Phantoms are the Next Odesza

In May of 2014, my friend and I went to see a little Seattle-based duo called Odesza at the Knitting Factory, a 300 person capacity venue in Williamsburg. Last weekend, one and a half years later, I saw them at Terminal 5 (capacity: 3000) during one of their three sold-out shows there.

Their rise has been meteoric, clearly. And 100% deserved, because Odesza is amazing. Even though they are hardly the most well-known act in my little music community, they’ve managed to transcend the electro-hippie crowd and branch out into the mainstream. I can think of a ton of acts who get better billing at the festivals I go to yet could probably not sell out even one, let alone three nights at Terminal 5.

But this blog post is not about Odesza (surprisingly). So I will start over.

In March of 2014 I went to the Bowery Ballroom (the site of my 2nd ever Odesza show, fun fact) to see Com Truise, who, if you’ve committed all my blog posts to memory which clearly you have, you will remember is terrible. After that show I came home and made a little note in my concert spreadsheet: “Phantoms were amazing!” I added them to my Bandsintown to track if they were ever coming back to New York, and promptly forgot about them.

Last night, after having been notified by my phone that they were in town, I went back to the Knitting Factory to see Phantoms open for another band I had never heard of. I had no recollection of what type of music it was or if it was a single person or a whole band or really anything except that Phantoms, whoever they were, were the bright spot on an otherwise subpar concert over a year earlier.

I walked in a little bit late (oops) and saw two 20-something guys playing a poppy type of electronica and doing live drumming. “They’re like Odesza!” I thought to myself before I had even found myself a spot in the crowd. (Odesza is also two guys in their 20s playing poppy electronica and live drumming). Though Odesza’s music is more ethereal and Phantoms has more of a deep house feel, the comparison between the two seemed immediately obvious to me and I’d be surprised if I were the only person to say it. A quick Google search yields no results for this so I am proclaiming “FIRST!” (that’s what the cool internet commenters do, right? I’m with it, I’m hip).

In any case, the show was really great, and yet again I thought Phantoms were far superior to the act that followed them. I particularly loved this rendition of that Fetty Wap song I hate, a) because it made the song good, and b) because their drumsticks lit up.

It seems that¬†Phantoms, AKA the suit-clad Vincent Pergola and Kyle Kaplan, have already begun making a name for themselves back home in Los Angeles, but I’m excited to see where they go from here. If they follow along the path of Odesza and sell out Terminal 5 a year and a half after playing the Knitting Factory, I’ll be linking back to this post saying that I called it. Here’s hoping!

(And in the meantime, go download their new EP, Broken Halo, or go check them out on the last few stops of their tour!)

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That Time At Deep House Yoga

A few days ago I went to Verboten, a relatively new club in Williamsburg, for a session of deep house yoga.

What is deep house yoga, you ask? Yoga. While they play deep house. Obviously.

Not sure what deep house is? Here’s an example (current #1 on Beatport’s “Deep House Essentials” playlist).

Even though I’m not the biggest fan of deep house (understatement), I was intrigued by the concept and I’ve been meaning to check out Verboten ever since it opened a year ago. So what better way to check out “New York’s hottest club” than by getting my zen on inside its walls?

I walked in to Verboten, set up my yoga mat, and looked around to check out the space. It’s a relatively small club with a cool and intimate vibe. There’s an elevated platform around the walls of the dancing area – presumably for VIPs, normally – where our instructor and the DJ were stationed for class. A large disco ball hangs from the ceiling and there’s plenty of dim, ambient lighting.

If you don’t think that’s already the perfect setting for a yoga class, there are also giant screens spanning 3 walls that projected peaceful nature scenes throughout the entire class.

When the class began, I was pretty pleased to see/hear that the music was not, in fact, deep house. It was more of a downtempo feel and appropriate for some slow yoga movements. But unluckily for me, when the class picked up, so did the music, and it got more into the class’s namesake. The DJ was amazing and really following along with the flow of the yoga, and I actually enjoyed myself and the way the music complimented the practice. So much so that I’m almost (alllllmost) considering giving a real shot at learning more about deep house and trying to appreciate it.

Towards the end of the class, the instructor urged us to begin moving freely. He started small, asking us to swing our arms. Then we added legs. Then he asked us to all walk forward so we were closer together and more in the center of the dance space. Slowly but surely he told us to let go, and it evolved into a crazy deep house dance party, one that probably isn’t so far from what normally happens at Verboten at night, only it was a group of sweaty men and women in their workout gear. I loved it.

When the class ended, I went into the “locker room” (the single stall bathrooms that Verboten’s usual party-goers use), changed my clothes, and headed out into the rain, both relaxed and energized. I thought I would only go to deep house yoga once for the experience, but I’d absolutely take another class (anyone want to join?). And I definitely want to go dancing at Verboten sometime soon.