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Isaac Gillespie is a cool dude. I met the cool guy earlier this year. He sang a song about cool things and it was cool. He knows cool. So here’s his first cool report. Cool? Cool. -ed.

Ava Luna / Celestial Shore Tour

These two bands are both objectively great and also totally astounding live. Ava Luna has this tight funky post-punk thing going on with lots of sophisticated textures and vocal fireworks. Celestial Shore rides the tension between world-class instrumental virtuosity and surf-pop hooky songwriting. Both bands will blow your mind and leave you whistling.

Benjamin Shepherd

Do you remember that pizza commercial from when we were kids where the dude makes some pitch about a Dominos deal and then when they pull out he’s talking to a dog and the dog says, “Why’re you telling me, I’m a dog?” And the pizza-guy’s response is, “I’m telling everybody!”

I’ve been telling everybody about Ben Shepherd since I first encountered him in 2008.  In all that time he’s been a slow and steady trickle of masterfully constructed story-songs that tease out the herky-jerky wonder, terror and thrill of this human experience. This isn’t hyperbole I just can’t figure out how to recommend this music more highly.

After all the years of talking this boy up he finally put out a record.  It’s magnificent.

Trashgiving

I’m not really sure who’s playing this show but it doesn’t matter. Exploding-In-Sound Records is probably the one brand in music that I trust implicitly.  Skewing loud-indie-guitar-rock but not exclusively so, this label has put out pretty much everyrecord I’ve ever loved this decade.  They also put on these marathon shows that are just great. Why is this at the Trash Bar? Why is it Thanksgiving themed? It doesn’t matter, it’s just going to be wonderful.

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iPhone

I don’t have one of these yet but my ex-girlfriend used to let me play with hers and, boy, are these things amazing! Definitely something to keep an eye on.

 

Los Dos/Tres Hermanos Tortellieria

OK, the sign out front says Los Tres Hermanos Tortellieria and the menu inside says Los Dos Hermanos. Did something happen to one of the hermanos?

No matter how many bros there are, you will get great mexican food here every damn time. This place is literally a tortilla factory with a kitchen in the front where you can order tacos/quesadillas, etc. Pretty low-key but always cheap and delicious. Low-key like there’s typically a car parked in the dining area. Sometimes there can be a longish wait so if you wanna do like the pros, call ahead.

Full disclosure: I am sitting in Los Hermanos currently as I write this. Also, one time I went here and this happened:

Two Bros Pizza

I just realized that Two Bros. Pizza (aka the original dollar slice) is the literal Manhattan analog to Los Dos Tres Hermanos. Also just realized that while I’ve always thought of this place as “Two Brothers Pizza” it is actually “Two Bros“. Their rapid chain-like expansion across the borough pushing out older local pizzerias has been pretty bro-y. Have they been trying to tell us all along? I don’t care, the pizza is so gooey and delicious.

 

Ovlov

I sort of missed out on 80s/90s Indie/Punk music until I read Michael Azzerad’s Our Band Could Be Your Life at age 28. Definitely a great book but sometimes I would look up the music I had just read extraordinarily exciting descriptions of and be underwhelmed. Sorry. Know I’m gonna catch shit for this but Hüsker Dü kinda meh.

Ovlov sounds like Azzerad’s prose reads. It’s blissfully loud and unobtrusively tuneful. And guitarist Steve Hartlett’s playing has a great depth to it. He’s not a flashy soloist but for those who know rock guitar everything is in exactly the right place. He’s like a field and track athlete, no motion wasted.

They just put out this cool new song:

That’s it for what’s all cool in the world!  Till next time, y’all!

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