Ezra Furman was all over CMJ this year. I was lucky enough to see him twice-once at a matinee showcase for Brooklyn Vegan, and again at a headlining spot at The Knitting Factory. I’ve always felt like seeing a band more than once in a short span of time is like hearing a the same joke back to back-you get to see if it really holds up, or whether it was never all that funny to begin with.
To stick with the simile: Ezra Furman is a fantastic joke.
Both of his sets were almost entirely different. I only heard one or two repeat songs and even those were performed with little idiosyncratic tweaks in delivery or time signature. One thing that did stay constant was the quality of the gigs. Much like Furman seems incapable of writing a bad song, he also can’t manage to play a boring show. I guess there are things it’s good to be bad at after all.
Ezra Furman is often labeled a new act, but he’s already got a decent sized catalogue to pull from while performing. Several albums deep in his career, he still plays from many of them, which is both convenient and wonderful because, well, they’re all great records.
His latest release Perpetual Motion People however, seems to be the one that’s finally getting him noticed internationally (including by the godfather of punk himself, Iggy Pop.) I first heard the record on BBC 6 Music and knew Furman was something special straight away. PMP zips from folk to punk, doo-wop to soul, and is never scant on infectious pop licks. It’s not an easy sound to define, but neither is Furman the man – and I’m starting to think he likes it that way. Many of his lyrical themes involve sexuality and gender identity, or as he put it last Wednesday night before introducing “Body Was Made” at Knitting Factory, being “body positive.”
Despite Furman’s flamboyant appearance – he’s rarely without his pearls and red lipstick – he is an endearingly shy performer. As a fan shouted, “I love your shoes!” he coyly looked down and whispered, “thank you” off mic. At the Brooklyn Vegan showcase he fawned: “Aw look at all you, standing there, you’re all so cute just standing there. Look, I’m infantilizing you for personal gain because – well, I’m really uncomfortable.”
Yes, Ezra Furman certainly is a strange one. And we wouldn’t have him any other way.
I’ve often been called an anglophile. When it comes to my favorite books, movies, music – even people – an alarming amount hail from the U.K. I can’t help it. So imagine my delight upon arriving at The Living Room last Tuesday and seeing the many Union Jack-emblazoned posters hung around the room reading:
Music is Great
Britain and Northern Ireland
The snippets of conversations overheard around me only confirmed: I had accidentally landed at CMJ’s British showcase, hosted by Brit clothier Ben Sherman no less. I wonder how all those Brits felt, caged in by tiny ensigns dotting the stage as if it were a sports arena. It must be strange to feel an average amount of apathy towards your country on a daily basis, and then to be wrapped in the flag and delivered to an American audience. Could you imagine U.S. bands rolling up to London all Stars and Stripes? Somehow we don’t evoke novelty the same way.
Each act performing the showcase dealt with the patriotic décor in their own manner. Soul-folk singer Jake Isaac was a characteristically self-deprecating Englishman, professing that he wasn’t “as rock n’ roll as the last guy.” That’s a cuppa’ tea after sipping from a Styrofoam cup. But regardless of his degree of “rock n’ roll,” Isaac certainly didn’t fall short with his ability to work a room. Early on in his set Isaac unplugged his acoustic, stepped away from his kick drum and into the crowd where onlookers instinctively formed a circle around him as he sang. Isaac’s voice is at once booming and sweet, with just the right amount of rasp; a true soul vocal that sounds so natural it’s as if it’s falling out of his mouth.
CMJ exists largely to introduce and bolster emerging talent, so it’s rare to see a fairly unknown musician have this much charisma and pull with an audience. By the end of his set, Isaac had everyone clapping along and singing call-and-response style, a move I typically find cheesy, but his charm assuaged that reaction. He even made me (momentarily) like a track I otherwise abhor by weaving bits of Bob Marley’s “Don’t Worry About a Thing” into his own song.
I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about Jake Isaac doing big things in a few years time. He’s already got a handful of EPs under his belt (his latest being 2015’s Where We Belong on Rocket Music Records) and clearly knows how to sway an audience. I’d say he’s fit for proper stardom, and deserving of it too.
Hooton Tennis Club, the Liverpool foursome (no, not that Liverpool foursome) were chipper despite being horribly jet lagged. “We got in 36 hours ago, and we still haven’t slept,” quipped lead singer/guitarist Ryan Murphy. The lot of them looked like a pack of scruffy teens that wound up here by accident while cutting gym. But this slack attitude is part and parcel for Hooton. Their sound is effortless and often a product of improvisation-yielding pop songs that are just the right portions catchy and scrappy. But this ease is a good thing. No one ever said that the best songs sound forced-quite the opposite in fact.
Their first record The Highest Point in Cliff Town is an impressive debut in that it asserts a cohesive sound immediately. This must have been something Heavenly Recordings picked up on, considering they signed them after only three gigs. The record is heavily rooted in the nineties, and they admit to looking at bands like Deerhunter as massively influential. There is a shabby professionalism to Hooton-sounding alive while looking exhausted and smothering honeyed pop melodies with lo-fi distortion; a sort of sonic rendering of a pretty boy dressed in dirty clothes.
Mid-way through their set bassist Callum McFadden plucked up a tiny Union Jack, stuck it’s tooth-pick-like pole through the strings in his headstock, and shimmied left to right, making it wave like a naval flag. Whether the gesture was out of patriotism or sarcasm I don’t know-but what would be more British than being sarcastic?
“We went overseas for about two years and became a really good band, and now we can do whatever we want.” Ezra Furman, the eccentric Chicago native who sold out Rough Trade on Wednesday strikes me as someone who’s always done whatever he wanted. He can do such things as wear red lipstick, a striped boat neck shirt, and tiny shiny gym shorts with oxford shoes and still look sexy, for instance.
Furman has just released his third full-length record Perpetual Motion Peopleon the acclaimed Bella Union label, and it’s a true gem. Tossing together rock n’ roll, folk, and delicious sax licks; PMP rests in a unique niche of contemporary music in that it doesn’t sound quite like anything else. I suspect one of the best compliments you can pay a musician is that their sound is truly their own, and true to that: Ezra Furman doesn’t sound like Mac Demarco, or Sunflower Bean, or Foals. Ezra Furman sounds like Ezra Furman.
Lyrically the album is brilliant. Furman not only possesses a knack for writing pop songs, but for equipping them with profound wit, wisdom, and heartache that stretches far beyond his 28 years. A personal favorite comes from the ennui-charged “Ordinary Life”: “way back in our mothers’ wombs, folded like notebooks, we had no idea of all the tote bags and the meathooks waiting out in the world.” A grim remark rendered cheeky when you realize it’s coming from someone who’s endured severe depression and mental illness, as Furman has. In a beautiful letter printed on the album’s lyric sheet Furman confesses that for the majority of his life he was gripped by a fear that he would die at 17. It’s no wonder his songs strike so deep.
Yet there was no shred of a tortured soul on Wednesday evening. Opening for Furman was Emily Einhorn and fellow Chicagoans J. Fernandez. Ezra could be spotted at the back of the crowd, politely chatting with fans and cheering on his supporting bands. You gotta love a headliner who watches the early sets with the sweaty rest of us. When Furman and his band (The Boyfriends) took to the stage the floor was packed out with admirers. They opened with “Day of the Dog” a track off of 2013’s album of the same name. “Well, this is interesting. This isn’t how I remember New York. I remember five people in the crowd at Arlene’s Grocery in 2007.” Clearly absence has made the heart grow wholly fond.
I could gush about Ezra for paragraphs, but his band demands some serious fawning. Not one of them is assigned a solitary task; Ben Joseph swapped between keyboards, guitar, whistling and singing, as did bassist Jorgen Jorgensen. Though he didn’t have a mic, drummer Sam Durkes insisted on mouthing the lyrics and whistling between beats. But the most dazzling to watch was sax-man Tim Sandusky, who produced, engineered, mixed and mastered Perpetual Motion People. He flailed around the stage filling out each song with defining woodwind phrases that congeal Furman’s sound.
Ezra played the majority of Perpetual Motion People as well as Day of the Dog, and the crowd ceased to dance throughout. During “Wobbly” Furman shelved his guitar for a shimmy break. He twisted around the stage with a strange mixture of girlish flirtation and proper sex appeal, though a clumsier side emerged while dancing by the drum kit and accidentally knocking the crash cymbal to the floor.
It was a show no one wanted to end. And though it had to, Ezra Furman was kind enough to gift us not one, but two encores, the latter of which being a smashing rendition of Jackie Wilson’s “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher.” Higher and higher indeed, Ezra.
While last year’s 4Knots was downtown and gratis, the updated version boasts an impressive list of food vendors, top notch sound quality, and a killer lineup. And though you have to shell out a lot more than nothing this time ‘round, rest assured that all proceeds go to benefit Hudson River Park itself.
As you can see from our interview with the Grand Rapids trio, these boys are straightforward and approachable as human beings as well as musicians. They play psych rock straight up. Their set was incredibly tight and focused. It’s always interesting for a band’s sound to be so raucous and raw and their composure so stoic and professional. Guitarist/vocalist Andrew Tamlyn, drummer Joshua Korf, and bassist/vocalist Nolan Kreb all look like they could be in three different bands, but they sure as hell sound like one. Despite a little pestilence from a “Free Bird!” shouting audience member, the crowd loved them, and so did I.
In my opinion the most surprising act of the evening, Los Angeles-based Meatbodies kicked ass. It’s a pedestrian description, but an accurate one. They’re a shambolic bunch whose stage banter is far from sophisticated and all the better for it. “We’re sorry we’re sick. We ate too much cheese last night. We’re sick on cheeeeeeeeeese!!!!!” they shout out phlegmy throats. Lead man Chad Ubovich is freakishly talented, and when you consider his resume it makes sense; he was long the lead guitarist for Mikal Cronin and currently plays bass in Fuzz. Each Meat Body has palpable chops, but Ubovich is a real showman and potentially a savant; his solos are wild and wailing, seeming at once impossible and effortless. As his guitar squeals his eyes roll back in his head and his mouth twitches in unembarrassed focus. The lot of them come off like your shithead little brother – that all your friends would rather hang out with.
You may have noticed by now that we’re a bit hung up on Happyness, and that won’t be changing anytime soon. They play a familiar set-at least to someone who’s seen them three times in the past couple of months-but it never grows stale. The thing that continues to surprise and delight me about these boys is that despite their all-too-clever lyrics and flippant interview responses, they perform with an intense and joyous sincerity. Drummer Ash Cooper, though only in his early twenties, comes off like a seasoned jazz session man, mouthing each brush on the high hat, squinting and smiling in a surely unconscious way. Benji Compston and Jonny Allan do all the talking to the crowd, but as a trio they seem to be speaking to each other with a ease and professionalism that typically marks bands who’ve been together much longer than they.
I’ve been looking for Stephen Malkmus all night. Was he in the crow’s nest? Aboard the artists’ lounge? Catching some shade under that enormous prop Deep Eddy Vodka bottle tethered to the bow of the boat? He’d managed to escape my searching eyes until the moment he stepped out from behind the stage (I’m convinced I was the first person to see him). “Hello photographer people” he mutters and leans over the photo pit a bit self-consciously. The Jicks are on the edge of their first song when a resounding ferry horn honks. “Even ships fart,” Malkmus quips, proving he’s still the easily humored dude he’s always been. The band played the bulk of 2014’s Wig Out at Jagbags but no Pavement managed to creep into their set. (I can dream, can’t I?) A particular show high-point peaked during “Freeze The Saints” when Malkmus sauntered over to guitarist/keyboardist Mike Clark to join him on the keys. They plunked away side by side until Malkmus turned to Clark, stating dryly: “You’re stepping on me, bro.”
It’s only fitting that the Super Furries would headline, seeing as they’ve been on hiatus for half a decade. I know that the stage set up won’t be demure (knowing them, and how long it takes for them to come onstage) but I have read the yeti costumes are destroyed, and will therefore not make an appearance this tour. They too find amusement in the ferry horns, pausing after the first and maniacally shouting back at it. SFA fans are not fainthearted, and there is a flock of them. They play all the favorites, mine being “Juxtaposed With You” simply for how much it stands away from their catalog. Their set is long and solid, but of course they deliver a generous encore. And despite all the talk, they play it in yeti suits after all.
An unlikely lineup at the last night of Brooklyn’s seventh annual Northside Festival, one angsty crooner Shilpa Ray opening for the sparkly and jubilant Sun Ra Arkestra. In a way it was the perfect bill, not only due to the heightened quality of the musicians on it, but that their disparity satisfies every longing you would ever have. To feel deep pain and anger out the mouth of Shilpa Ray, and then to have it lifted and kicked into the cosmos by Sun Ra…what more could you want?
If you haven’t heard of Shilpa Ray, I am so sorry. Now you have. There was a time when I too had not. I saw her by chance at an Eric Garner benefit gig at Shea Stadium, and was instantly bowled over. She was center stage playing a harmonium with an angry sensuality, and had voice like Patti Smith wrapped in Bette Midler. Her performance was gritty and passionate, and quite frankly left me stunned. Where had this woman been all my life????
Her impact was no less intense last Sunday at Rough Trade. Her backing band, or, her Rayettes as she calls them (“aren’t they sexy???”) includes guitarist Alistair Paxton, the energetic drumming of Russ Lemkin, and Jon Catfish DeLorme on a wailing pedal steel. Ray puts out a mixture of arrogance and sweetness-she’s one of those performers you can’t quite explain…there’s no quantifiable measurement of her charisma, she’s just got it. “This song’s called “Shilpa Ray’s Got a Heart Full of Dirt.” One time a journalist asked me why I put my name in my song titles, and I told her, ‘because I’m a narcissist.’” It’s the kind of remark that rubs you in two different directions, but you can’t begrudge Ray for the honesty. In some ways that’s shorthand for how her music makes you feel, like a cat being pet backwards.
If Shilpa Ray brushes your fur the wrong way (in the best manner possible, of course) then Sun Ra Arkestra will no doubt have you purring. Though the original Sun Ra died over twenty years ago, his Afrofuturistic, psychcosmic funk deities keep the son of Saturn’s soul very alive. The Arkestra’s set up is incredible. No fewer than a dozen men in their seventies playing some of the most searing avant-garde jazz you’ve ever heard-all while wearing sparkly capes and hats. Fronted by saxophonist Marshall Allen, the group is an indefinable tour de force of soul, jazz, funk, and experimental jams. Occasionally punctuated with the vocals of Tara Middleton, the sound was predominantly instrumental, even if some of the instruments were sublime and unrecognizable.
The crowd was fully entranced by the performance-how could you not be? Even if the deepest thought you could muster was: “Will I ever be half as cool as these geriatrics?” (no) there was no resisting sheer enjoyment. By the tail end of the set, three quarters of the band trailed off of the stage, blowing their horns in the air and shimmying through the audience in a slack conga line. We encircled the musicians and danced first around and them with them. It was as if, for a moment, that barrier between performer and observer had been completely dissolved. Just like Sun Ra believed he belonged to the cosmos, so we believed we belonged to Sun Ra.
“There’s not enough songs about Squash.” Are there not? Not according to Australian singer/songwriter Darren Hanlon. On paper, Hanlon wouldn’t entice me all that much. Solo artist. Acoustic guitar. Singer/songwriter. Cheeky and cheerful folk numbers. Australian. With those keywords I’d fear a Southern Hemisphere Jack Johnson. But, there are exceptions to everything, and it doesn’t hurt that Hanlon is impossibly charming. Even better, his style of songwriting is truly original, merging jaunty folk melodies with lyrics of the most heightened wit and whimsy. In a blurb Hanlon calls to mind Billy Bragg (if he’d never been angry).
Having just released his fifth studio album, Hanlon is doing well for himself, opening for Courtney Barnett on her streak of sold-out shows at Bowery Ballroom. If charisma has any hand in success, Hanlon should be well on his way to it. His banter is enviably candid and hilarious, his lyrics no less of either. “If I had a dollar for every time I should have been paid…then I would have been paid.”
Next up were Seattle all-girl group Chastity Belt, who’ve just released their second full length Time to Go Home on Sub Pop subsidiary Hardly Art Records. Their set was tight and inspired, with just an appropriate dose of nonchalance and snark. There wasn’t much banter to be had-it is difficult to follow up Hanlon’s act in that department-but the gals were focused, fun, and very badass. Lead singer Julia Shapiro bobbed her frizzled mane around while rattling off shouts in her blasé, slightly grungy tone. Guitarist Lydia Lund was on point with tangy, Johnny Marr-ish surf licks while bassist Annie Truscott bopped around the stage in rhythm with her own thumping strings.
Before Courtney Barnett could even take the stage, the crowd had filled out to maximum capacity. With only one full-length album and merely 26 years on this earth, Barnett seems to be doing very well for herself in the realm of music (and not having to suffer a day job). Her debut Sometimes I sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit has garnered rave reviews from the likes of KEXP, Pitchfork, and BBC 6 Music alike. It’s a simple record, but one that is overflowing with neat little hooks and ripe with witty lyrics. Barnett’s peculiar phrasing could be likened to Jonathan Richman of the Modern Lovers-at once of kilter and oddly relatable.
Live Barnett fronts a three piece, which creates much more volume than the eye would suspect. Though her demeanor is no match for her wailing guitar riffs-she is surprisingly short of words on stage. Less coy was the audience, who were bawdy and excited, shouting lyrics, requests, and compliments to a shy and deflecting Barnett. She played a sizable chunk of her latest release, as well as covers of The Breeders’ “Cannonball” and “Being Around” by The Lemonheads.
With a first record and big US tour going this well, it’s hard to imagine Courtney Barnett will be slowing down any time soon. Well, at least we hope she doesn’t.
It takes a lot of nerve to wear your white hair long like that: straight, thin, and skimming the neck of your skinny white tie, worn over a tight black t-shirt, matchstick jeans, and elf-point boots. But how else would you dress for your 20th wedding anniversary? You have to applaud a middle-aged couple that celebrates such an occasion by going to an industrial noise gig in Brooklyn. And on a Thursday no less!
Headlining the evening’s two-band bill is Brooklyn duo Eaters, but if I’m being honest I really came to see Brooklyn duo Yvette. Yvette used to be made up of Noah Karos-Fein and Rick Daniel, who released their debut LP Process in October of 2013. The record is a carefully constructed post punk assault-yet it somehow retains a melodic sensibility along with its steel aggression. The record came at a time when cold and militant industrial music was a breath of fresh air amongst the slew of jangly local bands. Anger was back in. Finally.
Listening to Process is a damn fine experience, but it doesn’t really set you up for what Yvette brings to the stage. No longer the original line up, Yvette is still fronted by Karos-Fein on vocals, guitar, and effects, but Dale Elsinger now backs up Noah on the drums. I never saw Yvette while Rick Daniel was still a member, so I can’t speak for his abilities as a live performer. But what I can say is that Elsinger is a welcome replacement. Quite easily one of the most fascinating drummers I’ve seen live-and I don’t get too excited about drummers all that often-it’s almost impossible to look away while he’s playing.
Perhaps it’s merely the democratic stage set-up the band always employs (Noah at the center and Dale to his left) that creates the allure. Maybe if drummers weren’t always banished to the back of the stage we’d find them mesmerizing more often, but something tells me it’s more that just his coordinates that make Elsinger such an intriguing performer. He gives it his all. Watching him smash his kit is exhausting, so I can’t imagine how winded he must feel, but the fact that he’s dripping in sweat by minute two gives me a good idea. Elsinger’s parts are forceful but not fussy, and so directly to-the-point that I’m tempted to call him a purist. He does he always drum barefoot after all.
Yvette’s sets are never long, but always tidy and packed full of energy. There’s no banter, no fluff, just some very talented, straightforward musicians presenting their thesis and then leaving quietly – though what they play is the antithesis of polite and quiet. It’s loud and full of guts and grit.
Eaters is made up of multi-instrumentalist Bob Jones and recording engineer Jonathan Schenke. Their sound is rooted in the dark rubble of post punk debris, so they are a fitting band to share a bill with Yvette. Though while Yvette’s tracks stay consistently hostile, Eaters sometimes float to the softer side of the ‘80s, sounding more Brian Eno than Suicide.
There is certainly a fuller crowd for Eaters, and their presence is more elaborate; the lights turned down almost all the way to emphasize a sphere of light rotating on a hydraulic circular track. It’s a curious and useless prop, but is a fun badge of nerdiness nonetheless.
Eaters finished off sans encore, making way for the late show to follow at Baby’s. Listening to both Eaters and Yvette you’d suspect a late into the early morning set, but I was home and in bed by midnight, which is good, because some people had anniversaries to celebrate.
About an hour from Los Angeles is Pomona, well known for car dealerships and a strip of perfectly creepy looking antique shops with pastel pink and green exteriors, but there was something very magical in the air the night Dan Deacon stopped by for a one-off show in the middle of his stint supporting Arcade Fire’s massive arena tour. He had specifically taken the night off for a visit to The Glass House, a much celebrated all-ages venue located on a street that seems like something out of a ghost town, with the only exception being the pumped up high school cool cats congregating outside, resting on telephone poles, and performing tricks on their skateboards. However unassuming, by the night’s end my friends and I had decided the show was one of the best we had experienced in a very long time, or possibly in forever.
The show itself seemed to have around seventy people there, which in the large space of the venue created a dynamic for a comfortable, positive, and ridiculously friendly vibe. It seemed as though both the audience and Deacon were happy to be playing in a more intimate setting where, as he put it, “there were no chairs or bleachers.” After all, Deacon is known to put on shows that include interactive icebreaker type games involving his audience.
Opening up for Deacon were local indie rockers Jetpacks and Laserguns. Their stage set up included homemade, giant triangular neon signs and monitors with vertical lines which reacted to different sonic elements in the songs. The band played a plethora of new age electronic equipment, in addition to good ol’ guitar, drums, and bass. Though their sound is decidedly modern, their affinity for eighties sounds cropped up with a buoyant energy through the set – high frequency swirling noises, bass lines that fit perfectly in the groove of the drums, and squealing , buzzing synths that took on the tone of the laser beams referenced in the band’s moniker. Too often, a heavy reliance on these elements can make a band’s output seem distanced or sterile, but Jetpacks and Laserguns’ infectious enthusiasm and handmade crafting of visual elements make it clear that so much human love and energy have been put into this specific creative project.
Minutes after Jetpacks and Laserguns exited the stage, Dan Deacon began setting up his table of neon-tape-covered equipment in the middle of the floor – yes, the middle of the floor, not the stage! It was clear from the beginning of Deacon’s set that he is not only a musician, but also something of a comedian, a sort of goofily unhinged summer camp counselor bursting with ideas for wacky, feel-good social experiments in which everyone is encouraged to participate. He began the show with a rant about the future, aliens, and dualism, and after a mind-blowing first song, he ordered the audience to gather on either side of the room, wait until the drum and bass drop, and then race back to the middle in order to high- five as many people as possible. Quirky activities like these have long been built into Deacon’s sets as a means of disrupting typically passive audiences, and its nearly impossible not to smile and play along.
My vantage point directly in front of Dan Deacon provided optimal grooving-out space (I put in a good hour of intense dancing, or rather primal jumping movements) and also allowed me to see how intricate Deacon’s actions are when layering his complex digital soundscapes. He covers all of his gear in striped neon pink, green, yellow, and blue tape, creating a space where even electronic music geeks such as myself would not be distracted by the kind of equipment he was using. Every time he turned a knob, or pressed a new button on his “table of mysteries,” sounds would blast out of the speakers that had so much texture and were so tangible, it felt as though I could touch them and put them in my pocket to take home.
Most of the set relied on on songs from America, released in 2012 on Domino Records. However, Deacon performed so much noise improvisation throughout his set, that each song he played felt stimulating, new, and incredibly special. For instance, during his last song, in order to create a specific distorted and crunchy noise, he scraped the top of his microphone on the giant speakers behind him; it is creative flourishes such as these that make Deacon’s music so unique, moving, and memorable. Part of what his work hinges on is his incredible abilities as a curator of interesting sounds. But Deacon doesn’t rest on those laurels – instead, he spends the entirety of his shows creating a community, no small task in just a few short hours. But by the end of the night all seventy of the newly sweaty and blissed out audience members felt a little more familiar with one another as a result of Deacon’s ability to do so. It’s no wonder that Arcade Fire have enlisted him to help inspire party-like atmospheres in clubs ten times the size of The Glass House, and he’s certainly risen to that challenge. You can check out his website for upcoming dates.
The greatest live shows are put on by bands that love performing more than they love anything else, and The Everymen is a prime example. This New Jersey outfit’s live energy is so strong that it’s palpable on their recordings, which actually suffer for their boisterousness—the ragged vocals and heavy distortion that feels distracting on their studio albums is custom built for live shows. They’ve always made a point of having fun on their albums, and in person, the band emanates the vibe of a punk rock, boozy, fun-loving soul party.
At Glasslands last Tuesday, The Everymen brought a grab-bag of musical styles on stage with them: using a smattering of instruments in pursuit of their rollicking cause, the band put on the rowdiest show of the evening. The week-night crowd was sparse but engaged, an odd mix of attendees to match the odd mix of acts. Later in the evening, bass-drum duo Nømads played a set that was the near-opposite of The Everymen’s. With only a crackling noisiness in common, the pair played a series of isolated, stripped-down songs that further impressed on me their predecessor’s all-inclusiveness. The set’s glorious messiness, its singalong hooks and unceremonious mashing together of styles came together in a way that felt particular to the spontaneity of live performance. In the style of other bands best seen live despite impressive studio releases, The Everymen create a special energy onstage.
Each week Audiofemme gives away a set of tickets to our featured shows in NYC! Scroll down to enter for the following shindigs.