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Sunday, July 20, 2008

New York State Of Mind - Day Three!

Posted by Rob Simonsen on Sun, Jul 20, 2008 at 7:57 AM

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Wow, yesterday was LONG. To start, we went and tracked down the David Byrne Plays the Building exhibit (photo above), which turned out to be a bit more effort than it was worth. The idea was nice: that lone organ in the middle of the room was connected to various spots throughout the room by those wires. Hit a key on the organ and the building responds, either with a hum, clack, or whoosh. The only problem: I was under the assumption David Byrne would actually, you know, be there. Turns out no, and while it was nice you could get up there and play around with the organ yourself, it really would have been nice to see somebody play it who actually knew what they were doing. There were moments when the noises hinted at a beautiful cacophony, but those moments were too few and far between.

Last night was a four band bill at the Glasslands, and it couldn't have been more perfect. The opener, who I swore was named Nice Jewel, but upon Googling it this morning turns out wasn't the case, and I guess more drunk than I thought. She was good, though, playing Chromatics-esque, icy italo-disco. Then came Rings, a band on Animal Collective's label Paw Tracks. I had heard their record in passing, but wasn't too impressed initially. Live though, they were pretty great. They definitely had an Animal Collective-y feel to them, with two girls pounding away at various drum parts and feeding the whole thing through a wave of noisy feedback. I guess they were even down a member, too, but the music didn't seem to suffer at all.

Next up was Girls. Not only is the band hard to Google, turns out writing drunken text messages saying you just saw Girls and they were great can lead to a bit of confusion. No matter, because this band was fucking amazing. Like, insanely good. It was punky and poppy, and really sounded a lot like A Catholic Education-era Teenage Fanclub. They were twee fed through layers and layers of distortion, with jangly guitar solos and a dude who only played the tambourine. It's too band they're so hard to get info about with a name like Girls, because they really are going to be big in the near future.

Finally came Crystal Stilts. It's hard, because I am such a fanboy for Vivian Girls, and the two bands share a drummer, so it's hard not to make comparisons. Crystal Stilts were good though, even if Frankie, their drummer, told me after the show that she thought that was the absolute worst show they had ever played. It's really interesting to see this whole Brooklyn scene shoot up right now, with bands like The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Cause Co-Motion!, because they are all doing really great things with indiepop, and it really felt like being in the middle of something at that show last night. Crystal Stilts take twee and make it noisy, a la early Jesus and Mary Chain. Frankie stands up when she drums, really pounding away, and the rest of the band seem to have to struggle to keep moving with her as she plows her way through the set. Again, it's a lot of jangly noise, with reverb and feedback being their absolute two best friends.

Today Liars and Fuck Buttons are playing for free at the McCarren Pool, which sounds like it might be where I'm headed, although being outside is pretty much death. I don't think I've ever been so hot and uncomfortable in my life.

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