Northside Festival is here, which means all your favorite venues are going to be filled with butt loads of people. If you’re hitting up any one of your usual spots in Brooklyn for a show this weekend– even this year’s venue newcomers like Alphaville, Aviv, and Pet Rescue are in the fest’s fold– chances are it’s going to be a Northside joint. So if you’re gonna really get out there and do the damn thing this weekend, save yourself some trubz and grip a pass. You may lament the crowds, but you can’t deny that a festival brings something like pure joy to your usual Friday or Saturday night kicks.
Based on what we’ve learned from close observers of festival culture, you’re likely to see naturally occurring people dressed in cringe-inducing headdresses and bro boats shotgunning beers. But since this is North Brooklyn and not Bro-chella, we’re guessing the headwear will be a little more culturally self-aware (e.g. an ode to 19th century farmers who had it made or something) and at least those beers will be craft. But remember, Northside may be the thing to do, but it’s not all there is.
Institute, Anasazi, Cheena, Mommy
Exhibit A: stash your badges away for this one, coz they ain’t worth a penny here. Gotta love this Austin post-punk band Institute – Sacred Bones does – for their angular riffs and pummeling, muted drums that provide a solid backbone to the slur-mouthed but charming headsman. Local nasty-punk heroes Anasazi will light up the stage with their immutable charm.
And lucky us, there are two more acts to love, albeit ones that we’re much less familiar with — the lonely boys of Cheena spew a strange stew of Southern rock and washed-out garage rock. This stuff’s perfectly suited for hot, lazy summer days and we’re sure that translates just as well to sweaty nights.
And finally, a band that’s become our latest contender for heir to the Best-Brooklyn-Band-Name throne, Mommy. The show’s organizers are going as far to dub them NYC’s “best new punk band,” and the excitement has rubbed off on us too. All we’ve got are these demos and a promise that members “are from bands we all knew and loved.” But regardless of who these lovely people are, we’re already won over by the drumming that sounds like it’s achieved by banging on trash cans and the monstrous vocals that are as unrepentant as a rodent’s perpetually growing teeth. Sunday, June 14th, 8 pm @ Palisades: $10 in advance.
Exploding in Sound, Ipsum, and Gimme Tinnitus Northside Showcase
Some big organizers of fun, noisy rock music shows are teaming up for this Friday night Northside Showcase. And trust, it’s gonna rule. The beloved screamers of Vulture Shit will be on hand to conjure Jesus Lizard, but just when you think you know what’s up, they’re gonna clunk you over the head with some sick nasty bass lines that might inspire you to forget all about Jesus who-now in favor of Vulture what-now.
Washer brings me back– admittedly I was a tot, but I like to engage in ’90s nostalgia too, so let me have this one OK? please, thanks– to when Slanted & Enchanted dropped from the heavens and became the summer of ’92’s soundtrack for the weirdos, the low self-esteemed. “We’re all sad sacks,” indeed, Mr. and Mr. Washer.
Kindling and Wildhoney are a bit easier on the heart, occupying spaced-out-scapes rather than a bitter reality. And if you can read, we suggest you preview the rest of the lineup too. Doing so will definitely inspire you to get there early and catch all 500 bands in attendance. Friday, June 12, 7 pm at Aviv: tickets, free with Northside badge, $10 day of, $8 in advance
Experimental x Noise x Northside
We’re seriously excited for this showcase, and thankful to have a local festival that isn’t just about Brooklyn’s lionized indie rock scene. Sure, we’ll be the first to admit we love that stuff, but you wouldn’t want the Establishment to be your entire festival lineup. Smart moves then to welcome in the growing (and renewed) noise and experimental music scene into the fray.
Of course there’s New York No Wave and the like to look back upon as this scene’s noisy predecessors, so in a way this sort of stuff never went away, but it hardly reached commercial heights. Yes, Lou Reed became a household name, but did Metal Machine Music ever become a sleeper classic? Not for most whitebread families, we’ll say that much. That’s why this music is still imbued with the same kind of underground legitimacy, despite years of existence, its makers still dwell as troglodytes.
Lutkie (aka Sarah Lutkenhaus) is a one-woman power house of dark electronics achieved by synthesizers, spooky scream vocals, and the ability to conjure and control discordant demons. Masters of chaotic, distraught noise rawk will unite under White Suns. To lighten things up are the hypnotic, washed-out garage vibes brungeth by Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk. And this being a showcase, there’s much, much more in store. Thursday, June 11, 8 pm at Aviv: $10 in advance, free with lil badger
Spirit Of, Little Hills, OJ, Milkymaze
Slowly building post-rock operettas informed as much by black metal as prog might sound a bit tedious, but Spirit Of (a Brooklyn band by way of LA) manages to make things interesting. And now for something completely different, Little Hills – a folk rock band from Albany with a forward-thinking attitude toward folk (thank you) that has more to do with here-and-now than the lessons we learned from Bob Dylan. Even if the lyrics are a Mountain Goats-saccharine, we can deal, mostly thanks to OJ (punk from Mass) and Milkymaze (dark psych noise folk power woman project outta NYC). Wednesday June 10th, 8 pm at Don Pedro: $5 only