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Posted & filed under Dining & Nightlife, Entertainment.

If you’re looking for a wild, high-energy show, look no further than Paco the G Train Bandit, who will perform in Bushwick this Friday night at The Paper Box. With burlesque acts, bands, rappers, live Reggae, DJs and performance art running all night, there’s something for everyone.

“It’s a wild dance party with awesome people,” says Paco. “Brooklyn Wildlife throws great events. This one in particular is going to have two stages of live performances.”

Paco’s sound is a unique hip-hop fusion blend: “It’s turn-up. It’s lyrical. It’s new, innovative, and original. It’s political. It’s raunchy. It’s heartfelt. It’s content is as diverse as our lives are,” he says.

You can listed to his recently released mixtape, Mucho Gusto, here:

AANY’s Flora Theden caught up with Paco to talk about the upcoming show, his favorite spots in New York City, and the current artists who inspire him:

What song are you most looking forward to performing?

Definitely this new joint I have with BS called “Maury Povitch”. We haven’t released the song yet, but the production that Speed Basser laid down for it is insane. I can’t wait to see how it knocks on the system at Paperbox. It’s also the first collaboration I’ve done with BS, who has been a regular on my #DirtyLife Cypher Sunday series. It’s gonna be a lot of fun to party on that one. But besides the premiere of the brand new song, I’m excited about performing Mucho Gusto. The whole mixtape is set up as if it were a live set, with smooth DJ transitions between songs to keep the energy moving, so it’s ideal for live shows.

Where in NYC do you hang out?

Bushwick, Lower East Side, Williamsburg (although less and less so as my favorite music venues are closing down, RIP Glasslands, Spike Hill, Public Assembly, etc). I think Bushwick is where the scene is moving. Every day new venues are popping up and featuring the best indie artists in the city. Both more conventional (organized and with official permits and all that) like Paperbox, and venues like Secret Loft, which continue in the tradition of Bushwick’s underground warehouse parties. And the people who go to these parties are the kind of people you always hope to see at parties. They’re there to have fun, get drunk and enjoy the music, not to stand on the wall looking stank and act like they’re above the whole thing. That’s probably my biggest pet peeve with NYC events sometimes is that people don’t bring a lot of love to shows all the time. But at the same time, when they do bring the love, it’s fucking magic.

Who are some of the best performers around right now? What other artists
are you listening to?

Oh man, the list is too big. A lot of the music I end up listening to is local indie music, it’s one of the perks of running a studio for indie artists. So in that regard, I’ve been bumping a lot of Brittany Campbell, Crimdella, Eliot Perk, Fresco Van Gogh, July Quin and Radamiz. All of them have either just released a new project or are steady grinding on one and it’s coming soon. In terms of industry artists, Logic’s album (*Under Pressure*) was incredible. Schoolboy Q’s* Oxymoron *blew my mind. The way he weaves details into his lyrics make everything he says so much more real than the average rapper. It reminds me of early Wu-Tang. And I still have
Childish Gambino (*Because the Internet*), Chance the Rapper (*Acid Rap*), and Kendrick Lamar in pretty steady rotation too even though they’re a little older. Outside of hip-hop, SZA, Jhene Aiko, and Patty Crash are killing it right now. The new D’Angelo album was crazy good too. The band he put together for it really brought a new dimension to what he was doing in the 90s (but I’m also a huge Questlove fan, so maybe I’m biased, haha).

WHERE: Paperbox – 17 Meadow St. Brooklyn
WHEN: Friday 1/16 @ 9pm

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Posted & filed under Entertainment, General, Live Music in NYC.

Reminiscent of artists like Florence and the Machine, Cat Power and Yo La Tengo, The Meaning of Life creates dreamy, ethereal, psych-rock sound from singer/bassist Marta DeLeon and guitarist Christian Gallardo. Following the November release of the band’s new single, “I Want To Do With You What Spring Does With The Cherry Trees,” The Meaning of Life will debut the music video for the song during a December 12th show at Nola Darling on West 22nd Street in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood.

Gallardo says he wanted the video for the single to reflect New York in a subconscious way: “The beauty of the moment – the best dream that you could have after a bad week or a long day – a sort of contradiction.” “While we were filming [the video], fellow New Yorkers were gathering around or trying to sneak a little of what we were doing. I kind of imagine people saying ‘why is that girl eating roses in Central Park?’,” says Gallardo.

AANY caught up with bandmate Marta DeLeon to talk about the upcoming show:

Can you tell me a little about the video you’ll be screening?

This single was entirely shot on the cheap by Christian Gallardo. Mostly his concepts with our friends – one who is a real dancer. Moments and images that are random, vibrant, and absurd in Brooklyn and NYC. It’s not a literal portrayal of the song, but it captures the ecstasy and longing that love and living in New York City might make you feel. The friends were playing themselves in those moments. Nothing was too out of character. Lately more people want to experience your music in this medium . So it’s a good way to express other sides of our band and capture the audience.

The-Meaning-of-Life_AANY

What’s your favorite venue to play in NYC?

We played this Slackgaze festival hosted by our wonderful friend Winston Scarlett and his collective who are hosting the show at Nola Darling, their newer space. It was a DIY outdoor venue in a yard in Bushwick. A lot of people had never heard us and we went on at 1:30am and the kids were all cheering and dancing. It was a whole three days of really good music and everyone stuck around and had a really good time. It’s a nice vibe to build on and experience than playing in the usual clubs. It depends on the bill for more traditional venues and other things you can’t control.

How would you describe your sound?

Hardest question for any band to answer! Jesus and the Mary Chain meets Blondie or Sade? With some Jefferson Airplane, Suede, Cat Power? We like pop from Motown – to the
80’s to now – so that’s something that’s ever present. A good break down, a groove, a heartfelt lyric. Tell me a little about how the band formed. I was in the ashes of breaking up with my other band and answered a craigslist ad that Christian had posted looking for a female vocalist/collaborator influenced by Jesus and the Mary Chain, New Order, and Mazzy Star, if memory serves me right. I had answered about half a dozen ads but Christian wrote back right away and had a sense of humor in his email and also noted that my name was very Spanish and said some cute things about being from Chile. He also lived close – I was in the middle of college finals too and thought it was an easy venture to check out. We were just jamming and doing little recordings in a hot summer room, drinking iced coffee for a few months before we got a drummer and started playing out in 2012.

What are some of your biggest influences and inspirations?

I like Wye Oak, Land of Talk, ESG, Fleetwood Mac, Yo la Tengo & Electrelane. I played more aggressive and somewhat instrumental music when I was just playing bass and not singing in my first band days. But songwriting structure is most important to me these days and it’s hard. We both like movies and that does inspire us in indirect ways. Almodovar & Nick Roeg are my favorites. Seeing so much music like our closest friends play or Blonde Redhead lay it down after so many years at Bowery Ballroom is a check for being a good performer and band. We also try to do a cover at every one of our shows. We covered everything from KC and the Sunshine Band, Madonna, INXS, Nirvana to the Cure – so learning those songs seeps into your way of phrasing and writing. It’s a real treat to make them your own and people who may have never seen us can connect to that.

What is the writing process like for The Meaning of Life?

Christian and I have always been collaborative and take that to the practice space with the drummer we are working with. So a kernel or sketch from his guitar riff will influence me and the drummer to come up with vocals etc and we will work from there on
the structure. It can happen quickly then we are a little more OCD when we record it in the studio, but that’s mostly with overdubs and arrangements. On a nerd note, we communicate ideas through references like “This one is the Oasis type song” and sometimes that will be the working title of the song until it’s recorded. We also use our phones, etc. to record practices so we can work on them on our own percolation, i.e subway rides. People are busy in NYC so this is band practice homework. Extension part deux.

Where do you see The Meaning of Life in a year?

Banging out our best songs and playing our best shows. The sound will change some and it has and it should. Hitting the road for mini tours or SXSW. Opening up for Blondie or Blonde Redhead…


The Meaning of Life Video Screening at Nola Darling
Where: Nola Darling // 161 W 22nd St, New York NY
When:Friday, December 12th // Doors: 8pm, Set: 10pm+++*

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Posted & filed under Dining & Nightlife, Live Music in NYC.

If you haven’t listened to Sons of an Illustrious Father and their sultry, hypnotizing ballad, “I Will Kill You in Your Sleep,” then you’re missing out. A raspy voice, bluesy guitar, and unique ‘heavy meadow/future folk’ sound make this Brooklyn trio a band to keep on the radar.

The band will perform at Mercury Lounge on the Lower East Side Monday, November 24th at 9:30pm. Tickets are $10 at the door, but completely worth it to see this up-and-coming group in a live setting, where the energy is sure to be electric.

The band’s enchanting female singer, Lilah Larson, is looking forward to the show for many reasons, one of which is the venue’s name. “Mercury is a very powerful planet—it rules communication, which makes the Mercury Lounge
seem to me to be a very apt location for a musical performance.”

AANY had a chance to catch up with Larson and chat about her raspy voice, the band’s new material, and Brooklyn:

What song are you most looking forward to playing on Monday?

I believe we’ll be playing a new song of Josh Aubin’s. One we just recorded up in Montreal with Howard Bilerman. It’s a gorgeous song—both my and Ezra’s favorite he’s ever written—about alienation in the digital age, among other things. We’re trying to integrate a lot of newer material into our set these days, which is refreshing and messy and scary and exciting.

Have you always had such a raspy voice?

Ha. I think so? I think probably my voice has actually gotten more smooth and melodious over time as I’ve taught myself how to actually use it. When I first started I’d just sort of speak sing or shout.

When did you know you wanted to become a singer/musician?

Honestly, I don’t remember not feeling that way. My father had an amazing record collection that was basically the centerpiece of my childhood. As early as I can remember I wanted to be Elvis and John Lennon and Kurt Cobain.

You’re based in Brooklyn. How do you feel that influences your music?

I think that anyone who lives in an urban space is probably affected by the abrasiveness of that experience and the malaise associated with estrangement from nature. So there’s definitely an angst that finds its way into our work. But there’s also something very vital about this city. For me, the really robust queer and activist communities are particularly inspiring. And I’m privileged enough to be able to access spaces like BAM and the Brooklyn Museum, where I’m able to consume such an incredible amount and high quality of cultural material.

Where do you draw inspiration from when you’re writing?

Oh, a great many places. Personal trauma. Bell hooks. Scripture. Riot grrrl.

What is the writing process like for you and the boys (bandmates Josh
Aubin and Ezra Miller)?

Generally we write the basic outlines of songs on our own and then bring them to each other and fill out, rework, and elaborate on them together. It’s very gratifying, to have two people you trust so much to bring this little piece of yourself to, and to have them intuitively understand and be able to push it further in a way still true to where you were initially coming from.

The Event:
Sons of an Illustrious Father
Monday November 24th – 9:30pm – $10 cover
Mercury Lounge – 217 E. Houston