Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Sway Machinery at University Settlement

What do you get when you take bluesman and Balkan Beat Box guitarist Jeremiah Lockwood, add the Yeah Yeah Yeah's drummer Brian Chase, two horn players from Antibalas, Stuart Bogie and Jordan McLean, and bass saxophonist Colin Stetson of Arcade Fire and Tom Waits' band? The funkiest bar mitzvah band on the planet, The Sway Machinery. I first heard about the Sway Machinery from Stuart Bogie six months ago while interviewing him for an article about Antibalas and had been eagerly anticipating see the band in concert ever since. I checked them out Wednesday night at University Settlement on the Lower East Side. They totally blew away my extremely high expectations.

The Sway Machinery is a project inspired by Jeremeiah Lockwood's grandfather, the legendary Cantor Jacob Konigsberg, who exposed Jeremiah to Jewish Cantor music at a young age. Lockwood sings in Hebrew perfecting the other-worldly sound the musical arrangement creates. The Sway Machinery is definitely like nothing you'll see or hear anywhere else. They have a harsh, powerful sound anchored by the bass saxophone and enhanced by the rest of the horn section. Their set exhibited great range going from slow, deep, dark, and mysterious to fast funky, happy, and danceable.

The Sway Machinery are playing several upcoming shows this summer: June 8th at 92YTribeca and July 20th at Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park If you like music that pushes the envelope hard, go check them out. With the amazing roster of talented musicians on stage, there's no doubt it will be an amazing show.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Album Review: Nomo-Ghost Rock

Do you like music that's unique, music that takes elements of music you love and transforms it into something totally different and amazing? If your answers to those questions are yes, then you need to check out Nomo's new album Ghost Rock.

is a jazz fusion band out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. While they have a sound reminiscent of Afrobeat, they're simply too unique to
classify. They have an aggressively dynamic horn section that cuts hard horn lines over an even nastier rhythm section.

Ghost Rock, the band's second release with Ubiquity Records,
accentuates an other-wordly electronic vibe that brings in an entirely
new element to their already incomparable sound. Nomo will simultaneously make you dance and expand your mind. If you haven't
heard their first full-length album, Nu Tones, go out and buy it today
to tide you over until Ghost Rock comes out on June 17th.