The holidays are an extended season, stretching from mid-November to the end of the year. So, it wasn't too much of a stretch to celebrate Christmas last night at Shea Stadium with Kanine Records for a special holiday gig. I was introduced to Kanine years ago through Crashin' In, a weekly party at Public Assembly (then called Galapagos - I feel old!). Sadly, Crashin' In no longer around, but the spirit of unknown bands in cool Brooklyn spaces lives on.
I got there for the second band, Roanoke, Virginia's Eternal Summers, whom I had missed just a couple weeks back at 285 Kent. The duo of Nicole Yun and Daniel Cundiff have a simple organization: guitar and drums, with Yun singing lead and Cundiff adding vocals here and there. Shea's sound system tends to add a searing immediacy to instruments, so despite the lean setup, the band filled up the venue. They call themselves "dream punk," a pretty concise description, although the set was more about impact than hooks.
Dream Diary was next, and I can't think of a more appropriate name for the band. They take the jangly guitars and airy boy-girl vocals of a Pains of Being Pure at Heart and push it to an even more delicate place, strumming shimmering, gauzy riffs. I eat this stuff up and really enjoyed the set, which included a cover of Tom Petty's "Christmas All Over," complete with glockenspiel accompaniment. Check out the cover below, via BrooklynVegan.
MP3: Dream Diary - Christmas All Over (Tom Petty Cover)
Afterwards, there were some awesome and surprising selections for inter-set music, including Ride, R.E.M., Nine Inch Nails (!), and also one of the best songs ever.
Finally, before heading out to Magda, I saw Xray Eyeballs, an ensemble that played bass-heavy grooves. Although there were a couple of guitars and synth in the mix, what struck me was the relentless thunk at the bottom, pretty much dominating the vocals of singer O.J. Thus, it was kind of difficult to discern what the songs were about, exactly, although "Ice Cream Sundae" was definitely the title of one track, which can only be a good thing. Check them out on WFMU.
Rest of the the photos after the jump.