That Fergus & Geronimo. They sound good. So, so good. A hard rocking band with some good old fashioned organ sounds thrown in and enough energy to power at least a small portion of China. Their show at Cake Shop last Friday (oh my, I’m behind this week) was very late; I guess half of the band ended up getting stuck in the snow somewhere, but it was definitely worth the wait. The only bummer was that they didn’t have their new album for sale on vinyl. I talk about Fergus & Geronimo a lot, though, since they’ve moved to Brooklyn, so it’s definitely time to give some praise to Mr. Dream. I know they’ve been around for a little while, but this was my first exposure to them. I loved their direct rock approach to their music (and the fact that all three of the members are totally gorgeous). Check out a song from the below. I have nothing nice to say about the music The Honey Dos play, but it seems like they’re having a fun time being in a band, so that’s good. I’ll leave it at that. Check out the song below and pictures over at Impose.
I’ve posted about Lower Dens a few times on this blog, but never as the main event. It’s Jana Hunter’s new band, and they’re very good. Think Jana’s solo stuff: atmospheric, guitar with lots of space, strange and simultaneously familiar- but a bit rockier. This Baltimore act is going places, so check them out now. Inoculist is a Brooklyn band that keeps popping up in cool places, like Whartscape. Their songs have the same sort of low fidelity cool that a lot of their peers have, but their music is based on really great guy/girl vocal melodies. It’s pretty cool! Check out their MySpace. I also like Gross Relations, totally MySpace-based. Of course I do. Their “influences” section is nearly entirely based on 70s NYC punk + GBV. The songs seem to point to a lazy punk, that I’d like to check out in person. It reminds me a little of Handglops, but a bit more listenable.
Oh Sonic Youth. Right up there with George Clooney, they are the poster children for aging gracefully. How many other bands can you think of that play seriously kick-ass live shows, actually make meaningful music contributions, and were one of the most influential bands of all time some twenty-five years ago? The guitar gods rocked the faces off of an incredibly packed Prospect Park bandshell. There were people still trying to get in even as they were playing their last few songs. The band is a monument to practice. When you do something for a long time, you learn to do it damn well. The trick is not to lose any of your fire, which was not a problem for the band at all on Saturday.
Grass Widow and Talk Normal each tried to hold their own, but neither were really up to the task of holding down such a large stage. Talk Normal plays fairly interesting drone rock. They use two basses and a drum kit, so the sound is fairly unique, but the drummer couldn’t quite seem to keep the beat well enough to make it a totally captivating performance. As for Grass Widow, I really enjoyed listening to their songs for the first time before the show, but was confronted by a band with weak guitar sounds and no personality. I’m definitely going to put their album in my iTunes, but I won’t jump to see them live again. You check out photos from the night right here at Impose.
Wavves hater or not, you have to admit that his new album, King of the Beach, is at least a lot of fun. Personally, I think it’s more than that. I might even say it’s a perfect slacker anthem album, and it will be on repeat in my apartment until the weather stops making me want to go to the beach every day. If his recent show at the Knitting Factory is any indication, Wavves’ live show keeps getting tighter and better, though I’m not sure he can carry a space as large as Bowery (his show at the large Brooklyn Bowl was abysmal). The Smith Westerns put out one of my absolute favorite albums of last year, and their tough-as-nails-teen-heartthrob vibe makes for a fun live show. Plus, it’s Total Slacker’s Bowery debut! After months of constant playing, they totally deserve this next step.
Someone saved all the amazing free shows for the end of the summer. Three awesome women will be performing this afternoon, making this a don’t-miss Central Park show. St. Vincent, of course, is the fabulous songstress behind last year’s Actor. She’s also got great taste in music videos. tUnE-YaRds also came out with one of the most innovative albums of 2009, Bird-Brains. And Basia Bulat is a Canadian-based singer-songwriter. Check out her beautiful songs on her MySpace.
Free Sonic Youth! Free Sonic Youth! Sonic Youth at Irving Plaza in 2001 was the first concert I ever went to. I was a very innocent 15. I went with my older brother and sister, and a drunk girl passed out in front of me. My only complaint about the show was everyone was just standing around instead of getting into it. All of those impressions seem hilariously funny now, and I’m excited that this FREE show tomorrow will be my first time seeing the tock and roll legends since. If you’ve never had a chance to catch them before now, this is a great opportunity!
The two openers are also extremely cool. Grass Widow is a group out of San Francisco who play fairly basic garage rock, but with frequent layered twists. They take classic bass lines and guitar riffs and turn them into something new. I’m really loving them. Check out the track below. Talk Normal, from Brooklyn, play dark-tinted drone rock. It’s very moody, and sort of makes my insides squirm, but in a good way. And it’s all free! And in the most beautiful park in New York!
I’ve been bumming pretty hard on music recently. It’s one of those dry spells where nothing new seems to capture your interest. This, however, has pulled me out of my slump. It’s hosted by the wonderful blog, Microphone Memory Emotion, and is decidedly one of the best lineups of the summer. You’re probably already familiar with Julian Lynch, Ducktails, and Big Troubles. I’ve never blogged about La Big Vic before, though. They reside in a place of wonderful “scapes,” dream-scapes, haze-scapes, sound-scapes. It’s a lot of beautiful noise, and somehow ends up being catchy pop music. I’m loving it right now, and you should definitely get to this show early to check them out. Campfires, from Chicago, also play beautiful, beautiful music. It’s steeped in lots of guitar and has that sort of magical Pavement-y feeling, but sound more like experimental Velvet Underground. Sort of. Point being, I like them a lot. Get to this show early, and stay late!