The year in music, circa 2010, started at the Cake Shop, with a shred-down to the New Year courtesy of Siren Festival MVP-to-be Marissa Paternoster and her band Screaming Females. After a tour through the NYE fetes of the Lower East Side and Williamsburg, that night ended amidst a marathon show at Bushwick's Shea Stadium, right around the time the Blastoids' drummer poured paint on his kit and started splattering away.
The first of many memorable events in 2010 came from Less Artists More Condos/Under 100 promoter Ariel Panero, who tragically passed away in December. This one was a January 15th show at lower Manhattan's St. James Church, with the Beets, Real Estate, Total Slacker, and Tony Castles (who were for some reason joined by Curren$y). The following week, Catholics responded--turned out they were not pleased with the "dance party in the processional aisle" and the "beer can on the altar."
Next up: a trip to Mercury Lounge to see visiting Brit Ebony Bones and her colorful cadre of musicians and dancers. She designs all their costumes.
Continuing on the theme of visual spectacles, Andrew W.K.'s wife, the fitness professional and dance-pop singer Cherie Lily, threw a hell of a party. She invited balloon-headed performance artist Bad Brilliance to join her Houserobics crew; together, they opened for Beyonce's choreographer, Jonte.
In February things were no less weird back at the Mercury Lounge, where we took in the tongue-in-cheek stylings of Leslie and the Lys . "If Strangers With Candy's Jerri Blank was an art-school rapper played by Camryn Manheim's little sister, she might be something like Leslie Hall," said Camille Dodero.
March saw the annual New York pilgrimage to Austin for the South by Southwest sprawl (no badge required), where highlights included Jelly and Mad Decent's Carniville, a 3-day spectacle at the Mexican Cultural Center complete with full-size amusement park rides and major antics from Major Lazer.
Our SXSW vacations all got a little longer in 2010, with the advent of Todd P's MtyMx in Monterrey, Mexico, a highly experimental foray into the business of throwing DIY rock festivals across the border. Zach Baron made the trip.
Ariel Panero pulled off not one, but two Erykah Badu shows in one weekend--the first being a very exclusive (and very sweaty) affair in Dame Dash's tiny basement, where she performed for over an hour; the second was a much bigger party at Hudson Hotel club Good Units, with opener Spank Rock, who was promptly booed off the stage.
Columbia University laid down 100 Gs for one night with Of Montreal, Ghostface Killah, and Wiz Khalifa in the middle of campus. And some kids took their clothes off, sort of.
The Bamboozle Festival returned to the Meadowlands parking lot in NJ, with Paramore in the headlining slot. ("Young enough to wear leopard print pants, old enough to be the best female singer in rock music," said Zach Baron). In this photo, Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams is having a snack in the on-site trailer before their set.
New Orleans sissy bounce queen Big Freedia made several stops in NY throughout the year, most memorably at the Chicken Hut for Oakland-based party Hoodstock.
Sleigh Bells played to an already apeshit crowd at Coco 66; eardrums were broken when their label's owner--who happens to be M.I.A--joined them onstage for the finale.
Hillstock, an annual homegrown folk-meets-art-rock festival of sorts put on by Showpaper and friends, blew up a Bed-Stuy backyard in Brooklyn for a weekend in June.
Two truly excellent party bands, Quintron and Miss Pussycat and JEFF the Brotherhood--by way of New Orleans and Nashville, respectively--took over Death by Audio for a night in June.