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CD Review: Mazzzes

When I first heard that Mazes were releasing a remixed version of their debut record (dubbed Mazzzes this time around), I was a little skeptical. Why mess with a great thing?

The answer, it turns out, is “Why not?” The remixed tracks on Mazzzes are more like reimaginations, offering completely new perspectives. Lo-fi, breezy tunes sit comfortably next to avant garde and electronic mixes, and while none of it is necessarily better than the original, it’s all interesting and certainly worth a listen. The Dana Okon mix of “Manual Systems” stays true to the essence of the song, adding a fuzzy effect that makes it sound like you’re listening to it on an old radio. It’s an approach that works well with Mazes’ aesthetic, and the Pierce Doerr remix of “I Have Laid in the Darkness of Doubt” likewise takes a page from this book by imitating the locked groove of a broken record.

Several tracks are almost unrecognizable, but it’s never a bad thing. Jeffrey Thomas’ “Cat State Comity” would fit in well on a Frank Zappa album, and “Heather Kissing Heather on the Dancefloor” (Joshua Dumas’ take on “Heather on Heather”) sounds like something you’d listen to on your way home from a rave in 1996. These mixes couldn’t be further from the originals, but they’re great in their own right. When it comes down to it, that’s what makes Mazzzes a success: it achieves the perfect balance of familiar sounds that Mazes fans are bound to love and daring noise that they’ll love for completely different reasons.

Mazes are performing tonight (July 2nd) at The Hideout with Hotel Brotherhood at 10pm. - Bonnie Stiernberg


Best of NYC #25: Penguin Prison - live at Coco66 on July 30

We continue our "Best of NYC Countdown", covering every day one of the artists that made our Year End Best of NYC list (a chart compiled by a jury comprised of local bloggers, music writers, promoters, record store personnel and DJs).


New York’s Penguin Prison is far from waddling and awkward. In fact, Chris Glover (vocals, instruments, production), who operates under the alias “Penguin Prison,”  has developed a smooth, gliding, and sleek sound with the company of notable electronic/pop artists, including members of Holy Ghost and Longpigs. Together they fashion electro-pop dance tracks that would suit club scenes from the underground to the chic, by melding synthesizer loops, computerized blips and bleeps, and disco levity.  The bubblegum EP title track, “The Worse It Gets,” dreamy techno-beats and falsetto-vocals of “Something I’m Not,” and singles, a playful and sing-song-y “Animal Animal,” and an infectiously bouncy “A Funny Thing,” demonstrate Penguin Prison’s natural instincts for effervescent, danceable compositions.  As a re-mixer for other artists’ tunes, such as Marina and the Diamonds' “I Am Not a Robot” and Goldfrapp’s “Rocket,” Penguin Prison adds an airy groove to select tracks and transforms them to complement a party atmosphere. - Meijin Bruttomesso

Insert Bandname Here at DDG July2

North Philly three-piece Bandname is summer personified. Energized percussion with a side of garage rock charm, local favorites keep it DIY with tracks like the endearing “Excitable Boy” with its quasi-punk hooks and riffs. With an ironically iconic band name, Bandname’s stage presence is pure fun. Reminiscent of Tsunami Bomb, this dynamic trio is bound to please. Having opened for equally lo-fi acts like the lovely Vivian Girls, Bandname channels their inner Pavement for “Land War” while managing to mellow out for “Smile”. Add in laid back ballads by Philly/New York outfit Eskimeaux, and you’ve got a deadly concoction equivalent to a musical speedball. Danger Danger Gallery, 5013 Baltimore Ave., 9pm, $5 - $10 donation, All Ages - Dianca Potts



Radio Eris Host Multimedia Event at Tiberino Museum July 2

Radio Eris, Northern Liberties, and Da Comrade! are all no strangers to integrating multimedia, theatrics, art, and fan interaction into their sets. So when all three collide all of the above together for one truly madcap show within the confines of the suitably surreal courtyard of the Ellen Powell Tiberino Museum, they’ll be doing it within their element. This bold show will also feature video screenings from Jon F. Allen and others, live art creations to the beat of Blueberry Crush, a performance by Iris Senseless, body painting and so much more. Combine it with the ghost punk barrage of Northern Liberties, the psychedelic war paint tinged thrash of Da Comrade!, and the theatrical space rock of Radio Eris - art and music are destined to come together in ways that you haven’t seen before! Ellen Powell Tiberino Memorial Museum, 3817 Hamilton St., 8pm, $6, All Ages (Photo by Delia Gable) - Bill McThrill



Hosannas' Last Performance as a Quartet FRIDAY JULY 2 at The Artistery


Friday night’s show at The Artistery marks the last performance of Hosannas as Portland loves and knows it. The band is not technically breaking up, but keyboardist Cristof Hendrickson and percussionist Lane Barrington have decided to leave the group to pursue other endeavors (Best of luck, boys!).

Although the brothers Brandon and Richard Laws will continue to play under the same moniker as a two-piece, Brandon made it clear that the music will change drastically in the future, and they will not be playing the same songs they played as a foursome.

Multi-Chamber American Future at Rontoms from hosannas portland on Vimeo.

So this, my friends, will be the last time an audience’s ears will be graced with the experimental pop masterpieces that comprise the quartet’s debut, Then & Now & Then.

Show starts at 8 p.m. $6. All ages, so bring the kiddies!

-Katrina Nattress