Gary Higgins | Castanets @ Mercury Lounge

Castanets played a psychedelic set reminiscent of the drones of Velvet Underground. The band seemed a little bit insecure on stage and very poor stage presence, but teh music was good, and a good primer for Gary.

I couldn’t believe that I was actually seeing Gary Higgins play live. His album Red Hash was heavily played on my system in 2005, despite being released back in 1973. It got a second life when someone from Drag City got it from Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance. After many months calling all the Higgins in phonebooks, they found him in Connecticut. The album was recorded right before Gary was sent away to the “big house” for drug charges and didn’t get adequate distribution.

I counted a dozen guitars on stage when Gary took the stage wearing a gleaming white NY Yankees baseball cap. With him were 4 other musicians including a very funny cellist that blurted out “You can do it!” every so often. I’m glad that he is finally getting to play his wonderful songs, that don’t sound dated, to eager audiences. Although my only complaint was that the set list was too long, I was won over by his psychedelic folk songs. Maybe he’ll release a “new” album.

Pictures from the show.

SupaComp will rock you

SupaComp 2006 is finally done. Another jam packed disk full of the past year’s highlights. Lots of great music came out in 2006 which made editing really tough. Although musically diverse, there is a consistent
theme throughout the comp. Here’s some other interesting data points.

The first time John Vanderslice has not made a comp.
Repeat bands that have been on previous comps: 30
1 musician appears 3 times
Bands from New York: 20
Female bands: 23
3-piece bands: 7

O’Death | Tim Fite @ Union Hall

I decided to not go to the Matt & Kim show to FINALLY see Brooklyn’s O’Death and it was a fitting show to start off 2007. Union Hall was packed for the band and although they were late because the band had to go all the way out to Queens right before the show, the crowd erupted when they took the stage. Their myspace page sights their influences as old civil war gospel, appalachian mountain music, sweet melodies, punk energy, whiskey, Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, and that’s a perfect description. Half the members were shirtless and were armed with a guitar, ukulele, and banjo while the drummer banged away at a mangled and ripped cymbal and rusty can. They got the crowd riled up and luckily got close to the front for the ho down fun.

“Tim Fite was one of the small number of babies born between 1975 and 1983 without any blood.” With a huge lit up wooden boom box the stage was ready for Tim Fite. A screen projecting a gun inside a heart as he started to immerse us into his world of demented stories. Tonight revolved around the episodes of the gentleman with itchy legs and I was was impressed with his synthesis of video, lyrics and animation. I especially enjoyed the video of himself staring vacantly into space while playing along with the live version of himself. He is extremely clever and his songs and drawings are disturbing and beautiful at the same time. Although the album “Gone Ain’t Gone” is over a year old by now, it’s his live performance that is captivating. Full of energy and fun and I guarantee that he will keep you entertained, and give you really weird dreams….

Pictures from the show.

Be sure to check out Tim Fite’s site. Full of good stuff.