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    Gnarls Barkley, Battles Set MySpace's 150th Secret Show Aflame in NYC

    A free show certainly attracts a crowd, and last night (June 8) fans were packed in tighter than sardines in a tin can at New York City's Fillmore venue where the soul-warping Gnarls Barkley, math rockers Battles, and robotic R&B maven Janelle Monae played the 150th installation of MySpace's Secret Show series. Monae, a Bad Boy/Wondaland Arts Society artist, was the first to grace the stage, moonwalking and high-kicking as she breezed through cuts off Metropolis: Suite I of IV."It's an honor to perform with Gnarls Barkley," Monae bubbled to SPIN.com as she posed for snapshots backstage. "I'm a huge supporter of them, and the fact that I get to share the bill with them is wonderful." Battles followed with a scorching set driven by industrial loops and warbled instrumentation.

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    Mates of State Debut New Album in NYC

    Taking a break from domesticity, married rockers Mates of State hit up the Mercury Lounge in Manhattan last night to celebrate the release of their newest and fifth album Re-Arrange Us. The crowd was tightly packed at the invite-only gig, a synth-ridden showcase of their latest material and warm-up for their upcoming summer tour. Keyboardist Kori Gardner and drummer Jason Hammel exchanged intimate glances as they pummeled through an hour-long set, sweetly harmonizing and trading off mic duties while breezing through every track on Re-Arrange Us. The Mates kicked off with the splotchy bleeps of "Now" and followed with a groggy rendition of "Fraud in the '80s," a fan favorite from 2006's Bring it Back.

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    Robyn Returns to the U.S.

    With her Rakamonie EP still fresh on store shelves, former teen-pop starlet Robyn made an great second impression at the Highline Ballroom last night (Feb. 5), logging her first stop back in the U.S. since crashing mainstream radio with her 1997 hit, "Show Me Love." Popping her shoulders and wriggling her hips next to two synchronized drummers and a keyboardist, the pixie-like platinum blonde seamlessly ripped through select Rakamonie cuts as well as tunes from her 2007 self-titled effort.

  • Team Robespierre

    Who? This Brooklyn-bred five-piece -- Rex (guitar), Ty(keys/vocals), Tomasz (keys/vocals), Mike (bass), and Jim (drums) --began their dance-punk assault in winter 2005. Since issuing theirself-released split EP with Albany, New York-based punks Brevator in2006, Team Robespierre have been a touring machine, having shared thestage with the likes of the High Places and Yeasayer. The band'selectro-charged studio full-length, Everything's Perfect arrives Jan. 22. via the Impose label. What's the Deal? On Everything's Perfect,thrashing electric riffs and shouty vocals chase buzzing synths beatsfor a riotous dance-punk hybrid. With only two of ten songs clocking inpast the two-minute mark, Team Robespierre churn out brash anthemspotent enough to inject any party atmosphere with plenty of adrenaline,even if the album only lasts for a raucous 18 minutes.

  • Delta Spirit

    Who? Delta Spirit comes from San Diego, where bassistJon Jameson and drummer Brandon Young started the group Noise Ratchetin 1999. They signed to Rick Rubin's American label but the band didn'tlast, and soon after meeting vocalist Matthew Vasquez, guitarist SeanWalker and multi-instrumentalist Kelly Winrich, the boys joined forcesto form Delta Spirit. After releasing the EP, I Think I've Found It, in 2006, the band hit the road with Cold War Kids, Dr. Dog and Tokyo Police Club; the Ode to Sunshine LP was self-released earlier this fall. What's the Deal?The group's instruments are shiny and crisp, and Vasquez brings an edgeto the songs with his gritty vocals. At times, they may be loud, butthey always have their sound under control, like on the sweeping"Strange Vine" that features punchy piano hits paired with a brashtambourine and buttery harmonies.

  • Sally Shapiro

    Who? Little is known about Shapiro, except that she hails from the land of Sweden and records shiny dance club tracks. She was first introduced to the world when her producer, Johan Agebj�rn, posted the ethereal single "I'll Be By Your Side" on random message boards in late 2006. Nearly six months later, her debut, Disco Romance, was ushered into European stores and received critical fanfare for its revival of Italo disco. Its stateside release, available with three bonus tracks, arrives Oct. 30 via the Canadian imprint, Paper Bag. What's the Deal? Shapiro's debut LP could be the soundtrack to an '80s prom or Flashdance sequel. Based on sparkling synthesizers and thin 808 beats, it comes to life with the addition of Shapiro's candescent whispers and croons.

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