Friday night at Monster Island Basement unfolded panel by panel, like one of those big road maps that people don’t use now that there’s GPS, into a pretty typical busy Friday evening. Todd P was running around changing the songs, pouring whiskey, fiddling with the lights, while people trickled into the basement to watch La Big Vic play the first set. They’re good! I so wanted them to be good, and they were. Saying that they create soundscapes is definitely a legitimate cliche here, and they create extremely beautiful ones with several synths, a guitar, and one heavily distorted violin. They have a couple great pop hooks, too, and with a little added pizzazz on stage, I could see them really taking off. After a short break, Total Slacker played their typical adorably spastick set with 2010 classics like “VHS Collection,” and “Crystal Necklace.” I’ve seen them more times than any other band this year (man, it seems like they play every show), so there aren’t a lot of surprises left, but they drew and kept a very large crowd, including the always hilariously out of place (in fact, he seems to be out of place in Brooklyn basements so often much that I might even call him a fixture) John Norris. Norris flitted around during Oberhofer’s set, too, which ended up packing the basement with their excited under 21 friends (fans?). This band has gotten a lot tighter and louder and self-assured since I saw them at Pianos earlier in the year, and I have to say, their fast-paced guitar rock was more exciting than ever. Definitely, definitely watch out for these guys. Maybe they’ll explode during CMJ this year. I didn’t stay for Indian Jewelry because, honestly, I’d had enough of them a few weeks ago at Mercury Lounge. Pictures and MP3s below.
La Big Vic: