such danceable music.