First up was the Wired Magazine event at their flagship store in the West Village, featuring a performance from one of this years breakout bands Cymbals Eat Guitars
I had been enjoying their debut album "Why There Are Mountains" ever since the good folks at TellAllYourFriendsPR brought it to my attention.
Having caught the bands live show at Webster Hall back on October 3rd, when they toured with The Depreciation Guild and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, getting to see them again in this unique setting was something of a treat.
The Wired Magazine store is an exceptionally hip-yet-nerd-cool environment to hang and see a band in. Netbooks, toasters, shoes, phones, bicycles, high def televisions and all the latest techie-type gadgets are at your disposal. Plus, on this particular night, an open bar and all the energy drinks you could handle.
As for the CEG boys, their performance seemed a bit more relaxed and less rushed than their opening slot at Webster Hall two and a half months earlier.
Have a listen here and you'll see what I mean:
They played a spirited set, incorporating at times, frantic guitar strumming, impassioned vocals, a variey of blended keyboards - moving from quiet passages to all out blustery jams - all within the same song.
As witnessed right here:
I'm impressed with the way CEG have no apparent inhibitions about incorporating alternately noisy and/or atmospheric passages within their mostly traditional song structures.
It's a sound I've become rather fond of.
Find out more about Cymbals Eat Guitars here:
The following night my buddy Davey and I headed down to the more fashion conscious area of Soho for an in-store peformance by a Texas born and now Nashville residing singer-songwriter named Erin McCarley
It was held at the Eryn Brinie clothing store and also billed as a "Holiday Celebration"
Listen to her performance of "Blue Suitcase"
Erin's voice alternates between pure and sweet and a slightly more "smoky" rasp. The song "Blue Suitcase" has a particularly hooky chorus that sticks in your head all day long.
It's hard to say what is Erin McCarley's most outstanding feature. A wonderfully melodic voice, finely crafted songwriting and striking good looks all seem to compete for the honors. One is tempted to say that she is the total package here.
Haunted by angels on her shoulder.
The next night is was out-on-the-town again for even more holiday shows.
Celia - a native New Yorker who now resides in California - had been performing almost nightly since touching down on the east coast the previous week.
As for Celia herself, she has the most amazing vocal quality. Her style is light and breezy, yet there is a serious depth to her nuanced phrasing.
The Rockwood has to be one of the most intimate, high-quality sounding clubs in all of New York. Celia and her band took full advantage of the vibe and delivered an outstanding show.
Listen once more, as Celia plays her own composition "Going To California", which she amusingly prefaced as "not the Led Zepplin song." Though I'm sure she could have done that version justice as well.