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    Barack Rock: Franz Ferdinand, Fiery Furnaces, and More

    "I just hope you invite us back for the victory party!" said Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos at Tuesday night's Barack Rock benefit show at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg. And as evidenced by the evening's general ebullience, Obama's Brooklyn contingency expect to have reason to plan that celebratory bash. Headlined by multi-instrumentalist and whistling-guru Andrew Bird, and featuring sets from Franz Ferdinand, Les Savy Fav, Guster, and the Fiery Furnaces, the sold-out benefit ran the gamut of entertainment. Revelers enjoyed a showcase of live music, stand-up comedy, and even a separate lounge to view the evening's Presidential debate.

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    Martha Wainwright Storms Through New York

    If anything was emblematic of Martha Wainwright's show last night at the Highline Ballroom, it would have been the weather. While the skies vacillated between softly humid and fiercely torrential, Wainwright delivered her unique blend of tender and rough in a crowded and intimate setting. Following a rousing and frequently hilarious performance by queer icon Justin Bond, Wainwright took to the mic in sky-high sparkly heels and a demurely sexy floral mini-dress. Modestly mumbling "Hi" to the swelling audience, the Montreal chanteuse began to delicately pick out the melody of opener "I Wish I Were" from her latest album, I Know You're Married but I've Got Feelings Too.

  • Ravens & Chimes Come Home

    With the mercury rising on a strangely balmy January evening, Ravens & Chimes'whimsical performance at Mercury Lounge Monday night (Jan. 7) wasparticularly pertinent. Led by earnest frontman Asher Lack, the indiepop six-piece served up a set of danceable and frequently etherealtunes from their debut LP, 2007's Reichenbach Falls. With araven stuffed animal perched over the stage, courtesy of bassist AbePollack's Mom, set opener "This Is Where We Are" showcased the band'spenchant for haunting vocal harmonies and psychedelic syntharrangements. Justifiably, Ravens & Chimes' sound is frequentlyassociated with the Arcade Fire, but the band finds their elementsomewhere in between Leonard Cohen and Vampire Weekend. Audiencemembers delightedly sang along during "January," and Nora Kelleher'slilting flute added depth and richness to the song's vibrant,riffage-induced vibe.

  • CMJ Day Four: Maccabees, Drug Rug Pack Flavor

    CMJ's label showcases are characteristically a mixed bag ofartists and tunes, and thankfully, Bowery Ballroom's Friday night (Oct.19) offering was no exception. Running the gamut from '60s folk andpsychedelia to contemporary Swedish power pop, the bill felt like aninventive seven-course meal, each dish standing out on its own for theaudience's palate. Kicking off the evening with a dose of folksy, blues-rock was Boston's Drug Rug,who provided the venue's patrons a hit of sunny melody on what was arather rainy and dismal evening. The New Englanders created a warmhaven from the bleak weather with a detectable Byrds-meets-Galaxie 500element flowing through the sound system. "Day I Die" transportedlisteners back to summer days of late '60s and early '70s, completewith a twinge of the Grateful Dead's noodling sonic.

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