Here's more proof that New York still reigns supreme on the indie-rock scene, even seven or so years into its revival. We've now got Ryan Schreiber. Schreiber is the creator and editor-in-chief of Pitchfork Media — the music Website that enjoys total niche dominance and kingmaking clout in indie world — and, as of this month, he's a New Yorker. (Full disclosure: Some of us have both written for and been reviewed by the site.) But wait, you ask, isn't the 'Fork famously based in Chicago, and isn't it a kind of local institution there? Yes and yes, and it's staying there, as is the music festival it curates. In an oh-so-21st-century twist, Schreiber will simply be running things from here. (From Park Slope — natch — to be precise.) Although invitations are sure to come, don't expect to find Schreiber boozing at the Magician with the Lower East Side blogger royalty anytime soon; he's telling people he plans to keep a low profile. Which, in a way, makes it even tougher for New York bands: Now they'll have their own Frank Bruni to nervously scan the crowd for.
One of the Post's antique gossipers is suddenly giving Pitchfork Media a run for its money. In today's column, Liz Smith breaks an obscure new singer who's just had her first show at Pianos. Who's this up-and-comer? Well, it's 20-year-old Alexa Ray Joel, spawn of Billy, and her first CD was personally fed to the columnist by her mom, Christie Brinkley — but otherwise Liz's excitement over discovering a hot unsigned artist is palpably bloggerlike. "Her voice is big, beautiful and perhaps even more impressive than her impressive dad's," Smith writes. But there's a problem: "She doesn't have a label yet."
Poor, unsigned girl. But wait! Somewhat unlike your typical self-released debut EP, however, young Joel's has already been picked up for exclusive nationwide distribution at Target stores. She is also paying her dues on the road, "slowly building her career," as Liz puts it. A jog over to Alexa's MySpace page does reveal a full touring schedule, albeit one filled with Northeastern dates marked PRIVATE; her next gig after Pianos is something called the Princess Grace Awards. Wasn't that TV on the Radio's big breakout moment?
Young Lady Is Hot! [NYP]
Alexa Joel [AlexJoel.com]
Alexa Ray Joel [MySpace.com]