• Julio Bashmore kicked things up a notch at a special Lights Down Low at Cellspace, where the fashionable twentysomething crowd contrasted sharply with the Burner/warehouse vibes of the venue. Toward the end of the night, with the rented soundsystem cranking way into the red, British DJ Bashmore spun old-school records with cool precision.
• Noise Pop released the first bits of the festival's 2013 lineup, and they look promising: local chill-pop maven Toro Y Moi, folky songwriter Thao Nguyen, producer Amon Tobin's lauded ISAM live show, and indie rock from Rogue Wave. Stay tuned for more additions.
• The Mountain Goats played a lovely show at the Fillmore on a difficult night, as the nation grappled with the tragic Newtown, Conn., school shooting. There was no one we would have rather listened to talk about love and death, survival and human nature for two and a half hours than John Darnielle.
• These are rough times for cabaret club the Rrazz Room, which is leaving the Hotel Nikko in Union Square at the end of the year and suing the hotel's mangers for alleged racism against the Rrazz's jazz- and R&B-loving crowd. (Hotel managers deny any racism.) The club's owners plan to open a new version on Van Ness in January.
• So the collaboration between Paul McCartney and ex-Nirvana members at the 12-12-12 Sandy relief concert was a disappointment, right? They only played one song, "Cut Me Some Slack," which the trio had secretly worked out in rehearsal. Still, maybe it was better that we didn't have to hear Macca try to sound like Kurt.
• After blogging our first listen to the year's biggest new albums, here's what we got wrong: Madonna's MDNA has decent songs despite being totally phoned in, and Animal Collective's Centipede Hz is sometimes as good as the group's best material.