Posts tagged ‘New York’

Merter Yildirim, Electrifying the NYC Music Scene

By | June, 24, 2014

We want to give a shout out to an important artist who’s been making incredible things happen through all levels of the New York music scene for a good number of years now.

Merter Yildirim, originally from Turkey, arrived in New York in 2008 and wasted no time finding his way onto some of the best stages and recording studios in the area, all the while helping countless musicians achieve higher levels of success with their music than they could have ever achieved without him.

Merter Yildirim, onstage at Tobacco Road, NYC (photo by Brian Lin)

What’s Merter’s secret? He’s a triple threat– a fully trained musician, composer AND engineer/producer, Merter has mastered all three disciplines and on top of that has a unique taste and singular creative vision that’s all his own.

For bands that have been lucky enough to feature his distinctive bass playing, Merter has catapulted them to fan acclaim and created signature sounds that keep audiences coming back. While he’s always been dedicated to one or two steady projects at a time, Merter believes in enriching the music scene itself, and so he’s usually happy to lend a hand to deserving artists that need a little extra boost, when he can find time in his busy schedule.

Merter started playing the bass in his junior high school years and almost immediately found himself performing professionally with multiple bands. He began his career as a professional audio engineer in 2004, and, always growing as an artist, moved to New York in 2008 to earn his master’s in music. Since arriving in the city, he’s played with original acts ‘Shooting Gallery NYC’, ‘Father of Sam’, and has perhaps achieved the most fame with ‘The Bliss Jockeys’ when his joining in 2013 converted the group from a struggling folk vocal ensemble to a dynamic rock band featuring his great instrumental skills.

Merter’s enriched the stages of the top venues in New York City, including: Mercury Lounge, The Cutting Room, Cafe Wha?, Merkin Concert Hall, and Triad Theater. He’s guested with a wide array of artists, including Alex Federici, Lesley Shannon, Ellen Weiss, Elena Giordano and the triumphant Brighter Than Today concert, with whom he’s also prepared studio recordings.

If you need an artist who understands all of the inter-connections between art, musical diversity and technical excellence, look no further than Merter Yildirim!

His playing will soon be featured as The Bliss Jockeys take over a coveted spot on stage at Babylon SoHo. The band’s debut album, The Birth of Bliss, is coming soon from Roomful of Sky Records.

BRBRCK: To the Back Wall

By | February, 18, 2014

Author : Mary Tsoules

BRBRCK, (pronounced Berberock) is Mike Berberich, the Scranton-born, Brooklyn-based MC with the kind of lyrical talent and ardent wordplay that’s hard to come by these days. Honest talent isn’t the only thing that sets BRBRCK apart from other hip hop artists. His genius is matched with a live band that definitely adds a jazzy bass line to his music. This “rapping white boy from Brooklyn” also writes and produces all of his own music. How rad.

He just released a music video for his new single, “Hood High”. This track has everything; Jazz, Blues, Rock ‘n Roll, and Hip-Hop, all in one song. It probably has the catchiest refrain that I’ve heard in quite some time: “We gettin’ hood high, we gettin’ hood high, we gettin’ hood high…”. It will have you cruising on another level. Just as the video portrays, it’s a tune that will perfectly accompany the activity of sitting on a stoop in Bedford Stuyvesant and *smoking*. It’s a song that will have you feeling supa fly, even if you’re totally not supa fly.

If you want to hear more from this underground revolutionary, don’t fret, he’s pretty much on every social media site in existence. SoundCloud, Twitter, Facebook, Official Website, Vimeo, iTunes.

BRBRCK has performed at numerous live music venues in New York City including Arlene’s Grocery, Tammany Hall, and The Delancey. He’s super passionate about his live performance. In a video interview, he says, “I wanna turn it into a party-I wanna push that energy to the back wall.” He doesn’t care if you’re a Hip-Hop fan or not, “if you like energy, if you want to feel something you haven’t felt before, check out BRBRCK.” I don’t know about you, but all that sounds pretty enticing. Who doesn’t like a concert-party?

For those of you who like to feel energy vibes from a live Hip-Hop performance, you’re in luck. BRBRCK will be performing at Tammany Hall on Friday, March 14th, with Midnight High, Justin Henry and B&X. You can buy half price tickets in advance HERE.

XOXO Frizzy Blonde

The Villalobos Brothers Make Their TurnStyle Debut at Mercury Lounge!

By | January, 14, 2014

International touring sensations The Villalobos Brothers make their TurnStyle Music debut at Mercury Lounge!

Masterfully blending the indigenous rhythms and melodies of their native Veracruz, Mexico with the intricate harmonies of jazz and classical music, the Villalobos Brothers deliver an intoxicating brew of musical brilliance, cadence and virtuosity that awakens the senses as it redefines the notions behind Latin music. The Villalobos Brothers have been acclaimed as one of today’s leading World Music and Classical Fusion ensembles.

A trio of virtuoso violinists, singer-songwriters, composers, and arrangers, they have performed at the Latin Grammy® Awards, Carnegie Hall, the Guggenheim Museum, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations, Rockefeller Center, the New York Mets field at Shea Stadium, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, New Victory Theatre, and Teatro Amadeo Roldán in Havana among other historic venues.

They’ve accompanied and collaborated with many artists, including Morley, Paloma San Basilio, Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains, Eddie Palmieri, Graciela, Dolly Parton, León Gieco, Leni Stern, César Camargo Mariano, Lila Downs, Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz, Pierre Boulez, Alberto Vázquez, Johnny Ventura, Dan Zanes and Rafael Escalona. Their first solo album, “Villa-Lobos”, was released in 2009, followed by their second album, “Aliens of Extraordinary Ability”, in 2012.

The Villalobos Brothers are headlining at The Mercury Lounge on Wed 1/15/14.
(Also on the bill are NYC favorites: The Bliss Jockeys and Victor V. Gurbo & Co.)

Purchase tickets through TurnStyle Music Group.

Follow The Bliss Jockeys to Tammany Hall

By | November, 18, 2013

Author : Erica Schultz

Joseph Campbell, a giant in the field of comparative mythology, boiled down the wisdom of the ages into his directive “Follow your bliss”.

It’s not every rock band that takes its mantra from academia, but frontman Phil Robinson isn’t just a rising rock star; he’s a soul-gazer and a Fulbright scholar who takes Campbell’s advice to heart. His material brings a mystical, intelligent bent to an otherwise straight-up, playful classic-rock sound.

When Robinson rebooted his pet musical project, The Bliss Jockeys, in early 2012, it was as a folk-style acoustic ensemble, with brother Josh Friedman joining him on jazzy guitar and a small cadre of backup singers anchored by long-time NY songbirds Ellen Weiss, Valerie Gomes and Leyla Mesic. But it took the March 2013 addition of a full rhythm section – with complex fills from drummer Casper Paludan and the driving electric groove of bassist Merter Yildirim – to bring to life the high-energy repertoire of Phil’s dreams (and start filling rock venues around New York City)!

The other surprising yet classic element in the BJ’s mix is a full gospel-style all-female choir, now comprised of 7 women, filling out the over-the-top sound. In August, The Bliss Jockeys took over Ella Lounge for an intimate 45-minute set highlighting new material, from the sunny “99 Days” and “Transcendental Cowboy” to the brooding “Looking for Someone” and “Through the Middle”. But the keystone of the set was an innovative cover of Steely Dan’s “Bodhisattva” (in case you’re missing the theme here of the path to enlightenment), showcasing the band’s exuberant instrumentals atop the tight, spirited harmonies of the choir.

The Bliss Jockeys, live at Ella Lounge, NYC on August 10th, 2013! (photo by Brian Lin)

Upcoming shows include a Nov 23 triple bill at Tammany Hall (with Victor V. Gurbo & Co. and Myriam Phiro’s Swing Party). After that, they’ll be opening for the Villalobos Brothers at the prestigious Mercury Lounge on January 15. Check it out!

Clementine and the Galaxy Review

By | October, 18, 2013

Author : Mary Tsoules

TurnStyle continues to bring us the best new underground acts for their third show of the Back to School Special series. The kickoff party was pretty dope. If you missed it, catch up with my review here.

Friday night (9/20/13) was one of those perfect nights to go out. You know, absolutely clear, just the right temperature, etc. It seemed like everyone was totally feeling a break after the long week and the streets of the Lower East Side were packed. So the crowds didn’t surprise me when I walked into Pianos.

I made it just in time for the start of Indie electronic duo KNTRLR. The pair performed an eclectic range of tunes for us. The majority of the tracks held true to their Indie/Alt rock style, which is always pretty rad to see live, especially with the musical talent of these guys. However, they added an electronic element to the performance as well. Mixing beats along with a live band makes things all the more interesting to the ear. In the background played a sort of promo video that seemed to be made especially for this occasion, which was cool.

The headliner for the evening was next: Clementine and the Galaxy. Another eclectic duo making savory sweet tunes. This pair’s focus is on electro-pop and they sure do it well. Before even seeing them live, they had me replaying their entire debut EP, Clementine and the Galaxy over and over again.

The pair file themselves under what they call “art pop”, a genre totally new to me. Apparently the likes of Kate Bush and Björk are classified under the same genre (no it’s not just the title of Lady Gaga’s new album…). Art Pop is defined as “a genre that blends the melodies of Pop music with unconventional or experimental elements.”

Julie Hardy (Clementine) and Mike MacAllister (the Galaxy) are the two masterminds behind this contagious Pop music. The two met while doing a commercial project in which Hardy was hired to sing and MacAllister was the recording engineer. These two are the kind of collaboration that take music very seriously. They both have unique talents to offer in the music world and their endless accomplishments listed in their bio show it. Impressive as they may be, they are both extremely down to earth, and humble, as can be seen in their TurnStyle interview that was conducted just before the show.

Electro-pop (or Art Pop) can sometimes be a hard genre to pull off live (in my opinion). When every sound isn’t organically created, (i.e. the use of synthesizers, loopers, and samplers) it can be hard to keep the audience focused. But with compelling dance music and honest talent like Hardy and MacAllister, you’ve got one hell of an entertaining show. Clementine dressed the part, in a futuristic get-up and black mask. They played all the songs on their EP, which was fun to hear live after just hearing the recorded versions. But the best part was when they broke out some of their new songs. One of my favorites was “Lazer Gunz”; definitely going to be a winner in my book. Their energy was so great for the entire show, at one point asking, “Are you guys gonna dance?!”, and we certainly did. How can you not?

So far, TurnStyle’s insider genius proves to be accurate. So stop missing out on all these fabulous up-and-comers in the industry! The final show in TurnStyle’s Back to School Special series is happening tomorrow, Saturday, October 19th at Tammany Hall, and is a part of the 2013 CMJ Music Marathon. Buy tickets here! This means there’s no excuse to not tweet about the wonderful Body Language first. The show also features notable support from TECLA and Psychobuildings.

You know the drill: keep checking back for more concert reviews from the Series and in the mean time, check out my Blog, Twitter and Facebook pages to hear some more cool new music.

XOXO Frizzy Blonde

Back to School Special Kick Off Review

By | September, 13, 2013

Author : Mary Tsoules

Let’s be real, going back to school after an awesome summer kind of sucks. On the other hand, great new music rules. Last Thursday night(9/5/13) kicked off TurnStyle Music Group’s Back To School Special. The series involves a collection of emerging artists from New York City’s underground music scene.

The Frizzy Blonde was on site to report on the successful series launch.

The night started off with soon-to-be-soul-star, MEKIA. We all watched, wide-eyed, as the multi-talented, four-piece ensemble created an eclectic mix of genres on stage. There’s nothing like being delightfully impressed at a live show. I arrived at the venue not knowing what MEKIA would sound like. Even the band describes itself as an “experience that will always elude description.” And it’s so true. One song had some gospel undertones, one, a bit of country, and another, some tribal drums to really get you baffled. Without any recorded songs yet, tonight was the only time you could experience this “six-layer nacho dip that is piano, violin, drums, bass, guitar, and vocals.” But keep a close eye on these guys. After a quick chat after the show, Mekia herself told me they’ll be solely focusing on recording for the next few months. That means more “nacho dip” for us. HELL YES.

Next up was string composer duo, Charly and Margaux. You might be thinking: what are classical composers doing in a line-up like this and at a venue like DROM? Or at least that’s what I was thinking. Their title sounded more like it belonged in a symphony hall or a ballet. But I was certainly mistaken/delightfully impressed, yet again. For those in the audience who knew nothing about these talented ladies, they were about to experience a real change of perspective. The violinist and violist (respectively) describe themselves as “metro-classical, cinematic chamber rock.” This will either confuse you, or, when you hear them, blow your fucking mind.

The two performed along with three other gifted Berklee College of Music alum: DJ Ginyard (bass), Andy Berman (guitar), and Justin Tyson (percussion). Charly and Margaux are a phenomenon that must be seen live. Their stage presence is remarkable. Everyone could see that the smiles on their faces and the tears in their eyes were absolutely honest. And all because they are just so insanely happy to be doing what they’re doing. The performance itself can only be described in one word: passionate. Check out this picture below capturing Charly’s heart-felt expression as she literally feels the sweet melodies.

After some more emotional pieces, they broke into Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”, for which the duo originally composed the string arrangement. They understand that their compositions are defying the status quo, and that their distinct sound may take some time for their audience to truly understand. Charly voices this in an interview back in 2012: “No one knows who we are right now, but we understand that what we want to contribute is going to take a lifetime to get across. We’re starting small and laying huge bricks in our foundation.”

Once the audience recouped from such an intense performance, it was time Frances Rose. Another duo, this time sisters Sarah Frances and Michelle Rose, took to the stage. Both were dressed the part, one in a glitter top and leather shorts, the other in a floral bodysuit and neon cap. They had everyone snapping pictures. They saved the best for last. Their hit electro-pop single, which was included on Kitsuné‘s AMERICA compilation for 2012, “Vampire” was accompanied by a dancer and all three of them broke into a choreographed dance. Being surrounded by music since they were born, these two ladies certainly know how to entertain an audience.

RIP stress, it’s been real. TECLA‘s about to get on stage and we all know what that means. LET GO. Let loose. And let that body move to the groove however it wants to. No one’s watching anyways. From the moment the audience meets her, in her amazing white silk boxing robe, they’re in love. You can catch right on to her quirky, fun personality. Her down-to-earth attitude relaxes the audience and gets everyone moving. How can we not? Her “danceable afro/funk/caribbean/tropical/pop” is insanely addicting. The coolest part? TECLA writes everything herself and it all comes from the heart. She’s inspired by her own life and musical journey. She started as a child pianist, and then soon added singing, rapping, DJing, and producing to the repertoire. After her set, an audience member described her music as “contagious”, and I completely agree. She loosens up her family of fans, new and old, by adding a “you better twerk!” and we eat it right up, busting out into another set of dance moves. After covering Robin S.‘s, “Show Me Love”, she humbly reminds the audience to “say five thank you’s every morning when you wake up.” Hell, a person can’t get more awesome than this.

So there you have it, the first show of TurnStyle Music Group’s Back To School Special. I would say it was a complete success, and I’m positive all of its attendees would agree. Does this sound like a fucking good time to you? Well, it was. So don’t miss the next one! Clementine and the Galaxy play at Pianos on Friday, September 20th. Read up on the event and get tickets here.

Stay tuned for more Back To School Special concert reviews! In the mean time, check out my Blog, Twitter and Facebook pages to hear some more cool new music.

XOXO Frizzy Blonde