Wednesday, February 29, 2012
LIVE, in Brooklyn
Who: X-Ray Eyeballs, Glittering Prizes, Bosco Delrey, and Micki Pellerano (DJing)
When: Tuesday, February 28= 9:30pm-1:30am
Where: Glasslands Gallery- 289 Kent Ave- Brooklyn, NYC
I was lucky enough, thanks to my friend Bill in Bosco Delrey, to get onto the guest list and avoid the $10 cover. The venue reminded me of one of the college frat lounges from Kenyon, my college. But, it wasn't preppy or stuffy; it was very charmingly dingy, very punk-indie chic! In fact, you would have walked right passed the place because, other than a wooden door with a closed sign over it, you couldn't tell there was anything there from the outside view, except if people were standing outside.
Upon entering, you see the bar to your right and the stage straight ahead. There is seating up the stairs on what looks like a big raised wooden platform. You can see seams, piping, and wood; there is not painting things over or hiding them behind a tarp. Even the bathroom seemed makeshift. I kept expecting Lou Reed to pop out of the wall, the place was that seedy and dowdy (but in a good way). The stage had all of these what looked like feathers or crepe paper festooned over the ceiling and wall. I was told it was coffee filters arranged there by a local artist. It was arrange to look like smoke or a billowing cloud coming out of the stage. Whenever the lights changed color on the stage, so did the coffee filters. It was a very artsy economical, cool effect. Who the hell needs expensive art or giant screens with psychedelics? All you need is stage lights and coffee filters which does the trick quite nicely.
However, I didn't want to write this post solely about the grunge charm of the venue. I wanted to talk about MUSIC. The four bands that played were as different as night and day. First of all, the show started a little later than scheduled because the first band showed up late. Better late than never, I always say. So punk-grunge to not give a damn about time!
Band #1- So I do not know the name of the first band. It was three guys, and their sound was something raw and hardcore. It reminded me of Husker Du, early Meat Puppets, 1980's Sonic Youth (via 'Bad Moon Rising'). Now, to be honest, this really isn't my thing. It was too loud (no, I'm not too old); my ears were vibrating. Also, though I was bobbing to the beat a little bit, I just didn't care for the set as a whole. They played only 3 or 4 songs, but I really have to be honest here at saying that there is nothing too memorable about this band. Shit, I don't even know their name. Okay, let's move on then, shall we?
Glittering Prizes- This is a band birthed out of Bosco Delrey. The bassist and guitarist do a two-man/woman thing that incorporates some glam/disco/indie/punkish rock. They switched off vocals/keyboard/guitar and I give hats off to being versatile and kinetic. I always thought it was way boring when bands stick with the same instruments. Change it up, like Shakespeare would have in his plays; get up and switch instruments. I really thought that idea was completely genius. I really liked this duo, A LOT! I would say that if they end up releasing tracks on Itunes or eventually, a whole album, I'd get it. The sound is very Blondie (early years), Bird and the Bee, Blur, Luna, Air, and early Human League. It had this funky 70's/80's vibe but mixed it into this cool indie NOW kind of thing. It was surreal and trippy, and you couldn't help but just turn off your brain and let the music seep into your soul, your blood.
Bosco Delrey- They were the belle of the ball in my opinion. I'm not just saying that because I'm friends with the drummer. Seriously, putting on my critic hat (or music gestapo hat), they were amazing.
SIDENOTE: Btw, I was going to say 'music nazi' but for obvious reasons, I wouldn't call myself that. Seriously, though I have such strong opinions on music that I could be another judge on American Idol and make Simon Cowell look like a big ole' pussycat.
So Bosco Delrey were great. I wanted their set to be longer, as they were the gem of the show. They have so many different vibes going on at once that it reminds me of like ten different genres/bands immediately. Yet, they ARE their own thing. Nothing is like their look/sound. First of all the bassist reminds me of a cross of Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth and D'Arcy from Smashing Pumpkins. Stone cold face with killer riffs. The lead singer is like a cross of Mick Jagger, Morrisey, and Jim Morrison; he has this dark hypnotic vibe where if you're watching you cannot take your eyes off of him. He entrances the audience with his vocals and interactions. He knows how to work a crowd for sure. The drummer reminds me of a calmer Keith Moon from The Who, or in fact like Animal from the Muppets. The lead guitarist plays stoically just like Slash or Joe Perry, not upstaging anyone with killer chords.
Their sound merges so much, a big ole' steamin' soup of: Rolling Stones, The Smiths, The Animals, The Doors, Flaming Lips, and Velvet Underground. It is so distinct and yet surreal. I feel that if I were going on a cross country road trip on a motorcycle that this would be my soundtrack. This is the beatnik/Keroac/lost hippie sound of the new era! Bosco Delrey is a band that WILL continue to go places, I'm certain of it. They are one of the rare acts where the band sounds pretty good on recording but even BETTER live! You can say I have drank the kool-aid; I dig their bitchin' sound.
Yes, their music was in an episode of 'Skins' (from season 1). They were also just featured in Sports Illustrated. And, they just returned from a European tour. Yea, this band is going places!
X-Ray Eyeballs- They were the last band. They were celebrating the new release of their album 'Splendor, Squalor'. I personally like them better on recording; not live. Their music actually made me feel a little violated, a little nauseous. It was too raucous and dissonant. The aspects just didn't really seem to meld together. I didn't care AT ALL for the vocalist. Too jarring! The background instrumentals were great, and if the band was just that, no vocals, I would have enjoyed it thoroughly better. The sound of X-Ray Eyeballs is a little too weird for me. It's a gritty punk/industrial/synth-pop/early grunge sounds. It reminds me of early Misfits, early Nirvana mixed with Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Psychedelic Furs, and Bauhaus. It's that steely, gritty punk/grunge mixed with a new wave/80's underground twist. I really have to say that I like this band a lot better recorded than live. It's not that I don't like them at all! I do, it's just their dissonant grit doesn't translate in person.
The DJ was great, Micki Pellerano (artist/filmographer/musician). He is a bassist in the band Cult of Youth. He has great taste in music. I wanted most of the songs on his playlist for my Itunes. It shifted between post-punk grit to ethereal ambient edgy rock to disco indie pop. Bravo!
I think the funniest part of being at the show is that I didn't feel old at all. I did feel too uncool though. The vibe was totally hipster/scenster/indie rock. The look was asymmetrical haircuts, oversized coats, ankle boots, bright red lipstick, torn t-shirts/tanks and matchstick jeans. Even though I felt a little out of place being so ungrunge and all, I did enjoy the atmosphere. I mean, you can't avoid being surrounded by hippsters in Williamsburg, unless that is, you go to the Jewish frum part of town. Then, I'd be very out of place in a different way. Sadly, I did not see any 'jipsters' (Jewish-Orthodox hipsters). At one point, I saw a guy with a long beard with a girl who had her head covered but I don't think they were frum.
Anyway, I have to thank Bill for making my night by inviting me out to Glasslands Gallery. I felt like I was in a time warp, even though I did feel so un-hipster. In fact, I'm glad no one took me out back to half-shave my head and don me in a leather jacket, eyeliner, cowboy boots, and spaghetti jeans. Phew! Crisis averted, it was an excellent show! Though, I do feel it was a bit of a soggy sandwich, where the opening and closing bands were like wilted, soggy bread and the middle was the good part (meat, tomato, lettuce, etc). A big salute to Bosco Delrey. This band is HOT! Book them on Jimmy Fallon right away!