There’s something about the pairing of free brick oven pizza and rich German beer that kicks off a party into high gear, bringing out the hungry, thirsty hordes.

What better way to get the Britcentric spring Sentimentalist issue 24 party started than with NY’s anglophilic Ashford Breaks, who’ve been featured on Steve Lamacq’s BBC 1 Radio show and singled out by UK press for their heady pop grooves and Blur-esque tendencies? They’re no stranger to the art of warming up a crowd and making us swoon.

Mixing it up, we went out on a limb and left the cozy confines of the NY music scene, digging through myspace to discover The Shackeltons, a ripping band from rural PA with an unforgettably pleading song called “Madeline”. And mind you, they wrote it even before being charmed by the Sentimentalist editor with the same name. (I guess their slot on the bill was pre-destined). DW Friend best summed up the set: “The Shackeltons were tighter than a pair of stretch pants on a Manatee. If Manatees wore pants that is. Either way. The Shackeltons are a super tight post-punk band . . . with a fetus for a drummer. A kick-ass fetus mind you. All right. The drummer wasn’t a fetus. But he was young. Heads up chicken hawks!”

Not to be outdone, Chase Pagan drove non-stop twenty hours from his high mountain town in Arkansas to make his NY debut, bringing the house down with his one man, dark cabaret-style show. His voice takes on the force of Freddy Mercury one minute, breathy Devendra meets Bobby Short crooner the next, all cooing falsetto and storming piano and guitar tunes ripped from a fantastical world, from “Spanish Tongue” to “Waltzing in the Sky”. This boy doesn’t need a backing band. He’s going to be big. (Watch for his album coming out on The Militia Group soon).

A surprise midnight visit from new NY freeform rock trio Human Resources was a memorable nightcap, finishing off the evening with laughs, swirling Sonic Youthisms and belting guitars courtesy of Sentimentalist staffers Dani Neff and Jeremy Krinsley. The crowd was left to ponder the hard slam poetics of the Resources while polishing off the last drops of free dark beer, courtesy of Schwelmer. It was a noisy, yet novel way to end the night.

  1. your magazine is the stuff indie wet dreams are made of. thank you kindly.


  2. Hey Mark,

    No thank you, you guys rock.