JezebelMusic.com @ Union Pool
April 20, 2010 | Ava Luna, Air Waves, Total Slacker, Your Nature
Aside from Ava Luna, who’d sparked my interest in the first place, I’d purposefully gone into Tuesday night’s Union Pool show blind so as to keep myself from harshly prejudging bands based on the first ten seconds of the first song on their Myspace page, as we are all wont to do in this internet age. So, while openers Your Nature set up a forest of guitar pedals and tweaked their vocal mic echo effects, I eyed their tie-dye and wide open collars (like, wisps-of-chest-hair open) and began to worry about the next 40 minutes of my life. After a minute of guitar-pedal noises and nearly inaudible, reverb-soaked vocals I was ready to call it a loss, and then they blindsided me with an entire set of fantastic, well-written 1970s-heavy rock songs, loaded with buoyant high vocal harmonies, agile guitar leads, and even some prog rock touches like long forms, odd meters and non-diatonic harmony, which they pulled off effortlessly. The tightness and skill with which they executed their songs was a perfect contrast to their low-key, silly stage presence (they looked like your little brother’s high school band circa 1973 and had stage banter to match, complete with 4/20 jokes and a Hawkwind mention), and the room warmed up instantly in their capable hands.
January 11, 2010
JezebelMusic.com @ Glasslands
January 6, 2010 | The Babies, True Womanhood, Total Slacker, Beach Fossils, Sundelles
[All images copyright 2010 Rachel Oakes]
Last Wednesday, an adorable swarm of stripey-teed, bespectacled Williamsburgers filed in to Glasslands for bands whose very monikers spoke volumes to the nature of the crowd: Total Slacker, The Babies, and perhaps a bit more far-fetched, True Womanhood. Although the main event was The Babies, (comprised of members from Vivian Girls and Woods), I thought True Womanhood had considerable novelty appeal and definitely won Miss Congeniality for the night. Thomas Redmond, Melissa Beattie, and Noam Elsner’s melodic doomsday drones brought out the vampire in all of us, and by the end of their set, even the bartender was rocking out.
Utilizing maudlin drum loops, beer-soaked, distorted basslines, and Doug Martsch-inspired vocals, the trio of psych rockers filled the space with a palpably hypnotic echo. The sound is a product of organic songwriting, never taking the obvious route back to a hook, barraging the ear with a pattern of recognizable basslines, and then shying away. Luckily for us, this gave way to the under-indulged timpani, whose deep and kettled voice brought new life to the roll of the kick drum in experimental indie rock. Elsner’s drumming is a sight to behold, as is Beattie’s childlike, Duff McKagan attitude toward her bass. The songs could have been tighter, but the kernel of a great structure was there, and at Glasslands, who’s counting?
by Drew Citron
Check out more shots of the show after the jump!
More on The Babies, True Womanhood, Total Slacker, Beach Fossils, Sundelles @ Glasslands | 1.06.10
January 4, 2010
It seems that when we listed the reasons we wanted to go to the Babies/Beach Fossils/Sundelles show at Glasslands this Wednesday we forgot a pretty good one: DC’s True Womanhood. We just received this track that will appear on their soon-to-be released debut EP, Basement Membranes – which they recorded at Brooklyn’s own Death By Audio!
People often compare True Womanhood to Radiohead, (probably because of their overriding melancholy and Thom Yorke-ish vocals) but we think that’s simplifying it a little, and the members of True Womanhood say themselves that they’d rather be aligned with contemporaries like Beach House. We’ll go for that comparison, but after listening to more of True Womanhood’s songs like “Magic Child,” we think that they’ve got a potential for aggression you won’t find in Beach House…and we like it! (Besides, we already know not to mess with anyone who wields a sledgehammer while wearing flip-flops.)
by Erin Sheehy
January 3, 2010
THIS WEEK IN SHOWS
Hey…so we’ve been out of the show listing game for the past two weeks, partly because there just haven’t been too many shows going on due to the holidays, but mostly because the editors have been out of town, assessing our life goals and watching old movies in bed. Anyway, it’s a new year, so time to get back in it:
TUES, JAN. 5
Real Estate, Babies
8:00 PM, FREE, 21+
I think our reviewer Kyle McGovern described the evocations of Real Estate better than I can. He said they call to mind “the kinds of scorched summers that seem tedious while they’re happening and glorious when they’re not.” I know I talk about the weather a hell of a lot on this, a music blog, but man, when the heat’s out (again) and you’re duct-taping your windows shut, sometimes sunshiney music is exactly what you need to remind you that it won’t be long till you’re once again dropping ice cubes down your shirt and sticking to the subway seats. Do all the imagining you can at this free show on Tuesday.
WEDS, JAN. 6
Babies, Total Slacker, Beach Fossils, True Womanhood, The Sundelles
7:30 PM, $7, 21+
Ever since we found out that Kevin from Woods and Cassie from Vivian Girls were getting together to make Babies, we were like, “Yeah, let’s cover that, man, that’s gonna be the hot new shit.” But we’ve yet to see them, so one of our New Years resolutions is to get on it – might as well plan to see them twice in one week in case we flake out again. Votes for Glasslands versus Brooklyn Bowl? Well, Max, the more sophisticated JM.com editor (if you ignore his taste in beer) truly loves him some Beach Fossils, and Erin, the editor with the more impressive collection of go-go boots, is a big proponent of The Sundelles.
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December 4, 2009
Total Slacker Demo
2009 | fmly rcrds
N/A (Disqualified: Too Young)
What am I supposed to do with this debut demo from Brooklyn’s Total Slacker, which, from what I gather, is one of the first recordings from any band heavily inspired by 2009 buzz bands. The demo, just five songs, are rough, home recordings of fuzzed out, slowed down Wavves songs. And by Wavves, I mean WAVVES, not WAVVVES (the preceding sentence is composed almost exclusively of homonyms – this is why I’m growing excited about Nathan Williams’ ongoing career).
If Waaves is lo-fi surf rock, then Total Slacker, as they stand right now, is the closest we’ll get to lo-fi jam rock; they replace the sped up distorted scales found on “So Bored” with the lazily distorted blues riffs of “Taco People.” They take the same Nathan Williams amateur drawing stylings that crafted such wonderful images as stoned Garfield, and draw a little skateboarder. They do away with Wavves’ constant lyrical references to drugs and boredom instead referencing something called a “Psychic Mesa,” and seem to hold some kind of belief in err…uhh…taco people. I don’t know what it means, just like I don’t know what Phish means when they express a desire to run like an antelope, out of control. Antelope are fairly orderly creatures, just as human beings are not meat filled tortillas.
But, all kidding aside, there is something simple and endearing about Total Slacker, even as they are obviously a little amateur – this is a demo, what do we expect? The three-some sounds confident about the languid pace of their music, the swimmingly buried bass lines, and the comedic, seemingly improvised lyrics. The hooks and riffs are written to put smiles on people’s faces, and the band makes no attempt a trying to take that higher. “These Condos Don’t Belong,” the second track of the demo, has a blown out chorus, screeching female vocals, and a solid stream of “ooo ooo”’s, which is as cute as it is awesome. Will they change the world? Not with these songs. Are they a fairly fresh, fun Brooklyn garage band? Hell yeah.
More on Total Slacker | Total Slacker Demo
November 29, 2009
THIS WEEK IN SHOWS
WEDS, DEC. 2
Jaguar Love, The King Left, Yes Giantess, Violent Soho
8:00 PM, $10 adv/$12 do, 21+
People have said that Johnny Whitney of Jaguar Love sounds like “Robert Plant on steroids.” I was gonna say he sort of reminds me of Jay Reatard in a higher register. Either way, we’re talking shrieky, jolting energy. These guys make some catchy, noisy, uptempo pop with y’know, canned beats. Enjoy!
Werewolves, Strange Rivals, Heliotropes
8:00, $5, 21+
Never underestimate the power of the keys to take something dramatic and make it cinematic. I’m using the term “cinematic” very liberally to mean that you might find yourself playing out long scenes in your head while listening to Werewolves. Or maybe it’s their sneering vocals that do it, I don’t know yet. What I do know is that they’re dynamic performers and they’re playing Glasslands this Wedsnesday…
SAT, DEC. 5
8:00, $10, 21+
Did you know that the male bowerbird hops around with a flower in his beak in an attempt to woo a mate? How sweet! On the other hand, the male angler fish sniffs out the female, bites her, releases an enzyme that fuses the two at the blood-vessel level, and then atrophies until he is no more than a pair of parasitic gonads. The world is ugly, but if you want to linger on the more poignant aspects of life, why not get all acoustic and snuggly with Bowerbirds for the night? They’re also playing Bowery Ballroom with Elvis Perkins on Thursday, but I like to promote the more intimate, boozier, cheaper shows…
Or you can just head towards Kent Ave. and then decide…
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