Tag Archives: Total Slacker

Recommended Monday Show: Wavves, The Smith Westerns, and Total Slacker at Bowery Ballroom

Smith Westerns

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.

MP3: “Idiot” – Wavves

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Photos (for Impose): Northside Part II

I always have really high hopes for Northside, and I always end up wussing out.  After a very fun Thursday evening (see yesterday’s post), I was planning on an ambitious Friday night for Northside’s busiest day.  I ended up just hanging out in South Brooklyn with my friends, which is, you know, a good thing to do, but wouldn’t necessarily happen at a festival that didn’t take place in your home town.  Ah, the perils of local music.  Luckily, Impose’s showcase took place on Saturday night, which provided another opportunity to see a bunch of really great bands.  I was exhausted from my Friday night, but managed to catch Union, Total Slacker, Coasting, Frankie Rose & The Outs, and Matteah Baim before I called it quits and went home.  You can check out my photos of those bands at Impose right here, along with photos of Dark Dark Dark by Tod Seelie and Lower Dens by Sarahana.

MP3: “Thee Only One” – Frankie and the Outs

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Photos (for Impose): Indian Jewelry, Effi Briest, and Total Slacker at Mercury Lounge

Indian Jewelry

I never understood why epilepsy was triggered by strobe lights until last night.  Indian Jewelry shut off the lights at Mercury Lounge and turned on two very high-powered strobes.  It was dark, it was moody, and it was difficult to look at them directly, though when you did it was pretty cool.  I think that’s a pretty apt way to describe their music, as well.  I’m not sure I enjoyed the schtick with the lights, the music was cool enough to stand on its own, but it made sense, I guess.  Kind of like Crystal Castles but with better music.

Effi Briest were were really awful.  Oh my goodness.  To be fair, Mercury Lounge had the bass way too loud in the mix all night, but you’d think that would be extra motivation for the bass player and drummer to actually play in time together.  Maybe some of it sounds cooler on record, but their music has an identity crisis.  Are they trying to sound like The Knife?  Are they trying to sound like The Slits?  They sure didn’t sound much like anything on their own.  It seems like they’re all trying to dress in a particular way, but it doesn’t come across in a coherent statement.  Plus, none of the players played particularly well.

Total Slacker opened up the show.  I’ve been in to Total Slacker in the past, but one of my co-workers recently mentioned to me that they seem like a mediocre high school band to her when she’s watching them.  I saw where she was coming from.  That comment stuck in my head, and I had it as my mindset going into their performance.  Could she be right?  Has my read of Total Slacker been totally wrong all along?  I admitted to myself that they are definitely a little sloppy, and haven’t gotten tighter since I first saw them several months ago.  Their songs are really simple.  But as their set wore on, the sneakily simple guitar playing shone through, the tongue in cheek hilarity of the lyrics won out, and you remember that the band is smart in the way that they cleverly manipulate simple rock songs (the guitar player is actually an accomplished classical guitarist, I believe).  Then he goes and plays a pretty cool solo behind his back.  So, yeah, I do think that they’re much, much more deserving of regard than a mediocre high school band, and I’m looking forward to their 7″ that’s coming out on Impose.

Speaking of Impose, you can see my pictures from the evening right here.

MP3: “Excessive Moonlight” – Indian Jewelry

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Photos: Beach Fossils, Total Slacker, Air Waves, Eternal Summers, and Beachniks at Bruar Falls

In the epic Friday night court battle of Real Estate vs. Bruar Falls, Bruar Falls won the jury’s hearts on account of it probably being less packed.  It was still very crowded, but I’m glad that my friends and I didn’t miss the dance party that broke out when Beach Fossils played their set around midnight.  Seriously, that band gets better every single time I see them.  It was my first time watching Eternal Summers, and I completely fell for their simple drums and guitar rock.  No pedals or effects, they just rely on good songs and musicianship.   The rest of the bands were about the same as every other time I’ve written about them on here: Total Slacker and Air Waves both sounded so good, and Beachniks are fun but unrehearsed.

My photos are really crappy; I was focusing more on hanging with friends than being a good blogger.  I’ve just been imagining that they’re from a disposable camera from the 80s.  That makes them a little cooler, right?  Right?  Well, to make up for it, we’re lucky enough to have TWO beautiful drawings from the wonderful and talented Ms. Meredith Leich.  She writes the blog Auratic Outmoded, and you should check it out for more beautiful thoughts and images from this talented young artist.

Beachniks:

Eternal Summers:

Air Waves:

Total Slacker:

Beach Fossils:

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Recommended Friday Show: Beach Fossils, Total Slacker, Air Waves, Eternal Summers, Beachniks

This is a ridiculous show.  The entire line-up is full of my favorite up-and-coming bands.  What makes it even crazier is the Real Estate/Family Portrait/Liam the Younger/Big Troubles show happening simultaneously just down the street.  So why does this one get my pick?  Beachniks are unpracticed but cute.  Total Slacker’s Tucker is a rocking guitar player, busting out jazzy solos like he’s single-handedly going to save art rock.  Air Waves are one of my perennial favorites and one of the most genuine songwriters out there.  Beach Fossils keep getting better and better every time I see them, and it seems more and more like they’re going to break out into the national scene.  But most important, Eternal Summers.  They’re from Virginia, so you won’t get a chance to see them as often as all of these other Brooklyn bands (though they are playing on Saturday and Sunday, as well).  I’ve never seen them before and don’t know all that much about them, but I do know that the two tracks below are some of my absolute favorites I’ve heard this year.  Smart, economical songwriting- half catchy half fuzz.  I’m really excited about this band and definitely recommend making it out to at least one of their shows this weekend.

MP3: “Able To” – Eternal Summers

MP3: “Fall Straight Back” – Eternal Summers

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Recommended Thursday Show: Garotas Suecas, Golden Triangle, and Total Slacker at The Knitting Factory

This Thursday is just one of those days where there are too many bands playing.  First of all, there’s the up and coming buzz bands.  Twin Sister seem to have completely blown up just in the last few days, and they will play at Glasslands with Holiday Shores.  And Golden Girls, who have been creeping up on the buzz-o-meter (but who’s songs are a little hit-or-miss for me right now), will play at Pianos.  Both worthy shows if you want to be able to say “I saw them when.”  Japandroids and Best Coast are a killer combination at Bowery Ballroom, but good luck getting tickets.  AND Bonnie “Prince” Billy is playing two of his intimate Monster Island Basement shows.  Not to mention good old stand by’s, The Walkmen, at the Bell House.

Out of all these shows, I’m going to recommend the glowing trifecta of Garotas Suecas, Golden Triangle, and Total Slacker at the Knitting Factory. Garotas Suecas are from Brazil, and if they don’t put a smile on your face, well, aren’t you a sour person then.  There’s a lot of Os Mutantes in there, but maybe with a little less quirk.  I’ve managed to miss them at two consecutive SXSWs, and they don’t come around all that often since they’re from Brazil.  Plus, Golden Triangle and Total Slacker are some of Brooklyn’s best.  That’s why this show wins for the day, though any of the ones I mentioned above are a good bet.

MP3: “Bugalu” – Garotas Suecas

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Recommended Saturday Show: Darlings, The Sundelles, Total Slacker, Big Troubles, and My Teenage Stride at Cake Shop

If this show isn’t a who’s who of NYRM’s favorites, then I don’t know what is.  I love all of these bands and blog about them at least fairly incessantly, so I feel that this show requires minimal description.  It’s a fundraiser for these bands’ journeys to SXSW.  They’re only playing twenty minute sets (which should actually be a good prep for the music conference), and all the proceeds go to funding their respective trips to Austin.  It’s a good cause and should be a really fun night of absolutely wonderful Brooklyn bands and people.  A few MP3s below.

MP3: “The Genie Of New Jersey” – My Teenage Stride

MP3: “If This Is Love” – Darlings

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