The O-town Scene

June 2014

The O-town Scene - Oneonta, NY

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"Play this loud" could be the title of this month's New Music Notes, as we look at the latest by two bands that make me want to turn up the volume: Parquet Courts and Flesh Wounds. Parquet Courts is a Brooklyn band that caught my ear last year with an excellent album titled "Light up Gold." Anyone who hasn't listened to that album, particularly the tracks "Master of My Craft," or "Bor- rowed Time," should take the time to get into their punkish sound, which shows an evolution from the classic rock band, the Velvet Underground. The new album (released June 4), and the first single from it, are both titled "Sun- bathing Animal." Its edginess and tempo make it a little jarring, but it really grows on you. The band is a lot tighter than in its earlier endeavor and I expect this album will take them a lot further with the music and lyrics I've heard so far The title song moves at breakneck speed and offers an exploration of relationships and the human condition with such lines as "most freedom is deceiving/ if such a thing exists/ when I was young I knew but didn't care." If that is all too heavy, the band's sense of humor can be seen on the official video that juxtaposes the song with a cat sitting in the sun. What really makes the song for me is the jam that starts at two minutes and 12 seconds that is full of edge and jangly guitars. On a live performance of "Black and White" on "Late Night with Seth Meyers," lead singer Andrew Savage practically howls the lyrics as the band really cranks it out, even pulling off some feedback. With lyrics like, "Is the solitude I seek/ a trap to which I've been blindly led/ tell me where then do I go instead?" the band has something to say. I look forward to hearing more from them. Flesh Wounds is a North Carolina band that sounds like they spend all their time listening to punk, especially The Clash. With their amped bass lines and solid drumming driving their sound, the musi- cians deliver the necessary sneer and attitude to pull it off on a three-song wallop titled "Bitter Boy." Laura King (drums), Dan Kinney (guitar) and Montgomery Morris (guitar) began playing together in 2011. These songs were recorded in two days, which prob- ably helps give "Bitter Boy" it its raw intensity. With the title track, "Kennel Cough" and "Let Me Be Clear," the listener won't be surprised that Morris told an interviewer that all three songs are about being "pissed off". There is something very primal about it all and it should be played loud. Mark Boshnack is a reporter for The Daily Star, and a music fiend. He can be reached at mboshnack@ For a long time now, I've been selling my clothes at consignment stores as a way to make some extra cash. But that involves tiresome chores like leaving my house. So when I first heard of online consign- ment, I was pretty thrilled. But it can get a bit crazy trying to sort out all the different options. Here's what I discovered in my totally unscientific survey of secondhand- clothing sites: thredUP thredUP was the first site I checked out, and it's a pretty straightforward process. You mail in your clothes (shipping is free), and anything that is accepted is put up for sale on the site. (Unsold items can be reclaimed, but you pay for shipping.) thredUP sets the prices, and the percent- age of the sale that comes back to you depends on the selling price. The higher the price, the higher percentage you earn (the percentages are spelled out on the site), so my Old Navy and Target clothes aren't going to yield a big payday. If you decide to "cash out" rather than spending your earnings on the site, you'll pay a fee to Paypal for the service. (The site also allows you to donate your earn- ings to charity without incurring any fees.) Pros: Convenience Cons: Fees to reclaim unwanted clothes Tradesy Like eBay, Tradesy lets you set your own price and takes a commission (9 percent of all sales). Unlike eBay, Tradesy pays for shipping, and the site offers other perks, like retouching photos, and handling returns and disputes. Payment is via Paypal, but like thredUP, you're charged Paypal fees if you cash out to spend your earnings off-site. And Trad- esy is strictly for high-end goods, which counts me out (its "Cheap and Chic" sec- tion highlights brands like Coach, Zara, Bebe and Guess). Pros: Ease of use, attractive presentation Cons: Limited to designer goods Threadflip Can't decide between Tradesy and th- redUP? Threadflip's got you covered. The website offers two options. "Full service" works like thredUP, and "self service" works like Tradesy. Not surprisingly, you get a smaller commission (60 percent as opposed to 80 percent) if you choose full service. Whichever you choose, you get to name your own price. Like Tradesy, Threadflip caters to high- end brands, although it does accept vin- tage items as well. And here again, your earnings stay put until you "cash out" via PayPal, incurring the usual fees. Pros: Options galore Cons: Limited to high-end items Poshmark I was all psyched on this free app at first; it seemed to offer a lot with minimal fees, and it doesn't charge you to cash out. But reading one of the FAQs, I saw seller after seller ask, "Why isn't anyone 'liking' my clothes?" And as I read on, I realized that the clothes you list on Poshmark are only seen by your "followers." Which means you have to spend tons of time building up your follower base. Um, no thanks. Pros: Ease of use and receiving pay- ment Cons: Items only seen by 'followers' Twice Twice buys your secondhand clothes outright, as opposed to selling them on commission. This sounds great, but it's also a bit risky: the offer is all-or-nothing, and if you reject the offer, you get to pay $5 for the pleasure of having your clothes returned to you. On the bright side, Twice is very clear about which brands it will accept, and has a price estimator to give you an idea of what you can earn. (For one "basic" item, you can get $1 to $3; for one "premium" item, the payout is likely to be $5-$12.) Payment is via PayPal, check or store credit, with no associated fees. And Twice actually gives you an extra 25 percent if you decide to spend your money there, which is a nice perk. Pros: Up-front payment Cons: All-or-nothing offer Of course, there are lots of other ways to sell your clothes online, including eBay, Instagram and Facebook. But that's a whole separate column! Emily F. Popek is still waiting to sell her first item on thredUP. She is also assistant editor of The Daily Star. Turn Parquet Courts, Flesh Wounds Up To 11 A3 June 12, 2014 O-Town Scene 3 New Music Notes|By Mark Boshnack Laygirl Fashion|By Emily Popek Poshmark, thredUP, Threadflip, Oh My! A3 Let's be friends Find the Scene on Facebook for the latest events and the occasional giveaway

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