On Friday night, Neon Indian played at Brooklyn Bowl and judged a Halloween contest. That was fun and all, but Neon Indian could not have sounded worse (and I mean that almost literally). The electronics and theramin and guitar and drums sounded like they were being played by four people who couldn’t hear each other, and then that sound was filtered through a tissue box packed with dryer sheets. Alan Palomo bopped around awkwardly as per the usual, but his singing was garbled and much further off key than normal. It was downright miserable. As I stood there, waiting for the music to mercifully end and the costume contest to begin, I began to think about how depressing the current musical situation is. The fact that Neon Indian is not only loved by the masses, but condoned by respected critics, was sending my mind into a downward spiral of generational angst and guilt. What’s wrong with us? Why are we so materialistic? Why are we robots who only want plastic dance music? Then suddenly, this girl dressed as a slutty panda tapped me on my shoulder and asked, “Dude, are you ok?” I guess you could read my thoughts on my face. “Yeah, yeah, I’m fine, it’s just…I really hate this band. Sorry.” And she replied, “No, you’re right, this is terrible! I saw them in Mexico and it was great, but this sucks. And I’m on drugs right now and it still sucks!” I looked around, and she was right, everyone in the crowd was looking pretty bored. Thank you, Panda Girl, whoever you are, for reminding me that just because Neon Indian puts on a mediocre show at Brooklyn Bowl (which has notoriously bad sound), doesn’t mean that we’re all consuming bad music. It was just a bad show, and everyone knew it.
Prince Rama, by the way, are great. Their music is the kind of thing you might do yoga to, but with extremely moving builds and swells that make you want to chant right along with them. I had a blast watching them, and so did everyone else. Especially the dancing zombies in the front. Check out the photos from the show and costume contest here at Impose.