Kristen Sollee started writing for The Big Takeover when she interned at the original Eldridge Street location during 2003–2004. She has a B.A. from the New School in Arts Journalism, an M.A. from Columbia in East Asian Studies, and currently contributes to Time Out, NYLON, Thrillist and other arts and culture publications. When not pursuing her obsession with analyzing the performance of masculinity in glam rock and glam metal, she works in the art gallery at Japan Society.
A crawl through the crunch of synthetic insects underfoot and tomblike echoes of the claustrophobic deep, My Little Droney is an uneasy portrait of subtle horror.
What began as McBride’s solo project in the early aughts throughout small dives in Brooklyn has since grown into a massive crowd-pleasing pulse reverberating across the U.S. and Europe.
Without playing for shock value, The Devil’s Blood weave a smoky cloak of cloven hoof and hook-driven rock ‘n’ roll.
While the sound Religious to Damn create has aural antecents in Cocteau Twins, Mazzy Star, Fleetwood Mac and their ilk, there’s a more nuanced narrative playing out in the music.
The Beating of the Wings is a rare breed of record, building a sonic bricolage from moody glam cabaret and early 80’s coldwave with an injection of Nine Inch Nails ire.
The Myth and The Sum showcases a mature electronic slink compelled by moments of abyssal depth and seductive ethereality.
Rykarda Parasol’s dark, rich voice, weathered as if by tragedy and time, leaves you weeping and grinning til the end as she drags you through the dusty back alleys of Gothic Americana.
The idea of IDM is vague bordering on absurd, but when I first heard San Serac, somehow no label was more apt than Intelligent Dance Music.
Washington D.C.‘s The Opposite Sex return with a dynamic EP, Live And Burn.
A colorful Brooklyn duo with equal parts hip hop and synthpop apparent in their spartan beats are still very much of the moniker, ‘minimal synth’.
For an ambitious, up-and-coming outfit, New York City’s Her Virgins are a typical anomaly, fusing dark pop with a glam aesthetic that runs the gamut from Clockwork Orange to rivethead chic.
Blacklist’s medium is a message not only of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, but of geo-politics, socio-cultural dynamics, and revolt.
“It has become a huge topic lately. Everyone’s talking about what is gypsy music and who has the right to use it, so I think about it all the time.”
Montreal’s Xavier Paradis may have the French connection, but is actually a forerunner in the distinctly North American movement of minimal synth that has been seething below the surface since the 1990’s.
Destiny, Tamaryn, Zohra, Anastasia: New York City’s rising coven of seductive sirens, ladies of the new church of post-apocalyptic song.
While the EP is only two songs long, there is enough seduction and redemption for an entire record.
This post-Christmas fix of the New York Dolls live at The Fillmore might just be the best show I’ve seen them play since the 2004 reunion.
Metronome The City is a rare find: a band able to maintain a unified sound whilst jumping between disparate genres and tempos without missing a beat.
Somber and seductive, brooding and atmospheric, Tamaryn’s debut EP is filled with the kind of shimmering songs that alto chanteuses like Nico and Siouxsie Sioux offered us in years past.
The set focuses on analogue electronic music with the requirement that it be synthetic yet organic and created through a symbiotic relationship between man and machine.
Fern Knight is entrancing Renaissance fare with a psych-rock twist.
With the staccato surge and somber vocalizing of DAF, the distorted synthetic soundscapes of Dirk Ivens’ eeriest work, and the industrial strength of The Young Gods, Martial Canterel’s Refuge Underneath is a bleak intellectual exercise in the dark and danceable.
Creeping forward whilst changing form and focus since the turn of the century, The Funeral Crashers have become a mainstay of New York City’s fledgling “new dark rock scene.” A new appreciation for The Crashers grew after immersing myself in their first full-length, so I decided to fill in the blanks through an interview.
The Cult’s painfully disappointing Born Into This can’t simply be the result of an aging band out of touch with a musical landscape they once electrified in decades passed.
After a month of exploring the shadowy eaves of Tokyo’s ‘goth’ scene, one omnipresent icon of the dark and otherwordly came forward. It was…the butterfly?!
Despite a focus on the weighty and the wistful, the Opposite Sex’s debut full-length still has a vibrant violence that makes the band’s post-punk stylings so intriguing.
For the seventh anniversary of New York City’s renowned and resplendent roving dance party, Omaha’s own were the perfect addition to an eclectic night of rock ‘n’ roll depravity.
Over the course of an evening, in bathroom lines and at bars, I tracked down P.H. Lovecraft, singer for the Funeral Crashers, Peter Mavrogeorgis, singer for the Bellmer Dolls, and Josh Strawn, singer for Blacklist, to see if they believed in the existence of a burgeoning NYC dark rock scene.
The sheer live intensity of Dir en grey and the band’s effusive, excessively adoring fans made their sold-out show last Saturday quite an engaging spectacle.
A riveting show is rare, and I can count on one hand the number of times that I’ve been truly engaged by the live performance of a band I’ve never heard before.
After the recent release of Happy Holidays: A Very Special Christmas Album, I have come to realize that the Billy Idol I once knew and loved is dead.
The beauty of this compilation has been its role in introducing me to so much new and cutting edge music—spare synths that suck you in, electric guitars that slice and aurally eviscerate—this is a record that begs to be listened to alone, in the dark.
Done up in glistening war paint, tricked out with teeth and feathers and bone and laced into plenty of black leather and denim, The Hunt not only look the part, but play it all too well.
Since 1997, the five members of Dir en grey have thrashed their way to prominence in Japan, leaving an indelible bruise on the rock scene wherever their black leather boots have tread.
Although I was only able to make it to the second day of Drop Dead Festival IV, I still managed to catch some captivating sets.
While Faster Pussycat emerged from the much-maligned Los Angeles hair/sleaze/pop metal scene of the mid-1980s, a lot has changed since then.
The most vital show I’ve seen recently was not a long-awaited re-appearance of yet another 1980’s luminary, but an evening with two local bands, BELL HOLLOW and BLACKLIST.
While JAY-Z’s 40/40 Club is not my usual haunt, I decided to go there after being invited to the “Suiting Up” fundraiser, for the good cause (and the free booze).
With a sweeping silver mane that would be better suited to an aging rockstar rather than a prime minister, JUNICHIRO KOIZUMI is not only the most powerful man in Japan, but also a rock ‘n’ roll obsessive.
While Corvette made a successful return to the spotlight in 2001, she has only recently released her first new material in decades on the LP Back to Detroit. Now playing as NIKKI CORVETTE AND THE STINGRAYS, she and her band floored me on the Brooklyn stop of their recent promotional tour.
Some say that once a cultural trend receives coverage on National Public Radio, its next step is to The New York Times and on to ubiquity. If this theory holds true, by this time next year DIR EN GREY will be taking KORN out as their opening act.
It was a rockabilly revival of religious proportions as the hip-swiveling prophet of HEAVY TRASH, JON SPENCER, testified his way to sweet salvation for the Dutch crowd.
After attending GOLDFRAPP’s delicious live show twice in the past six months and falling in lust with their newest electro-glam masterpiece, Supernature, I was excited to speak with the platform-loving siren behind the songs, ALISON GOLDFRAPP.
This is not only a big deal for DIR EN GREY, but also speaks to the growing popularity of Japanese rock (J-Rock) all across America.
I was ecstatic to learn that the guys had decided on a whim to get together without the backing of an album and tour the USA.
Before a revamped 45 GRAVE took the stage for a hellacious set at CBGB on March 5th, I had the honor of speaking briefly with lead screamer and reigning queen of deathrock, DINAH CANCER.
I couldn’t have asked for a better first show at South-by-Southwest.
For the second part of their first ever American tour, Japanese Visual Kei band D’ESPAIRS RAY returned to New York City to play an exhilarating show at Avalon.