+/- | Oakley Hall | Superchunk @ McCarren Park

I love the free shows at McCarren park, and this year the season started off perfect. The beer lines were much more tame and the slip n’ slide and dodge ball were in full force. Everyone was in good spirits and it was just the right amount of sun. The music was a perfect backdrop for an enjoyable and very Brooklyn public outdoor outing.

I’ve always felt the music of +/- was uninspired and boring and their live show continues with that thought. Oakley Hall had more energy and picked things up a bit with the crowd and doing a better job filling the huge venue. But the highlight of course was North Carolina’s Superchunk. Easily one of the best and most influential punk pop bands, they came out with a lot of energy playing a ton of their songs. Although their newish stuff hasn’t evolved much from “No Pocky for Kitty” (one of the best named albums of all time) their craft for pure indie rock still shines. A very enjoyable free day ending with yummy cheap polish food.

Pictures from the show.
Brooklynvegan has better ones.


Rusty Santos | Panda Bear @ Bowery Ballroom

Caught the tail end of Rusty Santos’s set. The lead singer had a lot of energy flailing around on stage which gave the show a bit more energy. Although I felt the songs were a bit rough, it’s good to see the band give this type of music some action on stage.

Panda Bear (Noah Lennox ) set up behind a small table of electronic boxes to a sold out crowd. He began to play his series of songs and ones from his newest album “Perfect Pitch,” which is pretty fantastic. The music is highly layered and his use of repetition helps tame the varied melodies found in the album. His songs are meticulously constructed making it very engaging and not too formulaic. The music was enjoyable live and at times became trance-like, but with electronic based music like this, not much energy came out of the room. Behind him a very large screen projected psychedelic scenes ranging from color mutations to disturbing looped scenes of screaming fans. I felt the imagery complimented the audio very well and without it would make a pretty dull show.

Pictures from the show.


How often do you find the right person?

Featuring Glen Hansard from the band The Frames, the film Once is about an Irish street musician and a Czech immigrant sharing a musical experience together, and ultimately revealing a unique love story. The movie can be called a “musical” but it handles the format in an engaging way. The story is built around the music where at times the songs intersect the story and sometimes it takes center stage. Considering many of the captivating songs had come from the album “The Cost,” the music is the driving force through the film. The movie becomes a fully narrative music video which takes an intimate look inside two people’s lives, their love, and the creative process. I loved the film and plan to see it again.


Grizzly Bear | Feist @ Town Hall

Somehow Grizzly Bear successfully filled the large room with their lush melancholy songs. I was impressed on how their delicately orchestrated songs translated live creating a unique ambience inside Town Hall. They brought all the whistling and eclectic instruments, even a recorder, to play their contemporary pop songs. A very inspiring set.

Feist took the stage to a very receptive crowd and started the evening with good momentum. The venue was quite fitting for the evening and the rest of her tour. She’s been playing old theaters across the country and even did a song celebrating vaudeville. She played a wide selection of songs including a very old one never released before called “Red Pioneer” which was beautiful. The sound was perfect and she displayed a lot of energy during the entire set. Her new album is really growing on me, but experiencing the songs live was the real treat.

Pictures and video from the show.