NYC Re-Nu-al

The Strokes started it, but now stellastarr* and other artsier bands are washing their own scum off the streets

Marc acknowledges that "New York City isn't a one-sound town. It covers a lot of different bases," yet he also sees the delirious response to the hook-minded first wavers as naturally in line with his own beliefs. "Most people don't want to be educated when they go out, they want to have fun -- and maybe get laid."

Adam Shore, label manager of Brooklyn's Vice Records and co-compiler of a much-lauded compilation called Yes New York, wholeheartedly agrees that the New York hip set goes out. A lot. But he's not so sure that some of those enthusiasts aren't in it for the learning experience.

"There's a huge audience of New Yorkers who want to see bands first," he says, describing the Brooklyn and Lower East Side legions who over the past three years have forsaken DJ events and flocked to the live venues. "They want to hear bands they heard are cool that no one has seen before because they want to be on the front lines."

Art-school boogie: stellastarr* brings its '80s-rock amalgam to the West.
Art-school boogie: stellastarr* brings its '80s-rock amalgam to the West.


Scheduled to perform with the Raveonettes on Saturday, October 4. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12. Call 602-954-0455 for more information.
Mason Jar, 2303 East Indian School

In a way, that may be the most important thing for this whole Nu New York mania. Getting excited about its own export is the first step toward getting other people excited. Between local press coverage and the constant level of activity on music-heavy e-mail lists like NYHappenings, NYC Nonsense and FlavorPill, the local hubbub over the sound of Nu New York hasn't waned, but has increased.

So: "Are you ready for more?" You'd better be, because here it comes.

Covering all the incarnations of Nu New York would be exhausting. Here, then, is a minor primer on wave #2.

The Fiery Furnaces, Gallowbird's Bark (Rough Trade): Brother-sister-led group of garage-rockers fond of music hall and Broadway, and thus reminiscent of all the post-skiffle Maximum R&B groups of early '60s London, like the early Who and Kinks. They crank the fuzz and jack up the galloping rhythm to match Eleanor Freidberg's running-out-of-breath delivery.

Radio 4, Electrify EP (Astralwerks): The first Astralwerks release by the politicos of New York's white-funk dance-rock brigade, Electrify consists of multiple mixes of the epic 2001 single "Dance to the Underground," second only to Rapture's "House of Jealous Lovers" for pure Big Apple boogie.

The Rapture, Echoes (Strummer/Universal): Thank goodness this long-overdue debut full-length from the quartet that is redefining dance-rock (new formula: the Cure + house music) is worth the wait. With the DFA production team working overtime, songs like "House of Jealous Lovers," "Olio" and "Sister Saviour" have enough meat and potatoes to satisfy conservative punks, and enough groove to set off a warehouse party.

The Rogers Sisters, Purely Evil (Troubleman Unlimited): Guitarist Jennifer and drummer Laura Rogers, along with bassist Miyuki Furtado, do the razor-sharp Watusi like the B-52's without the kitsch. Angry, rollicking and completely delicious.

Various Artists, Yes New York (Wolfgang Morden/Vice): Start here, since it's as good a scene overview as Nu New York has yet to produce. Rarities from the Strokes and Le Tigre, hits from Interpol and Radio 4, standouts from next-wavers like ambient space industrialists Secret Machines, and more good shit than you could flush in one sitting. Proof that the New York City news will continue to be spread for the foreseeable future.

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