Photos: Vampire Hands, These Are Powers, Wavves

p3282814When I mentioned I was going to Market Hotel to see Wavves, my co-worker told me, and I quote, “that place is a death trap.”  Well, she’s completely correct, but it was a very fitting venue in which to experience Wavves.  I hate to say anything bad about the place, mostly because Todd P, indie promoter extraordinaire, got on the mic asking people not to smoke in the room where the bands played because “people will go home and write about it on the internet.”  Which is exactly what I’m doing.  But the out-of-the-way, possibly life-threatening Market Hotel is packed full of charm and has the most exciting vibe of any makeshift DIY venue I’ve been to yet.  It’s so cool and DIY that it almost renders itself obsolete.

Which is the same exact problem I had with Wavves live.  I love the new album.  I think it’s very good.  But the fuzzy distortion of the record is gone from the live performance.  He doesn’t even run his fender through any pedals.  It’s just straight-up guitar and drums with some distortion thrown on his mic for good measure.  As the surprisingly diminutive rocker casually took the stage, he sat down and smiled to himself before he began to play, as if the crowd of ready-to-go fans buzzing with excitement were some sort of amusing inside joke.  Someone in the front row lit up a joint, passed it up to him, and then the rocking began.

For an artist who started out being whispered about on blogs a few months ago, there were an awful lot of very excited teenagers from New Jersey there (I feel that I can make that judgement because I was once one of them).  The Wavves aesthetic worked at Market Hotel.  Short songs, full of “I don’t give a fuck” personality, and just enough detached rocking to give the kiddies something to mosh about.  But much like the state of Market Hotel, if you pack any more bridge-and-tunnelers into a Wavves show, it’s going to have to be at Bowery Ballroom or Music Hall of Williamsburg.  And it’s not going to work there.  So much of Wavves was built up around him being an underground buzz act, and once that’s no longer the case, I don’t know what he’s going to do to sustain himself.  The live songs are good, but not good enough for that next step yet.  I’m excited to see how this kid handles all of this newfound attention.

These Are Powers, by the way, completely rocked the house.  Their thick layering of beats and spastic/beautiful lead singer are absolute winners.  Another band to definitely keep a close eye on.  And as far as Vampire Hands goes, I could really take them or leave them.

Vampire Hands:

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These Are Powers:

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Wavves:

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3 Responses to Photos: Vampire Hands, These Are Powers, Wavves

  1. [...] great.  But more than that, the general feeling in the air last night was perfect.  Unlike my Wavves experience at Market Hotel, the place wasn’t filled to the brim with drunk sixteen year olds.  Sure, [...]

  2. Miso soup says:

    what is with the backhanded jersey compliments on this blog? and bridge and tunnel crowd refers to people going into the city (aka Manhattan) from the nearby areas, and yes that includes both North Jersey and Brooklyn. despite the truly ground-breaking events to be found above Mr. Kiwis.

  3. New York Rock Market says:

    hahaha, thank you medford commenter, this is definitely the best comment i’ve ever gotten on this blog. i am, in fact, writing this comment as we speak from my house in morristown.

    what’s with all the backhanded new jersey compliments? i’m born and bred in new jersey. and, much like anyone i’ve known from new jersey, i will continue to make fun of my home state every chance i get, but at the same time will defend it to the death should any non-new-jerseyite make any ridiculous “armpit of america” comments. anyone who’s spent any time here knows that it’s a beautiful green state with the best beaches anywhere, and just forty minutes away from manhattan.

    and that’s the thing about growing up in new jersey: you get to be really excited and young and inexperienced and go to your first shows in new york. when i was in high school, the brooklyn scene wasn’t quite as accessible because the internet didn’t really work in the same way it does now (no youtube, a dial-up connection that made downloading music nearly impossible, pitchfork was just getting started). i don’t think high schoolers could be into independent music with the same magnitude as they are now. frankly, i’m very jealous of them. i still went to shows at places like bowery ballroom and what was then irving plaza every chance i could get. and i KNOW i was obnoxious. i have a love/hate relationship with teenagers coming to shows. when i see them up in front jumping around like crazy drunk off their asses, it makes me feel old and lame. i can’t keep up, and those day of reckless abondon are over for me. on the other hand, i love it that there’s a place for younger versions of me to hear the music they love and escape from what i know can sometimes be suburban hell.

    so really, when i’m giving these supposed “back-handed compliments” to new jersey, they’re really me just putting my love of music into the perspective of my new jersey past. i’m contextualizing the music scene through my own experiences.

    plus, i don’t know if you noticed, but i LOVE giving love to jersey bands on this blog. real estate, ducktails, titus andronicus, and now screaming females are some of my absolute favorite bands. i love them with extreme pride because they are from my home state. so, yeah, that’s what’s up with “back-handed compliments” to new jersey. most of the time, i really do just mean them to be straight-up compliments.

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