Day two of CMJ turned out to be a free form day. A few weeks ago my friend Kathryn got us tickets to the new Karen O psycho rock opera at St. Ann’s Warehouse, Stop the Virgens, with me totally not realizing it was smack dab in the middle of CMJ. Whoopsies!
After the show, I decided to push it and headed over to Williamsburg to try to catch King Krule at Glasslands, but by the time I got there they were no longer letting badges in. As I was standing there, I heard someone call my name, and low-and-behold it was Scott Stereogum, who then invited to come into the ‘Gum showcase next door at 285 Kent.
Before heading in, Scott warned me that it was extremely hot indoors and sure enough, it was in fact a “hipster sauna” inside. So who were the kids all waiting to see? Strong Island (seriously???) buzz band, Twin Sister. Dreamy disco music, with a lead singer who looks like an Olsen, it’s not hard to understand why the room was 75% Sausage Fest.
Hey y’all. Sorry I have basically fallen off the face of the planet in terms of updates. August was a great month — saw lots of good music. Here are some of the shows I witnessed:
The biggest blowout I attended last month was on August 11th for Celebrate Brooklyn‘s last concert of the summer, featuring Aussie dance party gods, Cut Copy, and California wunderkids, Foster the People. So much crazy dancing, so much fun! (And a damn near Lindsay Lohan sighting!)
Lead singer Mark Foster told a story about how when he was a teenager he approached Rivers Cuomo at a party and tried to get him to listen to his demo. Fast foward to 2011, and now Weezer has been known to cover “Pumped Up Kicks” in concert. As an homage, FTP did a cover version of “Say It Ain’t So”:
Taking the stage just shy of 1 AM, the quartet quickly hopped on the staged at the sold out show, and singer Justin Young thanked the crowd for sticking around, before launching into their ra-ra anthem, “Wreckin’ Bar.”
It almost seems a little unfair that it took me longer to write this blog entry than it did for The Vaccines to play their compact 30-minute set. Performance-wise the brevity of their songs works against them when played concurrently — with songs barely stretching into the two minute mark, my tired old ears could barely figure out when one charmingly punkish song ended and the next one started.
I’m finding it a little hard to come to a conclusion about this band — the set seemed to fly by in an instant, and the group’s onstage charisma was not incredibly arresting, but keeping in mind that this group has been together less than a year, and already produced some solid (albeit incredibly short) songs, I’d be really very curious to see them as they get more gigs under their belt and perhaps start playing around with their set lists and performance arcs.
All in all, a tasty debut — but one that had me wanting just that much more.
Long-time readers already know that whenever I mention the word “Keane,” a mention of my mom couldn’t be too far behind. As I’ve explained over and over on this site, my mom LOVES Keane. Basically every time Keane is within the tri-state area I get an email from my mom alerting me of the concert and a request that I get tickets for her to go to the show.
We’ve already been to Keane shows at Radio City and Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan, but I was pretty excited to find out that my next Keane-venture would be in Brooklyn at the very beautiful Williamsburg Waterfront venue which has a fantastic view of Manhattan across the East River.
Last week I headed over to Music Hall of Williamsburg to catch what turned out to be a truly awesome show — British headliners Mumford & Sons and Aussie openers The Middle East.
The room was already packed when The Middle East took the stage. Comprised of seven band members, this band is capable of such a huge, lush sound that is grand and quite beautiful. Their recorded stuff really does not do their live show justice. I was blown away by how absolutely lovely the songs sounded and the term “next big thing” instantly popped into my head as they played one gorgeous song after another.
Punctuated with the sounds of horns, accordions, keyboards, guitars, and drums the tunes soared through the air — songs like “Blood” and “I could see how folks who love bands like Arcade Fire or Polyphonic Spree would have a lot to like in this band. Truly music that deserves a big open field and thousands of people swaying to and fro. Don’t be surprised if you’re looking back on this post in about two years and exclaiming, “Dagnabbit! She was right!”
Headliners Mumford and Sons were a bit late getting to the stage (taking some extra time to get an old timey haircut perhaps?), but proved to be well worth the wait. With solid, jamming tunes, and introspective lyrics, the quartet was impressive.