Sunday, September 30, 2007

Interlude: Nine Nights, Nine Months

The Bowery Ballroom really is one of the best venues in the city. It's intimate without being claustrophobic, and loud without becoming distorted. Although I only made it there at the last possible day last semester, it's jumped to the top of the list after the shows I've been to over the last month. It's also been a great place to meet people, specifically those with really nice cameras. Check out Maryanne's great photos of the first two bands at My Wave. If you're carrying lenses and in attendance in the future, consider yourself warned.

I arrived just prior to the start of the first set (it's always an hour after doors open) to some appropriately indie rock jokes courtesy of Triumph the Insult Dog. It's a little strange when a recording of a comedy routine - with loud clapping - is played in a mostly empty space, but I guess I can appreciate the context. Just a few seconds before things got awkward, the lights dimmed and we were on.

Project Jenny, Project Jan

Although their name suggests some sort of indietronic girl/boy duo, Project Jenny, Project Jan are two guys from Brooklyn who do live up to the electro element. Although keyboardist and general instrumentalist Sammy Rubin was first to take the stage, things really took off when vocalist Jeremy Haines appeared, sporting a fashionable suit and tie. It was pretty clear from the onset that it was going to be a fun set, as Jeremy danced his way through the first song, while somehow maintaining control of his singing amidst the flamboyancy. There was a brief laptop hiccup between the first and second song, but he used the gap to really charm the crowd, alluding to karaoke and Journey. Aside from a slight "wardrobe malfunction" (he had to retie his shoelaces) a bit later, things went smoothly from there onward. PJ, PJ skip across a variety of genres, as Jeremy seems equally at home faux-rapping or drawing out a ballad (bilingual, too), most successfully during a tune that went "It's always sunny in Brooklyn." Good times.

You can stream the entirety of Project Jenny, Project Jan's XOXOXOXOXO at Viajando en Bus.

MySpace: Project Jenny, Project Jan
Official Site: Project Jenny, Project Jan

Dirty on Purpose

The live form of Dirty on Purpose is a lot more immediate than some of their sleepier album material suggests. While they're were still distinguished by fragile, somewhat twee-y singing (don't get me wrong; I like it), there was plenty of muscle from the instruments. They were, after all, the only band of the night with live drumming. And while Erika Foster's depature for Au Revoir Simone meant no female vocals (although one of her bandmates was in the audience), three fourths of the group sang and harmonized well. Thus, the set was, as the band is, loud and soft elements, and I think a really nice balance was achieved.

Here's the band's third session at WOXY.

MP3: Dirty on Purpose - Live at WOXY Lounge Acts (07.20.07)
MP3: Dirty on Purpose - Mind Blindness
MySpace: Dirty on Purpose
Official Site: Dirty on Purpose

Fujiya & Miyagi

I took a pretty circuitous path in getting into Fujiya & Miyagi, sleeping on the hype and getting hooked by the curiously catchy "Ankles Injuries," which kicked off the set, over the summer. While I was disappointed to miss them at the Seaport in June, I think this was a much better space to see them in, as they're the quietest headliner I've heard. I was a bit surprised to see a guitar at all, considering how skeletal some of their songs are (quite literally, in the case of "Collarbone"). To carry the metaphor further, it's the bass that provides the backbone of most tracks, and much of the instrumental is in the beat. Vocalist David "Miyagi" Best was at his mellow best, his whispered vocals remarkably effective, as the crowd was startlingly enthusiastic throughout.

I say startling because I wasn't that excited after the initial momentum of "Ankles" and "Photocopier." Unfortunately, the band only has nine songs on their LP, and a handful of other singles, and there isn't that much variety to the music. A couple sprawling instrumentals were a decent touch, but I got a little restless about halfway through. Thankfully, the urgency of "In One Ear & Out The Other" ("She got me wrapped around her little finger!") and, of course, "Collarbone" ("Got to get a new pair of shoes") really picked things up. I don't really understand the appeal of these seemingly random, stream of consciousness snippets, but I was definitely singing along, or at least whispering. I wouldn't say that F&M were mind-blowing live, but they were very solid, particularly in the home stretch. I look forward to their next album, and hopefully a subsequently denser set.

MP3: Fujiya & Miyagi - Collarbone
MP3: Fujiya & Miyagi - Electro Karaoke in the Negative Style
MySpace: Fujiya & Miyagi
Official Site: Fujiya & Miyagi

1 comment:

showtrotta said...

Nice review and shot of the setlist which I was desperately looking for last week when my memory failed me. I thought I saw a guy that looked like you there and low and behold it probably was...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...