Soft Black – The New York Rockmarket Mon, 14 May 2012 22:05:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Photos: Gray Goods, Art Sorority for Girls, and Soft Black at Bruar Falls Fri, 05 Mar 2010 16:49:05 +0000

Last night was an evening of promising bands and terrible photos.  I almost wasn’t going to bother posting these, but at least few of them are OK.  Bruar Falls now has a red light shining on the stage, which is a lighting situation I am totally not equipped to deal with.  Heck, they completely turned the lights off for Gray Goods, and I always find it incredibly awkward to take photos at under-attended shows.

Not to say that the bands weren’t good, just my photography skills.  I arrived as Soft Black played, a band name I still absolutely can’t get straight with Small Black, no matter how many times I remind myself that one is a singer/songwriter and one is an electro act.  I was certainly not blown away by Soft Black, but they had a sincerity and down-home goodness that I wasn’t expecting.  An acoustic guitar and a drum kit is a strange combination, but it worked out well and gave the duo much more interest than if it had just been a singer/songwriter.  Still, most of the songs are a little too derivative and standard for my tastes.

Art Sorority for Girls should be on the top of your list.  This was only the second show they’ve ever played together, and they still lack a bassist.  Everything was just a little sloppy and there wasn’t quite enough stage presence to match their frothy indie pop songs, but you can tell that everything is there for a really good band in the making.  In some ways they remind me of Surfer Blood – certainly not lo-fi with big, fun guitar riffs sprinkled throughout their songs.  In this sense, they’re incredibly refreshing.  Sure, they’re playing pop music, but with lo-fi garage band after lo-fi garage band, Art Sorority for Girls sticks out.  Their lead guitar player is compact and efficient, with quick, blaring guitar solos and occasional walls of sound I think the band could stand to use more of.  This isn’t a very good critical thing to say, but I sincerely just really, really liked her and her style of play.  She tempers the occasionally too sugary-sweet lyrics well.  Daoud is a geeky/charming frontman in Chuck Taylors and glasses, with a lovely voice and a just-self-conscious-enough stage presence that will only get better with time.  Point is, I dig this band.  I’m not saying it’s groundbreaking stuff, but I think the band really has something going for them.  They’re playing Cake Shop soon, and I will be sure to remind you.

By the time Gray Goods went on close to midnight, there weren’t too many people left at Bruar Falls.  I don’t honestly feel that I can write a review of them.  I really like their recorded songs and didn’t think that they matched up live, but it’s also really, really, really hard to perform well to a bar a quarter full at midnight on a Thursday. I will see them again and reassess.  Art Sorority for Girls MP3 below.

Soft Black:

Art Sorority for Girls:

Gray Goods:

MP3: “Like Like Like” – Art Sorority for Girls

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CMJ: Recommended Saturday Shows Sat, 24 Oct 2009 15:03:56 +0000 pitchforkshowpaperflyer

I took last night off.  I fell asleep in front the newest It’s Always Sunny at 10, awoke two hours later to zombie-walk into my bed, and just woke up again a few minutes ago.  This CMJ business is a lot more tiring than I remember it being.  I hope everyone rested up for today, because it’s going to be great.  It’s your last chance to squeeze in all those bands you haven’t managed to see yet.  I will be running around like a chicken with its head cut off all day for sure.

I’m combining today’s posts into one, because so many of the shows start at 3ish and go all night.  There’s a lot I’d recommend checking out, so here goes.

First of all, stop reading this right now.  Get yourself ready for the day and head to Pianos immediately.  At 12:30 Beast is playing and they’re serving FREE Bloody Mary’s.  After that, stick around for awhile.  There’s free Miller beer all day plus an amazing line-up: Sharon Van Etten, Smith Westerns, Pete and the Pirates (these guys have been getting amazing buzz), Dent May, Surf City, Deastro, Cymbals Eat Guitars, and LA’s Local Natives.  You could be there all day!

You could, though, make your way to Williamsburg (where you’ll probably want to spend the evening) at 3pm for the Impose Magazine showcase at Don Pedro’s.  It’s the usual Famous Class Records crew that I mention often on here: Snakes Say Hiss, The Tony Castles, Boogie Boarder, Darlings, with the added benefit of JEFF: the Brotherhood (go see them, I love them!), Dinowalrus, and Future Islands.   You could also go to Brooklyn Bowl at Noon for a pretty good party including Harlem.  I won’t be attending because I’ve somehow caught all of the other bands already, but they’re good, too: Lovvers, Soft Black, Surfer Blood (fun, but overhyped), and Grooms.

Now, nighttime offers more difficult decisions.  If you want to stay in one place from 1pm to 4am, Market Hotel is THE place to be.  Weirdly enough, Pitchfork joined with Todd P to put on a Showpaper benefit (not free, a badge will not get you in).  Todd P has been very, very quiet during CMJ, especially considering his overwhelming presence at SXSW.  I assumed this was because he really dislikes the evil organization that is CMJ, but the Pitchfork/Todd P pairing seems weird to me for the same reasons.  Anyways, there’s a sick line-up: Surfer Blood (1pm), Small Black (4pm), Javelin (5pm), Smith Westerns (6pm), Real Estate (7pm), Delorean (8pm), Cymbals Eat Guitars (10pm), Special Guests (11pm) and then DJ sets from The xx, Neon Indian, Lemonade, and Moses Archuleta from Deerhunter.

Mercury Lounge has a good line-up tonight, especially if you’re into harder rock.  It starts off with Dum Dum Girls (whom I’ve never seen but would really like to) and then Dutchess and the Duke and Golden Triangle.  Then, things get thrashy with Pissed Jeans, Obits, and Male Bonding, all highly recommended.

There’s so much other great stuff going on.  Too much to process.  There’s a lot of really wonderful things happening in Williamsburg, and your best bet is to probably run around seeing who you want.  Look at Oh My Rockness for help.  But I would like to finally recommend that you check out Double Dagger at Death By Audio.  I saw them at Market Hotel once before and I love their music.  They remind me so much of a tougher Pavement.  They are also responsible for this amazing company.

Below is a song from Atlas Sound’s Rough Trade EP I picked up at the show on Wednesday.  I’ll be on Twitter all day.  Have a great day, and good luck.

MP3: “Nightwork” – Atlas Sound