The Men Create Tomorrow's Hits

Courtesy of Motormouth Media // Credit: Kevin Faulkner
The Men
Former Voice cover kids and 4Knots Festival performers the Men are back with yet another album, Tomorrow's Hits, which came out yesterday and is a massive sounding piece the band recorded even before their two most recent releases, last year's New Moon and Campfire Songs, were available for fans. With amped-up production and the addition of a wonderful horns section, they are happy to live in the moment rather than tomorrow.

Singer and guitarist Mark Perro chatted with us over the phone in time for the Men's Bowery Ballroom concert about the new album, their down time, and why they've always been fearless when approaching a poppier sound. They play Bowery Ballroom tonight -- tickets are still available.

See also: The Men Get Out of the Gutter

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The Men Play a Sold-Out Bowery Ballroom Tonight: Read Fun Facts That Didn't Make Our Cover Story

Carrie Schechter
Last week's cover boys the Men released their latest album, New Moon, on Tuesday. Tonight, the dudes take the stage of the Bowery Ballroom to a sold-out crowd. And even though we spilled thousands of words in ink about these guys, there's a bit that didn't make the story. Here now, lotsa lotsa handy tidbits about the Men.

See More:
The Men Get Out of the Gutter
See outtakes from our cover shoot

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Live: Ty Segall, White Fence, Strange Boys, And The Men Destroy Webster Hall

The Men.
Ty Segall, White Fence, Strange Boys, The Men
Webster Hall
Wednesday, May 16

Better than: Whatever the previous "Show of the Century" was.

It's hard to pinpoint the best part of last night's dizzying, unpretentious four-band bill at Webster Hall, which Bowery Presents billed as the "Show of the Century." Was it when the Men played all the way through their new, still-untitled followup to 2012's fabulous Open Your Heart? Or perhaps it was when Tim Presley of White Fence threatened the crowd because he got a beer tossed at him, then sweetly apologized? Or maybe it came at the end of the night, when Ty Segall finished his set, paused, looked over the rabid crowd and took a big, well-deserved bow?

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Q&A: Ben Greenberg Of Hubble, The Men And ZS On "Cyber-Dread" And "Shred-Fi," Playing Guitar On His Bed-Stuy Rooftop, And Not Being A Boner

Ben Greenberg's riffs are so virtuosic, they prompt the young ax-dude to toss a Steve Vai quip as he transmits dizzying sonic waves from his Bed-Stuy roof .

Jokes notwithstanding, the tat-covered, mop-topped Greenberg geeks out and slays in his myriad projects including longtime experimental pioneers Zs, the recently defunct noize-punk Pygmy Shrews, and the Men, for whom he'll now be playing bass. But as of late, the bulk of Greenberg's playing has been as the lone member of Hubble, a minimalist one-man show of cataclysmic fret-hopping grandeur. The recent Hubble Drums (Northern Spy) is a shred epic—three massive, equilibrium destroying jams drenched in glorious delay and loopage action.

Sound of the City talked to Greenberg via email about Zs' duo show at Crossing Brooklyn Ferry and Hubble.

How and when did you think up the idea of Hubble?

Over the summer of 2010, I started to realize I wanted to make something more specifically guitar-based without other instruments involved. I began climbing up to the roof of my house in Bed-Stuy and playing guitar all day, every day. After a week or so, I started recording myself and focusing my playing. I don't remember when I started doing the militant stereophony, but I do remember seeing Rob Lowe roll up to a Lichens show on a bike with his modular synth in a messenger bag and thinking to myself, "I gotta ditch these guitar amps and start going direct!"

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Portraits Of South By Southwest: La Sera, Santigold, Blood Orange, And The Men


In Waste Of Paint, our writer/artist team of Jamie Peck and Debbie Allen will review goings-on about town in words and images.

This week, we packed up our paint and headed down to Austin for the annual hurricane of musical adventure that is South By Southwest. I feel both like I just got to the jam-packed music festival and like I've been here my whole life, and I'm both bummed and relieved to discover that I do not actually live in a perpetual bubble of free alcohol, loud music, and promotional swag.

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Q&A: The Men On Staying Loud, Being Approachable, And Not Dreading SXSW

You'd expect a band with a name as un-Googleable and as blankly resigned as The Men to be a little stand-offish, if not just completely jaded. After all, the Brooklyn-based four-piece have been at it for roughly five years, only one of which found them getting some recognition outside of New York. The record responsible for the elevated profile was last year's Leave Home, a ripping, visceral slab of deafening post-punk and thrash that found them on a whole slew of year-end lists (Home came in at No. 57 on the Voice's 2011 Pazz and Jop critic's poll). It was a record so passionate and unforgiving it was hard not to immediately love, but calling it "inviting" would be something of a stretch. So it's weird that The Men's new album, Open Your Heart (out March 6 on Sacred Bones), is borderline welcoming, a no-bullshit rock record that trades in the guttural punch of its predecessor for patches of Americana, psych and straightforward guitar pop while retaining the grit that included The Men at the front of a pack of bands reviving all things sonically pernicious in New York. Stranger still is how truly affable The Men themselves come off. "If you wanna come with us, you're welcome and embraced, but if not, that's okay too, yo," guitarist and vocalist Mark Perro told Sound of the City. We talked to Perro and fellow guitarist/vocalist Nick Chiericozzi about influences, expectations and the new record.

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Download Generation: Yes In My Backyard's Best Local Music Of 2011, An 80-Minute Mix Of NYC's Greatest Hits This Year

Tami "Making Friendz" Hart.
For New York City, 2011 was the year local musicians proved that RSS feeds didn't kill old-school ideals like "scene" or "community." Every great band seemed to come tied to three or four like-minded bands you could love for the same reasons, often on the same bill. Maybe we read (and wrote) enough trend pieces to believe it ourselves. Maybe bands are just using Facebook connections to write the narrative before writers could. Maybe retromania has led us to think everything is back in a big way?

Don't get too excited. Bloggos still continued to rally deep and hard around the cleverest, firstiest mash-ups of hypester runoff micro-genres (good luck in 2012, A$AP Rocky, Light Asylum, CREEP and Caveman). But while so many jockeyed for positions and pixels, larger stories emerged that felt refreshingly like the street-level phonecall-and-flyer scenes of yore. As, I wrote in SPIN the new hip-hop fraternity of Das Racist, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Action Bronson, Despot and a newly keyed up El-P represent the most energizing force in New York indie-rap since Def Jux's heyday. And as I wrote in the Voice, a beercan-ducking, sweat-gushing, feedback-obsessed swarm of new pigfuck bands have been laying waste to 285 Kent, including The Men, White Suns, Pygmy Shrews and Pop. 1280. Often pushing the boundaries of what modern metalheads can play and wear, there was a downright onslaught of forward-thinking, critically acclaimed extreme metal releases (Liturgy, Tombs, Krallice, Hull, Batillus), which helped turn New York into the most important metal scene in the country for maybe the first time ever. Hell, if record labels still had the money to fly people out here, they'd be swarming!

Below, the 2011 edition of our annual Yes In My Backyard mixtape—this year's encompasses 18 tracks, over nearly 80 minutes—which collects this year's greatest music from New York City.

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Live: Neon Marshmallow Turns Up The Volume At Public Assembly

Grouper at Neon Marshmallow.
Neon Marshmallow NYC
Public Assembly
October 14-16

Better than: Bumming about Kim and Thurston.

"Yeah, he was pretty much just sitting there, watching his .wav files," somebody noted to a late-arriving friend, recounting a Friday set at this weekend's Neon Marshmallow festival by composer Phill Niblock. A hackneyed variation of the same canard, of course, could be (and probably has been) snickered at every performance involving live electronics since John Cage and his pals dubbed it "tape music." But while the 78-year-old Niblock certainly did appear to just sit there, watching the .wavs roll by as fairly generic slow-mo/macro/etc. nature footage burbled behind him, he did so while his music played at an absolutely pants-rattling, euphoria-inducing volume, overtones dancing in the registers where sound turns physical.

Throughout three evenings at Public Assembly, the Chicago-based Neon Marshmallow organization presented nearly two dozen artists in such a manner, through the very-non-human-megaphone-like PA of the not-entirely-public Public Assembly. With another speaker stack at the rear of the venue's floor for good measure, it was all deliciously, ludicrously loud—and while rock bands have routinely based their lives on this virtue for decades, it's all too infrequently applied to the heady and often difficult music championed by Neon Marshmallow. Those artists who made the best of it—the better to drown out Williamsburg weekend bar chatter and a raging dubstep dance party in the back room—were positively thrilling.

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Ten New York Bands You Should See At This Weekend's Northside Festival

Making Friendz (aka Tami Hart) plays Shea Stadium tonight.
Northside Festival starts tonight! Finally, your very own chance to see the best emerging local bands taking over Brooklyn bars for four nights... or as we like to call it, "pretty much every weekend in New York ever." We here at Sound Of The City are ecstatic about this weekend because we know that nothing lures music fans out to an $8 night at Glasslands like the privilege of piggybacking onto $200 "preferred seating" for a Wavves show.

Excuse the snark, but seeing local bands should be your hustle year 'round. But if you need a goofy wristband and a bag full of worthless promotional swag to do it, here are 10 YIMBY-endorsed local bands you should catch at Northside (or, uh, anytime, really), with handy links to interviews and MP3s.

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Download: The Men, "Bataille"

Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.

Rabid post-punk smile-grinders The Men continue to set Brooklyn loft shows ablaze with their happy chainsaw accidents and Wipers-gone-hardcore propulsion. After a two year spray of limited edition cassettes, 12"s, and short-run vinyl, the band is set to release their highest profile release to date--their first album for Sacred Bones, joining the aggro wing of the label's usually zone-altering playlist with YIMBY faves Pop. 1280 and Hunchback. Recorded by Ben Greenberg at Python Patrol, the upcoming album was, according to bassist Christopher Hansell, "the first time we've recorded on tape and I don't think we'd ever look back." First taste "Bataille" is inspired by the French writer's Story Of The Eye and rides a pug-ugly joy-punk riff into almost krautrock oblivion--complete with gorgeous voice cracks and face-mooshing distortion.

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