All Posts,event — Dan on February 19, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Next wednesday, cult-classic punk movie Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, featuring performances by young Diane Lane and Laura Dern, as well as members of the Clash and Pistols, will be screening at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Afterwords, movie-goers are invited to join us for an after-party where I will be joined by Aileen Brophy of the band Corita as we’ll play a selection of punk, post-punk and other awesome sounds. 

The Lincoln Center info page for the film is here.

Tickets are available here.

The Facebook event page is here.

And check out the trailer…



All Posts,event,Old Music — Dan on February 6, 2009 at 2:31 am

I know, this blog is not what it’s supposed to be. You come here for all kinds of vintage post-punk type music discussions and are confronted with nothing but disco dj’ing self-promotion. I’m sorry, I’ll try to be better, I’ve got all kinds of subjects to discuss, music to share, posts to post, but for now, all I’ve got is this…

If you’re in the Brooklyn area, I’m DJing in Williamsburg at the Kiss and Tell party. Kiss and Tell has been going on for 3 or so years, hosted by Seze and Deanna, and has been a sort of mid-week after-work gathering where techno DJs play their new wave records and each week there’s a new theme of sorts. Past DJs have included John Selway, Derek Plaslaiko, Mike Servito, Veronica Vasicka, Peter Gunn, Small Change, Sam Valenti, Jeffery Ssfire, joining resident DJs Bethany Benzur and Carrie Whitenoise.

This week’s theme is SPACE IS THE PLACE. As much as I’d like to do nothing more than play The Night by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons over and over again, I’m going to stick to a more cosmic aesthetic, as in deep space. We’re talking classic euro-disco, italo-disco, electro, new wave, techno etc. If you check out the Facebook page I’ve posted some videos to set the mood, and will post some more of the next few days, so check it out. I’ll also be DJing with none-other-than Ulysses, a fellow-traveller from back when, those glorious pre-electroclash days of the late 90s into the early 00s. Those were the days.

The party is Wednesday February 11, from around 8pm till 2am or later, if you’re feeling it. It’s at Rose Bar, 345 Grand Street in Williamsburg. Here’s more info:

Kiss & Tell Presents:

…:::SPACE:::… is the place

Wednesday February 11, 2009
Guest DJs: Dan Selzer + Ulysses
Hosted by: Seze & Deanna

K&T Resident DJ: Bethany Benzur
Burlesque by: Amber Ray
Photos by: Seze Devres & Zach Dilgard
Midnight Birthday Blast Off for Eddie O

On February 11, blast off on an orbital space flight with the Kiss & Tell in flight attendants Seze, Deanna, and Bethany Benzur. Cosmonauts Dan Selzer and Ulysses, our talented guest DJs, will guide you as you voyage through some of the catchiest and rarest bleeps and bloops in the universe. Our gorgeous resident burlesque star Amber Ray will be our Big Bang. There will be a special Midnight Birthday Blast Off for Captain EO [Eddie O] who is our Space Camp expert, avid astronaut autograph collector, shuttle launch enthusiast [nerd] and close friend of everyone’s favorite astro-babe Lisa M. Nowak.

Your lovely cabin crew at Rose Bar will make sure you are comfortable and properly hydrated throughout your journey. You will be surrounded by handsome celestial bodies and breathtaking views. If you are in the mood, you are welcome to come dressed as your favorite astronaut, martian, stormtrooper, cosmonaut, alien, or Star Trek-inspired space babe. Costumes are not mandatory, because space is a state of mind. In the great words of Sun Ra, Space is the Place.

Starting promptly at 8pm, our lovely blonde encyclopedia of disco, Bethany Benzur, will be indulging the dance floor with fabulous italo disco space hits.

Join us for a night that is sure to make NASA blush! Darth Vaders & Luke Skywalkers get special K&T love…


All Posts,event — Dan on February 2, 2009 at 1:04 am

Dazzle Ships, the record listening party hosted by Tropical Jeremy and myself is celebrating it’s 3 year anniversary this Wednesday, February 4th. It will also be our last Dazzle Ships for a while. It’s been a fun run but we’re going to take a break, possibly bringing it back on special occasions or when special guests are in town. For three years, Jeremy and I have played some of the least-likely bar music, some of the hippest and weirdest stuff, some of the deepest and most shockingly obvious, and obviously wonderful, music, anywhere on this earth. We’ve hosted an incredible line-up of guest DJs, and they are all invited to join us on this somewhat final voyage by bringing down a few pieces of select vinyl and elbowing their way behind the turntables. Some of our past DJ guests have included Bumrocks, Lovefingers, Beppe Loda, Jason Convict, Morgan Geist, Sharegroove, Robots in Heat, Lee Douglas, Ike Yard, Tim Sweeney, Duane Harriott, Professor Genius, Speculator, Dead Heat, Relaxer, The Galkin Brothers, Excepter, Ron Morelli, Ray Velasquez, Voodoo Funk, Hatchback, Joshua Gabrial, Armando, Tako, Loud-E, Matthew Urbain, A Certain Ryan and so many others. Will they all show up this wednesday? No, probably not. But one or two will and we hope you can stop by as we give this ship a much needed rest.

Dazzle Ships will take place Wed February 4th at Heathers, 513 e. 13th st at Ave A in Manhattan, from around 9pm till 1 or 2 or so. Hope to see you there.


All Posts,event,Old Music,Radio — Dan on December 9, 2008 at 12:32 am

To help celebrate the 35th anniversary of NYU’s radio station, WNYU, 89.1, I’ve been invited to DJ Wed night on (Make The) Product, Jacqueline Castel’s awesome radio show dedicated to DIY music. For a year or two, (Make The) Product has been an amazing outlet of self-released underground music. Because WNYU is looking back, I’ve been invited to play some DIY music from the days of old. I’ll be playing a lot of my favorite music from that fertile late 70s/early 80s period when DIY really came into it’s own, focusing on self-produced and self-released music, as well as some of the crucial—or just cool—small labels/collectives. Expect to hear the Desperate Bicycles, Scritti Politti, The Homosexuals, Throbbing Gristle, Metabolist, Thomas Leer, Robert Rental, Funboy Five, One Gang Logic and selections from cool labels like Object Music, Propeller Records, Waldos and Absurd Records.

There may also be give-aways to WNYU’s 35th anniversary concert, featuring Pylon, Christmas Decorations and others. Here’s WNYU’s blurb…

*Wednesday December 10, 7:30-9 p.m.: *DAN SELZER Guest DJ Set on (Make The) Product!

In honor of WNYU’s 35th Anniversary, (Make The) Product! will be doing a special broadcast to survey the d.i.y. and small press underground music scene from the past 35 years, with an emphasis on the late 70s/early 80s d.i.y. scene. The show will be joined by Dan Selzer, founder of local label Acute Records (with reissues from The Lines, Fire Engines, The Prefects, &
Theoretical Girls to name a small few), for a guest DJ set on the show. Don’t miss this show during a very special anniversary week at WNYU Radio!

(Make The) Product is a weekly 90 minute radio program on WNYU devoted exclusively to demos and otherwise self-released, small press, and live recordings with limited to no distribution. Check the website ( for playlist archives, show listings, and postings on guests, live sets, and interviews! Tune in each Wednesday with
your host Jacqueline from 7:30-9 p.m. on WNYU Radio.

and the official show information/description…

(Make The) Product!
Wednesdays 7:30-9pm
WNYU 89.1 FM NewYork

Producer/Host: Jacqueline Castel (

(Make The) Product! is a weekly one-hour radio program dedicated to demos and otherwise self-released, private press, live, or found recordings with limited distribution. Be it freak folk, experimental, noise, punk, or free form psych drones, (Make The) Product! seeks out the rarest in vinyl, tape cassette, and CD-R releases from the local and international underground.

Tune to 89.1 FM in New York or listen online at through Windows Media or Real Audio. You can also listen through iTunes. Click on radio, and find WNYU in the public file.

Listen to the (MT)P! archives at

View (MT)P! playlists live or archived at


All Posts,event,mp3,New Music,Old Music — Dan on December 5, 2008 at 1:38 am

Sorry I didn’t do this when it was fresh in my mind. Been busy and there was a national holiday to deal with as well. What an adventure! I’m going to kick it LiveJournal style now. I went out there with nothing really planned except the incredible oppurtunity to crash on the floor of my friend Adesh’s room at the Standard Downtown. We decided to rent a car, because people apparently drive in LA, but the super budget car rental place had no GPS, so most of the trip involved me yelling at Adesh and telling him his iPhone’s GPS was junk. We got to town, I ate some tacos the size of my head at the Grand Central Market, complained about eating too much for a while then went to Amoeba, where I didn’t end up buying any records but I tried to convince some dude to buy some Cabaret Voltaire 7″s for 10 bucks each—you cannot pay too much money for copies of Extended Play and Silent Command. Ran into Mahssa and thought I was back in NYC. Went back to the hotel, hung out with Dahlia and took a nap. Woke up and Adesh was too busy hanging out with A Certain Ratio at the Standard’s roof pool so I went over to the Echo by myself. Met Michael from Part Time Punks and Benny Shambles who I knew from Go Go Go Airheart playing in NYC, and Scarlet from Hang the DJs. Pop Noir and Adult. played. Adult. was way more industrial then they used to be and I missed the neo-italo new wave of the electroclash days. Rico from The Lines showed up to say hello then at the end of the night after Dirty Dave and Franki Chan loudly rocked the kids with their serato sets I got to DJ. Of course I only brought CDs and they didn’t have CDJs set up and their computers were about 100x louder then my CDs so when I opened with Perfect Kiss it sounded terrible but enough of me making DJ excuses. That’s my new DJ name, btw, DJ Excuses. So after the club closed at 2 we went to what looked like a cool old diner but was really a total hipster hangout called Brite Spot or something and we sat next to the singer from Veruca Salt, a real L.A. moment. It was 2am LA time, so 5am NYC time, which is what time I’d usually end up at the diners of NY (Odessa, or Veselka), so all was right, even if I had 2 hours of sleep the night before.


Went over early to catch ACR’s soundcheck. The rest of the day was spent running up and down the stairs checking out bands and working the merch table where I sold 9 Acute CDs. Was re-introduced to Jessica Espeleta of E.S.P.S. who I had met years ago in NYC. Ran into original Dazzle Ships bartender Brion Paul, who still has my Norman Mclaren DVD, but I’ve got his copy of Jubilee. Victor who played Lines singles for me in SF last year at his Teenage Kicks party, ILXor and blogger Bimble, Don from the old Don’s Records in Brooklyn, Brody from the Plant Bar days, DJ Rob, my old LiveJournal friend Elena and others were all there. And to think I thought I wouldn’t know anybody, a stranger from NY in a stranger land (LA).


I didn’t see all the bands. I saw Magic Bullets who make a suitably powerful slightly twee Postcard Records style indie-pop with a singer who’s a bit too Morrissey. I saw What’s Your Rupture? signees Nodzzz, who were good simple rock and they had a sense of humor. I saw Grimble Grumble do a classic droned out space rock thing, felt like 96 all over again, they even covered It’s a Rainy Day Sunshine Girl. I saw a bit of Warpaint do some sort of tribal rock and the Vivian Girls for a few seconds playing their c86 girl-group sound. I read an interview with them where they talk about being influenced by the Shangri-Las and never having heard the Shop Assistants. They sounded great, better then the one time I’d seen them before. Love is All as well. I always wonder when bands start to hit bigger stages whether they’ll benefit or suffer. Some bands, especially punk bands, need that intimacy and energy of a small room. But both Vivian Girls and Love is All were great and went over swimmingly. I did not see the Muslims, who sound pretty cool. Nervous Gender was some old-school industrial and Medium Medium and Pylon were both dependably great though I didn’t get too pay too much attention. I totally missed Savage Republic and Softboiled Eggies, to much regret.

Onto my pet faves.

Wild Stares were awesome. I didn’t really know what to expect. I first heard them on a Hyped2Death comp and later found a few of the records here and there. They started out in Boston with releases on the seminal Boston punk/post-punk label Propeller, spent some time in Europe and eventually settled in LA where they’re all involved in tons of projects. Vocalist/gtrist Steve Gregoropoulos is a producer well known on the scene and a member of Lavender Diamond. While they were playing I spoke to some LA kids who couldn’t believe what they were seeing, not expecting Steve to rock out like he did, I suppose. They’re a hard band to describe with their own sound. It’s a noisy post-punk, angular and aggressive and chaotic. They use a drum machine and some electronics to good effect. They did a furious version of one of my favorite songs, Piece of the Picture, which Steve was kind enough to let me share here.

Wild Stares-Piece of the Picture
control-click to download

Before they played, I was DJing between bands and thought it would be fun to play the Dangerous Birds single on Propeller, the first band featuring Thalia Zadek. I wondered if anyone in the band noticed. A few hours later I was checking out the merch table and noticed another member of Wild Stares sitting behind some records, including original copies of some of their old records including an old Propeller 7″. I mentioned how cool I thought it was that they had that there for sale. He introduced himself as Justin Burrill, who was the man behind Propeller! And yes, they did notice I played the Dangerous Birds single. It was this kind of punk-rock networking that made the event so cool. There’s a great and extensive interview with the band from an old edition of Perfect Sound Forever, well worth reading.

The Nightingales were one of the main reasons I was there. They grew out of the Acute Records-released Prefects and I had suggested them for the festival. As those of you who have been religously following this blog know, I think they’re one of the best bands performing these days and I’ve seen them play NY a few times now, each time just getting better and better but never really reaching that huge an audience in this jaded town. I think it’s great that they’re playing so much though and really think it’s starting to pay off, building up a new fan-base show by show. Despite there being some last-minute schedule changes, which I am partially responsible for, they finally got to play around 6 or so, a few hours after they were supposed to play, but many hours before they were scheduled to play. It’s a long story, but the timing worked out well for them. They played upstairs to a packed room and I imagine most of the people there didn’t know what to expect. They put on a great show, though not quite as amazing as their performance at Asterisk in Bushwick the week before. I think they won over a lot of fans. The moment they finished two guys came back to the DJ booth and asked “who was that???”.  Robert Lloyd was in great form, taunting the audience as usual. One famous aside that has already been documented in more then one place involved Robert stopping the music and staring at somebody in the first row and saying “Don’t you fucking ever take a picture of me…holding a bud light.” They did that little bit of Faust So Far they always do, making for the second Faust cover of the day. Seriously, do not miss the chance to see them. They have a great new album out soon called Insult to injury, recorded with Hans-Joachim Irmler of Faust, here’s a song from it.

The Nightingales-Little Lambs
control-click to download

The Urinals have been a favorite of mine since the AmRep compilation came out. Unfortunately I didn’t see much of their set even though it was a prime goal of mine. I heard them play Strip Club from the 100 Flowers record, one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands. I also bought a t-shirt. They sounded great.

A Certain Ratio hadn’t played the US since 1985 and getting them to play the festival was quite the coup. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m sure a lot of people were hoping to hear some of those early post-punk funk classics, which ACR did deliver. But I think some of the audience may not have remembered how far the band went into the 80s and 90s getting more and more involved with club music and various other influences, ranging from the smooth post-UK jazz funk grooves to acid house. While they may not have played Do the Du with all the frantic noise of a young post-punk band, they covered the breadth of their career and sounds, ending with a killer latin drum funk jam (a live remix of Skipscada?) and encored with a cover of Joy Division’s Heart and Soul. Now we have to get them to NY!

The bands ended sunday night around 1 or so, and were followed by a Part Time Punks dance party. Something I’d never really seen. Back when I started Transmission I had this dream of playing proper post-punk dance records to a dancing crowd. That’s never really flown here. Maybe you drop Gang of 4 or Delta 5 into a disco or 80s rock/new wave set you’re good, but a room full of people dancing their assess off to the Normil Hawaiins or House of Cracks by The Lines at 2 am on a sunday night? I take it all back LA, I’m sorry about all the horrible things I’ve said about you.

After the show, I joined Adesh to hang out with A Certain Ratio back at the hotel, the closest I’ll ever come to living 24 Hour Party People, then we hit IHOP. A few hours of sleep, waiting for valet service in 91 degree heat, just missing Rob Lowe filming something on the hotel roof, then we flew back monday. NY was like 40 degrees. The NME reviewed the festival here, including some video footage, though I take umbridge at the “hipster Brooklyn” comment.

Anyway, thanks to Part Time Punks for putting it all together and letting me take part. Till next time…

The photo up top is ACR taken by Adesh’s iPhone. OK at pictures, not OK at driving directions. Here’s one more for the road, I’d Like to See You Again, Los Angeles…


All Posts,event — Dan on November 14, 2008 at 11:03 am


Lots going on. Going to LA tomorrow. Saturday night is the Adult./Pop Noir show at the Echo followed by a Hang the DJs dance party, who are kind enough to let me DJ a set. I will play dance music, for the dance party. Then sunday is the all-day Part-Time Punks festival I talked about here. I’m really excited for this.

Last friday I caught the Nightingales play at Asterisk Gallery in Bushwick with Imaginary Icons (who were great). I have to admit I was a bit worried because the last few times they came over they had teen guitar sensation Matt Wood playing with the, who was, as his name says, truly a guitar sensation. He’s been replaced by Christy Edwards of Christy and Emily and about a thousand other bands. Her sound is different than Matt’s, but what the band loses in skronk they make up in punk energy. They are also joined by a bass player they picked up while recording at Faust’s studio in Germany. And of course, the amazing Darren Garratt ex of Pram and original Prefects guitarist Alan Apperly round out the line-up, backing up the one and only Robert Lloyd. They played for like 5 hours, they covered the Troggs, they rarely stopped between songs, and seriously, for the last 3 times I’ve seen them, they’ve consistently been the best live band I’ve seen in years.

The Nightingales alone are worth the cover fee for the Part-Time Punks fest. Getting to see A Certain Ratio, Pylon, The Urinals, The Wild Stares, Nervous Gender etc just sweetens the deal!

So come say hello. I’ll have a limited amount of Acute CDs to sell, including our latest, Flood Bank by the Lines, which is continuing to get great reviews. See you in LA. Buy me a taco. Here’s hoping my trip doesn’t end up like Woody Allen’s in Annie Hall.


All Posts,event — Dan on October 13, 2008 at 11:57 pm

Hello. Will have some actual Acute news soon (2nd Lines CD! Upcoming vinyl releases!) but have to mention some events. Our annual Halloween party will get the push in a few days, but first I have to spread the word about this last minute event. It’s the NYC release party for Morgan Geist’s new solo CD, Double Night Time, out now. The album is a subtle and sublime distillation of Detroit Techno and electronic pop influence, aimed less at the dancefloor and more at those late night drives through city streets. I’ll be joining Morgan, his Metro Area partner Darshan Jesrani, and Warp Record’s Jimmy Edgar. Not being a world-famous producer of electronic music like the aforementioned stars, I’ve got the opening spot, so show up early when the music will be extra good and the crowd relaxingly sparse, you’ll have room to dance and breathe, you know?

So in case you can’t see the above flyer:

Morgan Geist/Double Night Time release party
Wednesday October 15th, 2008
Santos Party House
100 Lafayette St. NYC

I suppose now’s also a good time for a quick re-cap of my last visit to Santos. After Wild Combination premiered, the downstairs of Santos filled up really quick. Steve from Audika brought a mix of music, ranging from some obscure and even unreleased Arthur Russell material to music from Arthur’s personal collection. We got to hear some Arthur faves like Terry Riley, Abba and Fleetwood Mac, as well as the version of Talking Head’s Psycho Killer that Arthur played cello on. Then the live show started, early because everyone was afraid the band would be drowned out by Black Dice who were performing upstairs. Jens Lekmann was joined by some of Arthur’s old friends and collaborators, Ernie Brooks, Steve Hall and Peter Zummo. Despite the usual loud crowd, it was quite touching and beautiful. After that, I got to play a solid 40 minute set of nothing but Arthur Russell disco and people started dancing right away. At midnight, JD from Le Tigre took over and played a fun and eclectic set, then I DJ’d from 2 till 4 and had a totally great time. I don’t know what DJing upstairs will be like this wednesday, but downstairs is a great room, great size, amazing sound. Hope I get the chance to play there again.


All Posts,event — Dan on September 26, 2008 at 9:05 am

Remember how Dazzle Ships hosted the after-party for the premier of Matt Wolf’s amazing Arthur Russell documentary Wild Combination? Well now the movie is being released for real in theaters and on DVD thanks to Plexifilm. It’s playing this weekend at the IFC Center in NY and ICA in London and there’s gonna be another after-party, and I managed to get myself on the bill once again! It’s at Santos Party House, Saturday the 27th, downstairs.  JD from Le Tigre will be djing from 12-2, then I’ll be on from 2-4 for some late night disco action. Starts at midnight and costs $10. Friends, email me at dan at for more information.More...

From Plexifilm:

Wild Combination

A Portrait of Arthur Russell

WILD COMBINATION begins in the bucolic landscape of Oskaloosa, Iowa. Chuck and Emily Russell remember their precocious son Arthur’s early inspirations. As a teenager in the 1960s, Arthur was obsessed with Timothy Leary, John Cage, and Beat poetry. Clashing with his parents’ Midwestern conventionalism and inspired by these figures’ counter-cultural imaginations, Arthur ran away from home. He joined a Buddhist commune in San Francisco, and he met his lifelong mentor and collaborator, Allen Ginsberg. Allen described Arthur as “delicate, exquisite-minded, youthful, and at the same time oddly reticent.” The two collaborated on a number of recordings. But when the commune tried to take away Arthur’s cello, forcing him to secretly play in a closet, he followed his greater musical ambition, and he joined Ginsberg in New York.

Arthur began working with Philip Glass and other composers in the avant-garde music world, specifically at The Kitchen, where he became musical director in 1974. He composed melodic orchestral music and absorbed the vanguard ideas of the new music scene. Simultaneously Arthur discovered the liberating social and aesthetic possibilities of underground discos. Under the guise of various monikers—Dinosaur L, Loose Joints, Indian Ocean—Arthur produced playful and eccentric disco records that became hits of the pre-Studio 54 era.

The rules and codes of established genre didn’t apply to Arthur. The serialized patterns of minimalist symphonies resonated with the repetitive rhythms in dance music. Likewise, the utopian social settings of the early discos were like the Buddhist commune Arthur had once known. With childlike innocence and fun, Arthur ambitiously explored all of these possibilities.

He fell in love with his boyfriend Tom Lee, and the two moved in together in the East Village, next door to Allen in a building populated by poets, musicians, and artists.

But despite Arthur’s musical talent and ambition, he was often tempered by self-defeating career choices and alienating perfectionism. It seemed that Arthur was creating a kind of utopia, where the absorbing process of making music was his life. Finishing his work was a secondary concern. Collaborators moved on to new projects, career opportunities passed, and Arthur began working alone in his apartment. What resulted was perhaps his most fully realized body of work, “World of Echo.” These transcendent solo cello-and-voice songs were like intimate diaries that fit somewhere between lullabies and art songs.

It seemed that popular success was within Arthur’s reach: He believed these diverse musical projects would reach a wider audience. But the devastation of AIDS cut Arthur’s career short. When Arthur died, he was puzzlingly lost in obscurity. His 1992 obituary in the Village Voice read, “Arthur’s songs were so personal that it seems as though he simply vanished into his music.”

But now fifteen years after Arthur’s death, his music is being rediscovered. In the past five years, Arthur has developed a significant, international following. A new generation has discovered Arthur.

With a visually experimental form, WILD COMBINATION brings to life Arthur’s descriptively rich and emotionally direct music. The film explores the compelling cultural history of New York in the 1970s and ‘80s, the experience of being gay and confronting AIDS, and the cathartic process of making art and pursuing popular success at a time when those goals were mutually attainable. Intimate interviews with Arthur’s family and collaborators, rare archival materials, and an engrossing visual language bring his music to life and give long overdue attention to this ground-breaking artist.


All Posts,event,mp3,New Music,Old Music — Dan on August 16, 2008 at 1:36 am

With full understanding that the only way to get anybody to read your blog is to post free music for people to download, I’ve been meaning to start doing that forever. However I am very busy. As you may have read, I recently did a whirlwind trip through the UK, which I hope to recap soon, but for a taster, it involved DJing in London, dancing at Optimo, going to a party in a cave, having a drink with some Fire Engines, etc. I’ve also been busy stateside, including finishing up the next Lines CD, “Flood Bank”, compiling both their LPs, doing a few Viva Radio shows I haven’t posted about here yet, and even DJing locally. For instance, tonight (Saturday, August 16th), I’m DJing at Rubulad, which will also feature a performance by the Homosexuals. For more info and the address, send me an email.

However, while I take a break from my hectic schedule, I’d like to post some mp3s, so I can join the exciting world of “mp3 blogs”, influence a new generation of music fans and maybe get hired by some dot-com 2.0 start-up funded by News Corp or Viacom or something. Actually, I’ve been excited to do this for ages now. There were a few years where I really wasn’t paying attention to new music. On one hand, I was too busy collected Desperate Bicycles records and reading the Phil Ochs biography. On the other hand, most new music was terrible. Things started to change though, mostly through the influence of people like myself teaching kids about the good musics of the past. All these amazing new bands have been popping up and now there is scene upon scene of awesomeness. Cool minimalist art-punk bands, cosmic disco rockers, psychedelic folk finger-pickers…you name it.

And wouldn’t you know, soon as I started the Acute Records myspace page, I got attacked by friend requests. A good portion of them are crap bands who are just looking for a label. But I listen to them all because some of them actually find us because they dig some of the same music we do, even some of the CDs we release. Or some find my personal page because I have such great taste. Eventually I started finding some on my own, just linking to people’s top friends and discovering the aforementioned scene upon scene of cool stuff I dig. So when I started this blog I mentioned my intention to highlight some of these bands/acts that I liked for whatever reason, and for no particular reason, I decided to start with these two recent myspace acquaintances.

Tony Underground – Mana Magic (album edit)
control-click to download
this has been removed because it’s coming out legit on Tirk! Congratulations! Awesome!

Tony Underground is a nu-disco (for lack of a better term) producer/DJ in England. His interests are pretty much the same of mine when it comes to dance music, italo, Chicago house etc. He’s got some pretty banging tracks on his myspace player, but the one that grabbed me was this one, Mana Magic. It’s a bit of a balearic groove with a bit in common with some early UK IDM, something Ultramarine or even AFX might’ve done. Beautiful piano tinkling and lush synthetic atmospherics, joined 1/3rd of the way through by some simple beats…really beautiful.

Rauschenberg – Sigue
control-click to download

Rauschenberg is a duo located in Brooklyn, NY, easily the second coolest borough in the city. They pair an 80s electronic pop sound with a very digital/cut-n-paste aesthetic, especially to this song, with lo-fi casio style samples, vocal grunt samples and newscaster soundbytes that owes as much to Trevor Horn’s glossy Fairlight production as it does to the Severed Heads or Cabaret Voltaire at their most accessible, with female Japanese vocals. I think I was initially attracted to another song on their myspace player, Instrumental, and asked for this one by mistake. Instrumental starts with a digital piano and strings melody (I just love piano and piano-esque) before bringing in the italo-bassline and drum machines, though this has more to do with the way New Order would draw from italo and make more baroque pop songs then the type of post-electroclash italo revival we hear most often. Both songs have some great hooks and totally fascinating production.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed my foray into mp3 blogdom. I have a large backlog of new-ish bands I dig that I plan on asking if I can share (that’s right, I asked permission. It really wasn’t that hard.) I’ll try to do this as often as I can, but as I already said…I’m really busy. Better get back to work.


All Posts,event — Dan on July 9, 2008 at 11:50 pm

This is exciting. I’ve been a trans-continental DJ, but never an inter-continental DJ. This will be my first time DJing in London, and my first time there since I was 13. I’m going on an epic trip, London, St. Albans, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, but this will be my only DJ appearance. So I don’t care if you’re in Sheffield, Leeds, Bristol or Brighton, take the lorry down to London for some real Queens New York style dance music. I don’t know what that means but I’m bringing disco, italo-disco, french disco, canadian disco, french-canadian disco, new wave, old wave, techno, house, but no tech-house. Some real summertime Fire Island/Paradise Garage/Music Box/Danceteria/Hacienda sounds.

I’m totally honored to be playing with Rory and Nadia, old LiveJournal folks from the early Web 2.0 days. I don’t even remember how or when I met Rory, but he was in NY as much as I was back then, and I lived in Brooklyn at the time. All I knew was that he cue’d his records through a red telephone, like that guy used to at Bang the Party at Frank’s Lounge. He played at Transmission with me once, that may have been the first time we actually met, Lauren or the Rapture were probably like “oh Dan, you have to let our friend DJ”! A few years later our paths crossed again at the afterparty for Franz Ferdinand after Making Time in Philly, in some giant warehouse with nothing but a Sparks van (the drink, not the band) and a shaky balcony from which Rory played I Want More by Can and He’s Frank by the Monochrome Set. And once again the next time Franz came to town, they were much bigger but I got booked to play the after party at the Tribecca Grand with Melody Nelson and Sons and Daughters. Rory introduced me to Paul from the band, apparently a big Acute Records fan.

So please tell your London friends and if you are in London please come and say hello and dance some.

More details at the Facebook event page, of course.

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