8 NYC Bands You Need to Hear: 2009

04/29/2009 1:00 AM |

photos by Zandy Mangold

pow wow! | Savoir Adore | The Albertans | The Beets | Xylos | Darlings | Anamanaguchi | Emanuel & the Fear | Honorable Mentions

It was bound to happen eventually, I guess. For the first time in the three years we’ve been doing the photo shoot for this issue, we got stuck with an absolutely miserable day. It rained from the moment I picked up the bagels, until just a little while before I stumbled out of the Bushwick Country Club and onto the street, far too drunk for it to still be light outside.

But the rain actually may have wound up helping us out. In recent years, bands have been known to choose corners — of the bar, of the ample outdoor space—and stay put, ultimately keeping inter-band conversations to a minimum. But this year, with everyone (barring a few smokers who braved the elements under a barely pitched tarp) forced to hang out inside, it turned into the kind of event we always wanted it to be: bands were mingling like socialites, to the point where it was difficult to remember who was in what band, and there was, ounce for ounce, more alcohol consumed than in any other year, by a long shot. And I don’t know if it was the booze making everyone into the best possible, carefree versions of themselves, but there wasn’t a single jerk in the bunch — no one complaining that they had to leave, asking over and over again (through their “manager”) when they’d have their photos taken, which is nice, because it’s just awful to find out that you actually despise the people in bands you really like.

And I do like them, very much. From the elegant, obscenely hooky indie-pop of pow wow! to the completely psychotic, driving 8-bit rock of Anamanaguchi, this year’s crop of bands prove once again that we’d be foolish to pack up and move to Athens or Portland or, god forbid, Philly, the way we always say we’re going to.

Special thanks to John from the Bushwick Country Club, who continues to let us take over his bar for an entire Saturday every year, plying us with all the beer, bloody marys, and pickle back shots we can handle. And if that weren’t enough, this year he even made us ribs. He is an angel, and we love him. Please go to his bar and spend all your money.

12 Comment

  • details of past-years-assholes PLEASE

  • Decent list. But RECKLESS SONS should also be mentioned. http://www.recklesssons.com/

  • I will have to check out these bands. My personal pick is Ava Luna, http://www.myspace.com/avalunaband. I saw them at Goodbye Blue Monday and fell in love.

  • How can you mention these bands with mentioning The Continentals (bartender, Thomas’ band) and The Mr. Move or Black Names (Both from bartender, Reggie)

  • Look! A Matt Conboy look-a-like from last year. Only this year’s is more gay.

  • Dear L Magazine and your 8 NYC Bands you NEED to hear issue…41 people in your spread and not ONE non-white musician?
    The L train runs through more than just williamsburg however you wouldn’t know this by looking at your cover. If I had reason to think that these were really the Top 8 Bands that related to the L train , this wouldn’t be a problem , however I have a time believing that with the breadth of the entire L train from Manhattan, to Williamsburg to Bushwick to East New York that there weren’t ANY significant non-white indie (rock) bands or even bands with a more diverse make up. Racism is more than who you include but rather who you leave out. I’m not telling you to include a token black or latino person just to make me feel better, however when you live in one of the most diverse neighborhoods of one of the most diverse cities in the world, this negation is a flagrant one. People hate hipsters not because of their irony but rather because of their flagrant refusal to live in a world not inhabited by people JUST LIKE THEM.

    -Diane Wah (dianewah.blogspot.com)

  • in response to diane. its unfortunate that the L magazine’s spread is agreeably quite vanilla so to speak. but in all fairness, these were a couple people writing about bands they like, and by no means boast that it is an ALL encompassing NYC list. and also in fairness to the groups, who i am friends with some, we have 2 filipinos in the spread (the nazareno brothers, pow wow!) , as well as two south americans (Juan Wauters & Jose Garcia in the beets).

  • drummer in anamanaguchi is half mexican

  • check out Bumpin

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