Rock Plaza Central | Bishop Allen @ South Street Seaport

Rock Plaza Central comes from Toronto and no surprise that this town also brings plenty of people on stage to play some tunes. The band had some interesting songs, bordering on country and rock but always with interesting instruments thrown in. The lead singer had some of the worst jokes I’ve ever heard onstage but having on the members run through the crowd with his accordion like David Lee Roth was quite funny and absurd.

I didn’t recognize the Brooklyn four-piece Bishop Allen when they took the stage since their last outing. They have a new drummer and bassist and even added a member who happens to be quite beautiful and does quite nothing behind the Nord keys. This band surely has come a long way from playing small venues to getting a large crowd outside and a future show at Bowery. These guys guarantee a fun show live with sing along songs and catchy pop. They were very comfortable on stage albeit the band vibes with each other (except for the girl of course) the new members played very well especially the drummer.

Their ep project last year produced a lot of gems and helped formulate a more cohesive sound for their new material. I love their new stuff, especially their song “Rain”. Bishop Allen may seem to just play good catchy songs, but they happen to do it very well. So get out of your chair and “If you feel like dancing, dance with me.”

some photos from flickr

Solar1 / CitySol Music Festival

A perfect sunny day to host a free day of killer music from a biodiesel powered stage. Co-hosted by Brooklynvegan, the line up included highlights OCDJ, O’Death, The Besnard Lakes, Land Of Talk, and Les Savy Fav. The crowd was great and some of the art sculptures were intriguing. It was also a good platform for some public awareness on some global issues and a great day for some live tunes.
But let’s also talk about the rock n’ roll! I liked Land of Talk before today but left the night absolutely loving them after seeing them perform live. This trio from Montreal, Canada play some infectious post-punk rock that is sometimes aggressive and sometimes quietly poignant. Singer Elizabeth Powell is a bit of a crazy on-stage and you can never predict what she’ll say next. This level of uncertainty comes through her lyrics and driving melodies. A band to keep an eye on.

But the crowd’s energy was saved for Les Savy Fav and the eccentric lead singer Tim Harrington. The first song had bassist Syd Butler with his baby strapped to him with huge earphones while he played. The music has lots of energy – but it’s Tim’s antics that make the show hugely entertaining. He is like a huge gorilla with the wide eyed openness of a baby seeing the world for the 1st time. He constantly changed clothing between songs adopting hilarious persona while ranting on stage. He went into the crowd several times, singing on top of parked van for a song and another time blowing bubbles without the aid of the plastic blower. Although the songs are ok on record, it’s better seeing this band live. The crowd erupted when they played “The Sweat Descends” and rightfully so as the song packs a punch. The bassist mentioned that they wouldn’t play the song anymore live which is just silly as it’s one the few great songs they have. Later they play Bowery for 20 bux later which is just insane but I’m going to see if their shtick and punky songs translates to a larger stage.

Pictures from the show.


Benjy Ferree | Mirah @ Bowery Ballroom

Benjy Ferree played a good set and much more vibrant live than on recording. although I’ve never been totally sold on this guy, he has good stage presence and enjoyable story telling songs.

Bowery was sold out for Mirah’s celebration of lo-fi songs. Her emotionally honest songs translated really well live and despite the venue, felt very intimate. She played a wide array of songs aross her several albums and even gave us a new one. Her indie-rock songs can be both touching and humorous and her sensible guitar playing is a perfect union. She played a “game” with the crowd where we had to guess what bug she was singing about in some of her lyrics. However the highlight was when she decided to play one of her remix songs live without the aid of electronic equipment. It was a perfect ending to the melodic night.

My pictures from the show.

Mirah: myspace

OCDJ | Dan Deacon | Octopus Project @ McCarren Pool

Another perfect afternoon to spend at the hipster pool. I love his show on WFMU and an unexpected treat to catch OCDJ live. He was dressed up in dog costume and heated things up quickly on the cracked concrete floor. Dan Deacon was up next and this guy is either a fucking genius or the worst electronic musician around. Maybe it’s a little bit of both but one thing’s for sure, you can’t help wanting to get close to the energy and chaos that ensues when he starts twiddling the knobs of his archaic noise machines. As soon as the song “The Crystal Cat” with it’s eerie meows and insane vocal distortion yelps through the speakers, you can’t help just throwing yourself into the stupid insanity. Be sure to check out the video below of some of the dancing that could only occur during his set. The water started to seep from the well used slip n’ slide creating more wet stomping fun as the crowd got ready for the balloon-tastic set of Octopus Project. All super fun and all for free.

My pictures from the show.

Video: Dance Tag (audio is horrible, just watch the visuals)

Boredoms w/ 77 Drummers @ Brooklyn Bridge Park

07 07 2007. A magical sunny day with lots of energy in the summer air. Spiral in the park accented with drummers; in the center The Boredoms commanding. The Brooklyn Bridge became the balcony platform to not only hear but view the spectacle. Starting at 7:07 and lasting over 2 hours, the rolling booms penetrated the air. It was captivating to see the unit play in unison and at times have intricate compositions. It was like a flower where the petals fluttered violently screaming to be heard.