The best show I went to this week was at the new out door venue The Well in Bushwick, Brooklyn on Saturday (9/22) with Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, and K-Holes, presented by Panache. I didn’t see too much of K-Holes since I was on one of the 3 giant beer lines inside. The Well is insane, it must hold around 2,000 people and it felt like I was at an all day outdoor festival, even though it was just a one night thing. The beers are kind of expensive for Bushwick at $6, but the guy at the Village Voice table made up for it by giving me a giant pack of temporary tattoos and bottle opener key chains shaped like sharks.
Thee Oh Sees are my absolute favorite band to see live. Last time I saw them in February at 285 Kent I kept getting smashed into the stage until I finally just had to dance behind guitarist/singer, John Dwyer, because my shins were so bruised. At that point my only fear was that the PA speaker was going to fall on me and R. Stevie Moore who happened to be standing next to me.
Thee Oh Sees perform like they’re possessed by evil oomph lompas running around in circles on a candy land board game, wreaking havoc throwing bricks through windows and spray painting walls. They sing these catchy singable hooks with sideways smiles and wide eyes in fuzzy driving/dreamy jams that can go on forever. Dwyer looked like some kind of amphibian when he put his pick in his mouth and flicked it around with his tongue while doing one finger picking part. He also hoots like a monkey, and has a polite, old timely, playful, rock n roll stage personality that’s very charming.
It started raining during the Ty Segall band’s set, which gave it this cool primal atmosphere, along with cooling everyone off who I had been smashed up against up in front for the whole show. We were mainly dancing the ‘mashed potato,’ which seems to be in between moshing and dancing, where everyone is just smooching each other, swaying back and forth, and falling down. One guy crowd surfing fell head first over the barricade, he got up thankfully, and Ty was nice enough to stop the show and call for a medic. “Just to be clear…we need a medic.” Then we all applauded for the medic. The band did 2 funny covers, one of Sweet Home Alabama, and another, the first song of the encore, The End by The Doors. Ty’s performances of the tracks off their most recent album, Slaughterhouse, were really powerful. Experiencing them live with the whole band gives it that extra intensity. Ty’s band shares with Thee Oh Sees the aspect of seeming like they’re possessed with something and while performing their songs they are also fighting them.
The whole show replenished my faith that rock n roll will never die. Even if right now it seems that these two bands are carrying the whole scene on their backs, there will be more garage bands that can get to this point of being able to sell out a venues of this capacity. And that makes me so fucking excited.
Thursday (9/20) night at Santos Party House I saw the Ssion record release show put on by Popgun Presents. They painted a perfect picture of an internet sensation punk/electronic project with an amazing live show. Their lineup included a couple buff “ladies” that had synchronized dance moves and matching outfits who the frontman pushed around randomly. They also had an elegantly dressed transvestite back up singer. Their flamboyant frontman had some memorable lines, such as “Sometimes I wake up in the morning and think ‘goddess, is this real?’ And then I check the internet and it is!” He crowd surfed at the end of the set and afterwards said “If anyone got pictures or videos of that, you better go and fucking blog about it.” Their cover of Hole’s Credit in the Straight World is super spaced out, a heroin chic disco track that I’m pretty in love with.
Later that night I went to Ran Tea House to catch Oberhofer’s set. Next door at 285 Kent was the sold out Lightening Bolt show. While I was standing outside and the door to 285 was opened it felt like I was hit in the face with a wall of sound. I heard they blew a fuse too, which is pretty hardcore. It’s too bad I can’t be at three places at once, because I would have loved to be at 285, at Santos, and seeing the entire lineup at Ran Tea House, which included Total Slacker, Darlings, Mathew Molnar of Friends new band- Kissing is a Crime, and Lazyeyes.
But anyway, Oberhofer’s set was sweet. It started with frontman and bandleader, Brad Oberhofer, riding on the shoulders of J. Rambo while playing a wireless guitar to the stage. Brad has a magnetic stage presence and he sort of looks as if one of the Jonas brothers rejected god, ran away from home, and started a rock band. He writes songs that you feel like you’ve heard before but are still fresh that you want to sing along too. Lots of oooo-ooooing.
Friday (9/21) was the 20th show presented by Dingus & The Snake Records at Free Candy. My favorite band of the evening was Happy Lives. Their drummer quit that morning because he got a job at UPS, and the sound guy somehow did a miraculous job at filling in on some of the songs. The two piece mixed it up with the guitarist also filling in on drums and using a backing track for the guitar parts. They had one amazing track that was stripped down with just bass & vocals.
After that amazing show at The Well on Saturday, I went to Muchmore’s and caught Life Sized Maps and Heaven’s Gate. If you haven’t checked out Life Size Maps EP yet, you really need to. I loved Heaven’s Gate. Their front woman reminded me of Grace Slick but with a lot more reverb.
After that, with sparklers in hand that some random guy gave to me, I headed to Brooklyn Bowl for the Jonathan Toubin hosted Soul Clap Dance off after party. Ty Segall DJ’d mostly vintage R&B/Soul tracks. There was a dance competition judged by members of the Ty Segall band and Thee Oh Sees. Other judges included the founder of Pitchfork, Ryan Schrieber, and the founder of Panache Booking, Michelle Cable. Things got a little rowdy when some guy wouldn’t move out of the way during the dance competition for the judges to see, and he ended up getting kicked out. Poor bro.
On Sunday (9/23), as burned out from the weekend as I was, I still made it out to Shea Stadium to see Desert Sharks and Slothrust. The singer/bassist of Desert Sharks had a great riot grrrlesque voice and a great side pony tail. Slothrust is a power trio that incorporates great bluesy riffs while the frontwoman wails with her deep vocals. She somehow makes the all kids scream ‘SLAAAAYYYYERRRRR!!!’