Darren Paltrowitz

Tom Maxwell of Squirrel Nut Zippers Drops New Book, Album 2

Tom Maxwell of Squirrel Nut Zippers Drops New Book, Album

Tom Maxwell, the voice and songwriter behind ’90s group the “Squirrel Nut Zippers, is back with a new album and a book about how the band revived swing music. Maxwell, who went solo in 1999, titled the memoir, “Hell: My Life In The Squirrel Nut Zippers.” It shares a release date with his new self-titled full-length album, Tom Maxwell & The Minor Drag. ...
Abby Weitz Powers Up Punk Pop Anthems With Wise Girl (video) 4

Abby Weitz Powers Up Punk Pop Anthems With Wise Girl (video)

Abby Weitz, frontwoman and songwriter for Wise Girl delivers the kind of power-pop that made Cheap Trick, The Knack, The Cars and Fountains Of Wayne famous. The one-two-three punch of the title track, “I’m A Freak,” and “Second” had me immediately hooked. Weitz (vocals, guitar) is the brain behind Wise Girl, formed in New York in 2010. Drummer Harry Keithline, guitarist Tim Basom and bassist Paul Taite round out the group’s current roster....
Bilal Finally Steps Out of the Wings With New Album 'A Love Surreal' 6

Bilal Finally Steps Out of the Wings With New Album ‘A Love Surreal’

Bilal’s list of collaborators reads like most people’s playlists: The Roots, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Erykah Badu, Common, John Legend, J Dilla, and Robert Glasper. But to get to this point in his career, it took a lot of waiting. Late 2013 brought the release of A Love Surreal, distributed by eOne Music. In support of the album, Bilal played at Stage 48 in Manhattan last weekend (May 9), with more touring to be expected....
Rob Cantor Is Not A Trampoline, Even If His Career Seems Like One 8

Rob Cantor Is Not A Trampoline, Even If His Career Seems Like One

Rob Cantor first found the national spotlight as a singer-songwriter in the Michigan-rooted quintet Tally Hall. With four lead vocalists (and five songwriters), the band’s unique, genre-bending sound and highly-cerebral music videos helped cultivate a cult following that seemed to put them on a fast-track to success. Their popularity led to a record deal with Atlantic Records and the release of their debut studio album, Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum. Then, the wheels came off. ...
Koo Koo Kanga Roo's Dance Music Happily Confuses Everybody (video) 10

Koo Koo Kanga Roo’s Dance Music Happily Confuses Everybody (video)

Koo Koo Kanga Roo ought to appeal to anyone who wants both escapism and energy in their music. Described as both “the Beastie Boys meets Sesame Street” and an “interactive dance party duo,” Bryan and Neil create musical performance art for fans of artists like Canned Hamm, JP Incorporated and Neil Hamburger. It can be debated whether Koo Koo Kanga Roo makes non-offensive kids music that adults can get behind (a la “Yo Gabba Gabba”)....
Howi Spangler of Ballyhoo: Fun and Chill Like Going to the Beach (video) 12

Howi Spangler of Ballyhoo: Fun and Chill Like Going to the Beach (video)

Ballyhoo!, the Maryland-based quartet, plays upbeat yet laid-back rock, which ought to appeal to fans of Sublime, Pepper and Jimmy Buffett. Absolutely not the kind of music I tend to gravitate towards. But after checking out their latest album, 2013’s Pineapple Grenade on Spotify, I was very drawn to the one-two punch of “She Wants To Destroy Me” and “Battle Cry.” They were listed on MTV’s “Top 100 Bands to Watch.” ...
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