Friday, September 12, 2014

September 2014 gigs

95. SMB, Sugarfed Leopards, Plague Doctor, MC DJ Grace K, DJ Richie 1250, The Pink Tiles LP Launch, the Tote 5/10/2014

96. SMB, Pink Tiles, The Eastern, 6/10/2014

97. Pink Tiles, Ausmuteants, Nobunny, The Hussy, Bar Open 7/10/2014

98. Girl Crazy, The Brunswick 11/9/2014
Girl Crazy play their first gig ever!

99.Lower Plenty,  The Sky Green Leopards, Baby's All Right! 18/9/2014
Why go see an Australian band, when overseas? Why oh why?! Well a chance meeting with an old friend that day who I met, because her travel agent who worked in Nachos Cantina of Lower Plenty (I went to school and lived with her boyfriend) meant we had to go. Lower Plenty were missing a member and they had the smallest audience I've even seen them play to, except the mix was too loud so the nuances were missed but their jarring noisy moments were spectacular - so I guess you win some: you lose some.  The Sky Green Leopards came all the way from San Francisco I believe, and they had a Byrds meets The Beach Boys vibe going on, so it was very pleasant.

100. Devendra Banhart, Stephen Merritt, Iron and Wine, Brooklyn Academy of Music 19/9/2014
To be honest, I only went to see one act. Although  very charming and able to do some interesting stuff with his vocals, I literally fell asleep whilst Devendra played. Possibly my jetlag had something to do with it. Stephen Merritt, walks on stage with two Ukelele's set up and a metronome, and his very droll banter. Some say Uke's aren't cool, but this guy is all about representing the song, the story and the melody, so it doesn't really matter if the Uke is in or not. Which makes the whole affair even cooler. Playing songs from The Magnetic Fields canon, Gothic Archies, Showtunes, etc, this was a divine experience, well worth the ticket price of all three Nonesuch artists. Yes Stephen Merritt is truly THE MASTER of witty, twisted lyrics, sublime melody, and I like many would say songwriting genius. His songs draw you in and hit you over the head and you love him for it, he plays with conventions, so you think you know where it's going and then all of the sudden you don't. I can see why he could be so respected across many genre of music, but a credit to him, he's still writing great material. The songs are perfectly succinct so as an audience member I will never bore of Stephen Merritt. Which made it really hard for the guy from Iron and Wine (for me). Although he was as or more charming than Devendra, 7 minutes into his set nothing to could Stephen Merritt, so in my mind there was no use in sticking around.

101. Quitty and the Don't's, The Above, The Forz, Yeah Hop! 20/9/2014
It was a last minute decision to come to Radio Bushwick which I find out is not a radio station, but a band venue with high ceilings in a converted warehouse space in a hipper part of Brooklyn. I only saw the last couple of songs, but Quitty is one cool lady behind the skins and has  a bit of the Mo Tucker's about her. The Above are a 60's inspired pop/R & B band with divine harmonies, and ace songs. Highly likeable stuff.
The Forz make their debut in NYC - they're from Boston and it starts off as a high energy performance, withstanding breaking a string, they do a selection of originals and covers, and the crowd are nodding in agreement with the good times/and or the beat.

102. Paul Collins Beat, @ Cooper & Young Thursday 25/9/2014
DIY guy Paul Collins opens Gonerfest 11 with his catchy pop songs. Crowd seems lethargic but maybe just pacing themselves for what's ahead.

Ross Johnson's

Like Flies

On Sherbert

103. Ross Johnson's Like Flies on Sherbert Revue, Golden Pelicans, So Cow, Ausmuteants, Radio Activity, Grifers, Hi Tone, 25/9/2014
I love the album, and I loved the tribute performance. Ross Johnson is a personality, and the band was loose in all the right places. It was a perfect tribute to the classic Alex Chilton album. Golden Pelicans had a screamy dude thing, and a champagne bottle that didn't break at the right time - orchestrated danger almost became real danger! So Cow from Ireland were equal parts funny and musically endearing but then had McClusky moments. Ausmuteants excited the crowd. Things got hazy by the time Radioactivity were on and The Grifters were 90's hometown guys.
So Cow

Dutch Masters

104.  Die Rotzz, Angie, Dutch Masters, Warm Soda, Deaf Wish, Len Bright Combo, Hi Tone 26/9/2014
Die Rotzz bought New Orleans punk power to to the stage; it's the kind where you don't question what they do. Angie bought vulnerability and darkness and I thought it worked really well - kinda like a Rowland S Howard vibe. Dutch Masters were the masters of rock and roll. There's just something about that front man "Scott" - he's so great. Warm Soda were like a teen idol band. The guys were good looking, the songs were really poppy and it kinda reminded of Shannon or Hunx - and not just 'cos they're from SF. Deaf Wish shocked and awed, and Len Bright Combo too the crowd to another place.
Len Bright Combo

Len Bright Combo
Scott and Charlene's Wedding

105. Scott and Charlene's Wedding, Stevens, Terry & Louie, Nathan Roche, Murphy's, 27/9/2014
Scott and Charlene's Wedding is a mellow way to start the afternoon. During their set Terry and Louie and the rest pulled up in their van (presumably from NOLA), tumbled out with all their gear, and then they were the next band on. What happened next was pure magic, maybe even spiritual-they pumped out a set of Exploding Hearts songs it was my absolute highlight of the entire festival. Even their sound check was entertaining. Brilliant stuff from people who know how to do it.  It was hard to get inside Murphy's by this stage, so Nathan Roche was up next, and he has that kinda slack jawed - slackness - it's his style, and that was nice. I was sorry to miss Weather Warlock the band that was temperature controlled.
Terry and Louie


The Rebel

The Gizmos

106. Nots, Spray Paint, The Rebel, Protomartyr, Gizmos - original 1977 line up, Hi Tone, 27/9/2014
Nots are the talk of the town and the hype of the festival. And deservedly so-with line up changes they're a four piece and these women know how to rock and /or roll. They're truly awe inspiring. Spray Paint - I can't remember them but that could be more to do with me than them. The Rebel was jaw-droppingly curious. Dirty guitar, unusual lyrics, a voice kinda reminiscent of Damon Albarn, but the guy was dressed in camo.  This was the act of Gonerfest that really surprised and delighted. Everybody's talking about Protomartyr from Detroit, except me because I can't remember. Gizmos had at least 7 guys on stage, one the lead singer who was a major Poindexter but so good at it. One band member was wearing overalls and it wasn't ironic. Gizmos were ludicrously fun.

King Brothers

107. King Brothers, Gazebo @ Cooper & Young, 28/9/2014
I only caught the very end of Gila Man who was playing synth. King Brothers, a 3 piece from Japan was the closing act but perhaps the most energetic of the festival. They gave it everything, in their crushed suits, and the video footage will show that the lead singer (who was making shapes including Iggy circa Stooges era) balanced on the arms of the crowd for at least 5 songs.

108. Lucinda Williams, Rough Trade 30/9/2014
Legendary Lucinda plays legendary label shop in NYC and all I can feel is the numbness after seeing so many great bands in Memphis. So spoilt.