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Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Mad Hatter: FEEL the music!

Concert Review

Where: The Knitting Factory in Williamsburg (Brooklyn NYC)

What: Dana Buoy with Field Mouse and Wild International

When: Wednesday March 28 2012 9pm-12am

The Knitting Factory venue is pretty cool, though I assumed it to be a hipster mecca, of sorts (which it was/is). I ended up getting on the guest list and got in for free (you have to know people). The one disappointment, however, is that when I entered, I was the ONLY person there. The doors were set to open at 8pm and the show was supposed to start at 9pm. I got there around 8:30, so I was surprised that the place was a ghost town. Luckily, a girl (who seemed to be around my age) entered and we began chatting. Turns out that she was visiting from Paris (where she lives) and so we spoke French. I also discovered that she has the same name as my cousin, Veronique. Pretty cool coincidence considering that Paris is like MY favorite European city; so we talked about Paris and French culture at length. If there's one thing I love more than Anglo culture it's French culture; I'm a total Francophile. I speak the language and I totally understand the people and context of the culture. I decided to give Veronique a shout out here, since I told her to read my blog. I might be a dork for describing this new friendship, but I do love French people. I have family and friends who live in Paris/France and whenever I visit, I pretend I'm French. If only!

So, the show eventually started and the first band was a good opening.

FIELD MOUSE: A four person band made up of two gals and two guys: vocalist/guitarist (Rachel Browne), guitarist (Andrew Futral), bassist (Danielle DePalma), and drummer (Geoff Lewit). I laughed to myself because, though the lead singer's vocals kicked ass, she was totally donned in the hipster uniform: black stockings, jean shorts, pointy brown ankle boots, and a baggy flannel shirt. She had a blonde skunk stripe in her black/dark brown hair. However, this didn't mean that she was aloof and 'too cool for school'. Quite the opposite. The lead singer was totally friendly and flirty with the audience. She had great stage presence and knew how to interact with the crowd. At one point she even joked about going on a blind date with an audience member (even though he said he was gay). And she told the audience that the band would 'love to make new friends', inviting everyone to chat with them after the set. I was definitely amused. I always like an interesting front man/woman. It gives the band persona; if your lead singer is shit, the whole band is too. So the sound of Field Mouse was late 80's/early 90's. I got a Breeders, PJ Harvey, Sundays vibe. Very 1992/1993. There was also a good blend of Cranberries (earlier stuff) with Siouxie Sioux actually. The vocals were soft yet hard at the same time. They were dreamy and reminded me of soft-core grunge, kind of like the Sunday's song 'Wild Horses' (a remake of the Rolling Stones' classic). The band is proclaimed as 'dream pop', so that is probably fitting. It was a pudding mix of softer grunge and industrial New Wave synth. The only critique I have is that the levels were off. I couldn't hear the vocals well enough; this is a shame since the lead singer had a really sweet voice, like a light bulb coated in marshmallow spread and feathers. The drums were a little too loud, and I also couldn't hear the bass guitar enough. Also, the pre-recorded synthesizer was way too loud. By the way, the bassist was cool too, as she had a mop of curls that she bobbed up and down. She reminded me of a cool, hipster dressed all in black version of Velma from Scooby Doo. I think I just like seeing kick-ass female vocalists/bassists since a) I do both and b) it's not so common to find awesome female vocalists/bassists. Field Mouse was kind of like a Sonic Youth if Kim Gordon had been band leader instead of Thurston Moore.

Further resources:
-Official Field Mouse site
-Field Mouse on Band Camp

WILD INTERNATIONAL: This band haling, from Long Island was also very different yet reminiscent of things I have heard; a good mesh of sounds. To me, it was a Beach Boys, Grateful Dead, Black Lips, Black Flag, Bedouin Soundclash, Dead Milkmen cocktail. It was three guys, Ryan Camenzuli, Greg Coffey and Bryan Daly (who all looked to be barely 20) on bass, guitar, and drums. I call it beachy 60's psychedelic 80's punk surf music. What I was impressed with was how this band was able to shift between tempos/rhythm. They had a nice variety and fluid shift between beats, tempo, and rhythm style. They were able to move seamlessly between psychedelic jam to upbeat surf style punk. Their rhythm section was definitely solid. Their drummer reminded me of the talent of drummer Bill Kreutzmann, from the Grateful Dead. The hard hitting, tribal beat reminded me of that Dead vibe. Also, the vocals were solid. The harmonies were brilliant and melodious. The chanting was ethereal. Plus, the vocals were able to shift in-between grunge/punk screams and mellow Beach Boy tones. Even though the vocals were great, they weren't even necessary in my opinion. You could just listen to the instrumental jam by itself. These guys were THAT talented. I also liked that they used unconventional instruments like the kazoo, sleigh bells, a feedback loop, and a theremin. They made cool sound effects from the crashing of waves to the croaking of frogs. They did the hard and mellow thing so well that it was like I was listening to two CD's at once: head banging Black Flag with mellow upbeat stylings of Dick Dale and the Del-Tones. They did an Animal Collectives cover (and quite well), so THEY are probably a direct influence (though I felt some Pixies too). I really loved the pulsing rhythm, like a vibrating electric orb. It was ugly pretty, like a Picasso. I seriously could have listened to Wild International all night.

Further Resources: review of Wild International
My Space page for Wild International

DANA BUOY: This is the solo project of Dana Buoy (aka Dana Janssen), the drummer from the jam band Akron/Family (AKRON/FAMILY site)). What I found very cool and unique was that Dana came out on stage barefoot; he had no shoes OR socks. Also, he was totally into his music; his whole body was into it. It was like he felt every note and beat as it escaped his mouth and guitar. He was dancing/writhing/pulsating the whole entire set. The sound reminded me of Rusted Root and String Cheese Incident mixed with a little Placebo and MGMT. I like that there is an added synthesizer in the background to mellow out the two man guitar/bass. Sometimes it was just guitar/bass, sometimes guitar/vocals, or guitar/synth. I love that both of these guys got their whole spirit and being into the music. Suddenly, I looked around and every hipster in the place was rocking and dancing. Even the bearded guy in the corner with folded arms, who refused to move up until now, started getting into it. I felt like this set was totally experiential. You felt the music pulse through you. You HAD to be there to get the full effect of the music. In this case, the fact that the songs DO NOT sound the same live as recorded is a good thing. Live, Dana Buoy is alive and fills you with a sense of hope and happiness. The only other time I have felt so inspired listening to live music is when I saw The Polyphonic Spree live. Dana Buoy totally imbibes the spirit of Tim DeLaughter (front man of P-Spree) well. Actually, I think Dana Buoy would be a PERFECT opening act for The Polyphonic Spree. They have the same energy to their music. Listening to Dana Buoy, you feel like you're on the beach or mountains. It is very nature inspired music; you can totally tell that this music was created in Thailand (which it was). To find out more about Dana Buoy's project and soon to be released album, check out the following post on on Dana Buoy

Summer Bodies, the debut album by Dana Buoy will is set to be released May 8

'Call to Be' off of the soon to be released debut album, Summer Bodies:

These three pictures are what I captured of Dana Buoy on my Android Blur phone (pretty good for a phone):

Feel the music,


1 comment:

Calihope said...

Hi Rafi!
Je suis de retour à Paris et j'ai enfin internet! Quel plaisir de pouvoir te lire et de me replonger dans cette très bonne soirée en ta compagnie! J'ai beaucoup apprécié nos conversations et ton accueil, tes efforts pour me parler Français et ton enthousiasme quand je t'ai dit que je m'appelais comme ta cousine! J'espère que tu vas bien ainsi que Claire, et j'espère surtout que vous viendrez bientôt à Paris et que l'on aura l'occasion d'aller voir un bon concert ensemble, A très bientôt, Véronique