(Please note that this was my first time taking photos outside, with very little light. If the photos appere less than steller, I am sorry. I am still learning)
The first show started at 10:30 P.M. and each band only played 30 minutes (except Ponytail who got about 50 minutes). TV on the Radio, The Thermals, and The Melvins (preforming Houdini!) were all missed to attend this show. Was it worth it? The short answer: yes. The long answer:YYYYYYYEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS. Spazmadic and eclectic, this was a set that every one of the way too little seventy-five people there will be talking about for weeks to come.
Teenage Cool Kids, truly reflecting their name, opened the set simply. Drums, bass and two guitars making quick, abrasive post-puck indie rock. The set was impressive, with the band sounding like Archers of Loaf fronted by Patrick Stickles, but suffered from the vocals being terribly too quiet (a problem that plagued every band that night).
Next came the sandwich band, Yellow Fever. After seeing their set, all I can say is bloggers, meet your new buzz band. The band is a great fusion Heather Lewis’ Beat Happening, and surf music, making sparse, offbeat, and incredibly catchy pop songs. The songs guided by the bass and drums, guitarist/keyboardist/singer Jennifer Morre ( Micachu with glass in the best sense) adds minimalist touches with her instruments. It is just incredibly charming music that must be heard. Unfortunately, not as kind things can be said about the second biggest blog band of the night, Harlem. As impressive as it is using a kick drum the size of a Hummer tire that needs to be supported by a cement block, it doesn’t make up a band which next song sounds no different from their last one. Seriously, is this the band that’s getting all the hype? It sounds like slightly hippie garage rock, and no, I don’t mean that in a good way. True there were merits to the show, but in the end the songs just didn’t stick with you in the and that’s what matters.
However impressive (or unimpressive) the opening bands were, the band of the night was Ponytail, and within two songs had blown the other bands away. Their shows are constant reminders of how live shows should be and are constantly the musical events of the year. No fancy lights or special effects, just four musicians who are love what their doing. And that’s the appeal. Far too much experimental music these days has too much detached human emotion from it. With Ponytail, every element of human emotion is through into the songs. The way all four of them dance on stage and the faces they make while doing it. To Molly Siegal jumping into the crowd twice just so that everybody in the audience could dance we could. And the audience did dance. Self-conscious indie rockers were nowhere to be found that night as a moshpit erupted and people sang along to every note. Except the mosh pit was only created to dance to music you really couldn’t and don’t know how to dance to and it was anyone’s guess whether the scream they were yelling was the same one Molly was. But that was part of the experience: not whether you got it right, but that you had super, high energy fun.
Teenage Cool Kids