I've grown pretty fond of DUMBO, Brooklyn. It's not nearly as trendy as Williamsburg, but the gorgeous views of the bridges alone make the place a worthwhile visit. A few weeks ago (August 6th), an added bonus was a free show at Brooklyn Bridge Park curated by Union Hall, a venue that I've heard is nice, but is unfortunately 21+.
The Union Hall Science Club
The Union Hall Science Club began by demonstrating the properties of dry ice (it makes things shatter), blew some smoke rings and showed us why it's better to be under a bunch of pins instead of just one (your weight is distributed). It was fun and appropriate, considering all the children in attendance.
Tiny Masters of Today
Tiny Masters of Today are in their early teens, but their music plays down any potential cuteness. Their spiky, punk-influenced sound mostly features little Ada on vox, and her delivery was light on melody but fit fine with the crunchy instruments. For such a young bunch, you'd expect some whimsy, but aside from a finale cover of House of Pain's "Jump Around," they were all business - even half-ordering the lethargic crowd to stand up. While I'm much more inclined towards the simple sweetness of a Smoosh, it'll be interesting to see where these kids end up.
MP3: Tiny Masters of Today - Hey Mr. DJ (CSS Remix)
MySpace: Tiny Masters of Today
Official Site: Tiny Masters of Today
Oh, Headlights. First you play all 21+ venues, and when you finally play a show I can get into, you don't play anything from your first album, the underrated Kill Them With Kindness. As disappointing as not hearing the wonderful "TV" or "Put Us Back Together Right" was, the new cuts from their sophomore release, Some Racing, Some Stopping, are gladly in the same vein of orchestral, girl/boy indie pop. What makes it so appealing, aside from the plethora of hooks, is the vibrant, infectious tempo - there as many songs that encourage dancing as swaying. And to really break the cuteness meter, two girls came onstage and danced during the last couple songs. It was adorable.
MP3: Headlights - Cherry Tulips
MP3: Headlights - Put Us Back Together Right
MP3: Headlights - TV
Official Site: Headlights
I'm not entirely sure what to make of French Kicks. They're steady but not exceptional, probably headlining the bill by virtue of longevity - their fourth album, Swimming, just came out, a number that many bands fail to reach. Singer Nick Stumpf was big on grand gestures, but the band's sound isn't quite big enough for arenas. Serviceable, but not engrossing, and as it had been a long day I decided to head back early. But I should be giving them a second chance in the near future.
MP3: French Kicks - Abandon
MySpace: French Kicks
Official Site: French Kicks