Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Beets, Total Slacker and the Babies Played 285 Kent, Nov. 19

"Fichael J. Mox" of Total Slacker

I find myself going south of Metropolitan Avenue more and more these days. Although the lure of Music Hall of Williamsburg and Public Assembly is still strong, there's a particular D.I.Y. vibrancy to Glasslands, Death By Audio (which I still need to visit) and, on Friday, 285 Kent. I was actually first there at a Mister Saturday Night party featuring Efdemin, which was a pretty sweaty affair, but it seems to have aired out since then. I unfortunately missed openers Eternal Summers and Night Manager, and arrived to a packed room.

The Babies is headed by Kevin Morby of Woods and Cassie Ramone of Vivian Girls, making it a sort of Brooklyn super-group. Morby tends to lead on vocals, but their set was less about lyrical interplay and more about blistering guitarwork, a pleasing, crunchy focus that kept things moving. Grab an MP3 over at Pitchfork.

It was Total Slacker's bassist Emily's 21st birthday, and the band's set had a celebratory tone. The crowd up front danced throughout the frantic set, although it was a bit lacking in the melody department. Things ended quite spectacularly with singer and guitarist Fichael J. Mox and drummer Ross leaping into the crowd and smashing a guitar into the ground, and then through an amp. Happy Birthday!

As the Beets assumed the stage, the lights dropped almost entirely, casting the venue in a dense gloom. It was a fitting accompaniment for their minimalist rock, flecked, like their home of Jackson Heights, Queens, with hints of foreign lands (they use a piccolo!). It was a deliberate, brief set - not my favorite style, but a striking one nonetheless. Some live footage from the Beets below, and you can also check them out at Daytrotter.

Rest of the photos after the jump.

The Babies

Total Slacker

The Beets

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