Massachusetts beard-rockers Apollo Sunshine hit Brooklyn's Union Pool last night (Aug. 4) with an hour-plus of effects pedal-drenched guitar and harmonized give-it-all-you-got vocals, channeling the energy of the Flaming Lips and Neutral Milk Hotel. Their latest album, Shall Noise Upon, was just released, and from the sound of things, it has arrived in the nick of time for the last bit of summer. Openers I Am the Bison is actually Apollo guitarist Sam Cohen's one-man band, and he started things off with a stripped- down acoustic guitar-cum-kick drum mini-set. Undeterred by his limitations, when a drumstick-operating device fell apart, Cohen merely laughed it off and finished the set using his foot in its place. Following Bison were the Self Righteous Brothers, who, fittingly, gave equal nods to R&B and indie rock.
It was a humid, rainy night in New York last night (July 9), but that didn't stop concertgoers from packing the house at the Hiro Ballroom to see Albert Hammond Jr. The celeb-studded (sightings included Gossip Girl Leighton Meester) All-Star Party -- presented by MLB, 2K Sports, Nintendo Wii and SPIN -- brought together two all-time American pasttimes: baseball and rock. Attendees enjoyed virtual baseball (courtesy of Wii) and copious amounts of beer as they hung out comfortably like it was any old night at the bar. That is until Hammond showed up and the room's attention diverted to the stage. Kicking things off with "Everyone Gets a Star" from his solo debut, Yours to Keep, Hammond and his band were all smiles as they operated like the proverbial well-oiled machine.