Live: AraabMuzik Bridges The Gap Between Old And New At East River Park

Araabmuzik w/Flosstradamus, Teengirl Fantasy, Nick Hook
East River Park
Monday, August 20

Better than: Drinking Red Bull to get through just about anything else.

Watching the Manhattan-by-night sightseeing cruises pass behind East River Park's Summerstage during last night's Araabmuzik-headlined show, you had to wonder how the ship's tour guide was explaining the scene they floated by. Hundreds of teenagers—some atop each other's shoulders, some whipping bottles of water into the air, one wearing an "MDMA-ZING" neon tank, and far too many smoking cigs (among other things) behind their mothers' backs—screamed, raved, flailed, and booty-popped to Waka Flocka Flame before collectively bouncing into a moshpit for a remix of Baauer's "Harlem Shake." "To your right, you'll see one of New York City's many diverse music festivals," we imagine the tour guide told his voyeurs.

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Live: Catalpa Offers A Little Bit Of Everything To The Soggy Masses At Randall's Island

Snoop Dogg at Catalpa.
PHOTOS: Sunday at Catalpa

Catalpa NYC: Snoop Dogg, Black Keys, Matt & Kim, Matisyahu, A$AP Rocky, Hercules & Love Affair, TV On The Radio, Girl Talk, et al.
Randall's Island
Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29

Better than: Arguing over an iPod's shuffle function.

Music festivals without a historical following or a known brand identity can employ many strategies in their inaugural year, one of which is "Appeal to as many prospective demographics as possible." Catalpa NYC, which debuted this weekend at Randall's Island, decided to combat this problem by throwing together a bunch of popular-ish acts and some quirky attractions—art, fire, a chance to "elope" with a fellow Snoop Dogg fan.

Results were mixed; the lineup succeeded in having a broad appeal, but lacked a coherent musical aesthetic. Many of the non-musical attractions were spoiled by rain on Saturday and, faced with the prospect of surviving on its artists alone, Catalpa became a referendum on its performers' current positions within the musical landscape. Many attendees claimed to like "everything," so Catalpa became a chance to find out what the new "everything" is.

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The 10 Best Cover Songs Of 2011

Tell your children not to walk Wye Oak's way.
2011 was a year of looking back relentlessly, whether you were awash in Remember The '90s nostalgia or getting down at a New Kids On The Block show or watching Lady Gaga try to bring back the variety-hour era with her whacked-out Thanksgiving special. So it's not too surprising that there was a bounty of covers—whether as part of all-tribute-set live shows or attempts to goose sites' online traffic or just for, you know, fun—for the Sound of the City braintrust to choose from when putting together this list. Pop on pop, country on Gaga, and reggae on Seattle below.

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Q&A: araabMUZIK On His Influences, His Name, And Filling His Records With Crazy Beats

Innovation keeps culture moving forward. Some hungry kid will always figure out how to put a new spin on things his predecessors have already done.

Just ask araabMUZIK. He's still young, but his production track record is strong—he's worked on tracks by Tragedy Khadafi, 50 Cent and Vado, as well as the Dipsey reunion track "Salute." Relying heavy on electronics and hard, frantic drums, he has definitely captured a signature sound.

What's most interesting about this Providence native is his ability to use his MPC drum machine as an instrument in a live setting. After a YouTube clip of him manipulating the knobs and drum pads to produce on-the-spot beats surfaced in 2008, he's been booking live shows around the world.

Before stepping onstage at the Thompson LES last week, the Voice's pick for Best Producer In New York took a second out to discuss his background, his current projects and his future.

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Seven Sets You Should See During CMJ Week: Main Attrakionz, EMA, Dierks Bentley, And More

Thumbnail image for main attrakionz.jpg
Main Attrakionz.

Sound of the City's staff has opinions about which bands to see at the CMJ festival, happening around the city this week. Here, Nick Murray offers his seven picks—well, six festival-affiliated artists and one dude who just happens to have a couple of NY-area shows this week. (Check out Maura Johnston's and Martika Finch's selections. too.)

This Providence-born producer hammers out beats that will make your feet move with a virtuosity that will make your jaw drop. After turning hip-hop heads' heads with his work on Cam'ron's Crime Pays and Dipset reunion single "Salute," AraabMUZIK has come into his own on this year's trance-influenced solo album Electronic Dream.
Where to catch him: Try the Saturday Blowout at Santos Party House, where he joins Main Attrakionz, Action Bronson, Elks, Trash Talk, and Kylesa in one of the week's most promising showcases.

Titus Andronicus
If you haven't discovered the bar punk, Eric Foner-with-power-chords bliss of The Monitor—the latest from New Jersey-and-proud quintet Titus Andronicus—by now, you should probably proceed directly to Glasslands tonight. If you're familiar with the record, go anyway; these days, the group rarely plays venues as intimate as this one.
Where to catch them: The band's only show this week happens tonight at 9 at Glasslands.

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Live: Fool's Gold Day Off Party Turns into a Relay Rave

Fools Gold Day Off
City Winery
Monday, September 5

Better than: Catching bullets at a parade.

New York City empties out on Labor Day weekend, but for the past two years those who've stuck around have been able to see behind the curtain on what's next, on what's nexter-than-next, and the emerging trends in fashion and music and beer thanks to the Fool's Gold party, tucked into the parking lot behind City Winery. (For instance, this year I saw a bunch of people drinking 40s of Olde English, the champagne of street corners, due either to recessionary spending or one stop past irony on the L train.)

Fool's Gold is a boutique record label and lifestyle choice curated by DJs Nick Catchdubs and A-Trak in Brooklyn, a valued and influential co-sign to weirdo artistes and left-of-left-brain thinkers alike. Run down the rabbit hole far enough and there are connections made to The Cool Kids, Kanye West, Kid Cudi and many others' success. (That explains why CEO of Warner Bros. Records Todd Moscowitz—still smelling like The Hamptons—strolled the grounds yesterday, eating ice cream.) Armand Van Helden and Diplo hung around the VIP section, not far from Miss Info, Action Bronson, Plain Pat and Freddie Gibbs. P-Thugg of Chromeo, his belly hanging out of his head-to-toe Cross Colors outfit, wandered. It was like a Fader family barbeque, a cookout for discriminating tastes.

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Cam'ron and Vado Engage In Some Study-Hall Slumming On "Gunz N' Butta"

Here's what's on the table with Gunz N' Butta, the new mixtape from Cam'ron and Vado: Cam'ron, six years removed from his last best shot at stardom, smirking and plucking the lowest hanging lyrical fruit available. His latest protégé, a scrawny, slightly bummy-looking dude with an unfortunate fondness for denim suits, barking himself hoarse. (His name, by the way, is apparently an acronym for "Violence and Drugs Only"-an admirably principled stand.) And beats by Araabmusik, a Harlem producer whose signature technique involves making his MPC explode over and over again until things resemble a Michael Bay movie. It doesn't get much deeper than that, so at this point, you've probably decided whether to back slowly away or rejoice like it's Rap Nerd Christmas.

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Live: Araabmuzik Harasses His MPC at Brooklyn Bowl

Brooklyn Bowl
Tuesday, April 5

Better than: Bowling.

In the past few months, I've read a handful of articles and reviews suggesting that watching a DJ is boring. In one sense this is true, as watching the moves a DJ is making is almost always secondary to dancing to the records that DJ is spinning; watching the DJ generally happens only if the music is lacking. On the other hand, the last half-century is filled with DJs whose showmanship topped anything happening on the dancefloor before them. Even if he doesn't use a turntable, Araabmuzik is one of those DJs.

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Live: Matt & Kim Get Interplanetary For One Step Beyond At The Museum of Natural History

matt & kim AMNH main.JPG
At least they're enjoying themselves. Pics by Chris, more below.
One Step Beyond
Featuring Matt & Kim, Nacey, and AraabMuzik
American Museum of Natural History
Friday, January 14

Better Than: Night at the Museum

Astronomy: It's so hot right now, from the recent zodiac-sign hoax to the release of the largest-ever image of our galaxy (which, let's be real, resembles a flamboyant first-grade art project). And now we have the return of monthly party One Step Beyond in a planetarium. Because when you think of the science of space, you think of Matt & Kim.

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