I can’t remember the last time I smiled as much at a show. I walked down to Cake Shop after a dinner with friends near St. Marks. We walked out of the restaurant and felt like we were stepping onto a set of a movie about New York. Summer does that to the city- everyone seems to be outside and downtown has an energy of persistant adventure. The feeling followed all the way down to the Lower East Side. Cake Shop was full for a Thursday night, students and freelancers and unemployeds and ne’er do wells ready to have a good time despite the fact that the weekend hadn’t quite started yet.
The only major bummer of the show was that I missed Weekends, yet again. I got there at 9, but I was too late. So So Glos were setting up as I walked in. And while it wasn’t the band’s most energetic set I’ve ever seen, this band never fails to make me happy. Anthemic good-vibes punk played by uncategorizable hipsters/guidos/punks is always a good thing. Cake Shop’s Christmas lights failed for the last two songs of their set, and people in the front lifted lighters so that they could see their effects pedals. Good vibes all around.
The Brooklyn portion of the evening quickly came to a close, and Royal Baths, from San Francisco (along with Ty Segall), took to the stage. This is an exciting band! Virtuosic guitar and good male-male vocals adorn well-crafted 70s psychedelic drone songs, though psychedelic isn’t really quite the right word. It’s a little more in the gut and a little less in the mind than psych music. It’s sort of hard to explain. Listen to the song below. Every time he sings “devastated” my heart twinges. Some of their meandering tunes fell a little flat live, but when all three of them were in the groove, it was really intense. It helped that their dummer was super tough; I never saw her smile once the entire night, even when a crowd member furtively offered her some pot during Segall’s set. The entire mood of Royal Baths and Ty Segall is a little inexplicable. Wonderful, very different from Brooklyn, and enough to make me consider a move to the Bay Area.
I had high hopes for Mr. Ty Segall and his band, but was ready to be disappointed after their ho-hum SXSW show that I caught. Luckily, it’s obvious that that was a we’ve-played-thirty-times-in-two-days anomaly. The band was really heavy last night, way heavier than on their amazing new album, Melted. The acoustic guitar in Caesar was replaced by a very thick Fender, and the bass was turned all the way. It was all very serious business- the songs aren’t light and fluffy, and the band is definitely there to play. their. music. But Segall keeps the mood light and smiley between songs. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I can’t recall encountering too many bands in Brooklyn who have that particular skill. Maybe it’s just Ty Segall. Either way, he’s on his way to becoming one of my favorite bands, for sure.
Check out the pictures here at Impose.