Friday, December 12, 2008

Love Is All w/ Crystal Stilts @ Bowery Ballroom, December 7th 2008

I don't completely understand all the buzz about Crystal Stilts. Yes, they have "Crystal" in their name, which apparently makes any band name awesome. And there's that reverb-drenched throwback 60's psych sound with a touch of New York modern-rock jadedness, that's so popular with the hipsters these days. But there's something missing from their sound that just doesn't inspire me. I mean, you're playing the Bowery Ballroom to an almost sold out crowd with a bunch of your friends, at least pretend to have a good time! C'mon people! On the flip side, Love Is All remains a consistently fun and entertaining live band. I used to party with these guys back at NYU, so maybe I'm a little biased... but I think their music stands up for itself. They played mostly songs off of their well-regarded debut LP "Nine Times That Same Song," with a few songs thrown in there off of their latest release "A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night" for good measure. Hi-lites for me included "Busy Doing Nothing" and "Make Out Fall Out Make Up" which was their last song before the encore, and played just when I wanted to hear it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Blip Festival 2008 @ The Bellhouse, Saturday December 6th, 2008

Did I just see that girl crowd surfing to Nintendo music...? Yes I did! But that's to be expected at the sold out Blip Festival 2008, the third annual nerd cultural event celebrating all things 8-bit and modded. Granted, most of the musical acts tonight sounded like Nintendo-based techno, which doesn't really do it for me (although the guy with glow-sticks seemed to be enjoying it!). The visuals were much more impressive, VBlank uses real hacked Nintendos to create some glitched-out, seizurey graphics which he manipulates in real time to the music (see example below). My favorite band of the night, Sulumi, came all the way from China to bring it's own unique brand of synchronized 8-bit fury. Blip beep bloop.

Hospitality @ Mercury Lounge, Friday November 21st, 2008

Hospitality is yet another lovely young indie band from Brooklyn. And I don't like them just because their bass player (Brian) is a former member of Shitstorm (although all former members of "the Storm" hold a special place on my iPod ;). They sound kinda like if Destroyer were fronted by a twenties-something young lady, a mix of folk and indie-rock aptly balancing that fine line between positivity and melancholy, with songs that quietly build in intensity and emotion, and yet stay firmly in the realm of melodic singer-songwriting. Lots of potential here... again lovely.