Street Fighters in Bushwick

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img c/o joystiq
The video game company behind the hit franchise Street Fighter took over Bushwick’s Bodega Friday night to let fans sample it’s latest version. Gaming blog Joystiq was there, and posted a rundown of the event. Hilariously, the suits at Capcom were a bit uncomfortable with the location, saying the neighborhood wasn’t “safe” nor “clean”.
All they had to do was google “Is Bushwick Safe?“, and they would’ve gotten a simple, straight up answer from our neighborly blog, BushwickBK. Regardless of their corporate fear, the event looked pretty cool, as Bodega brought in a few XBox 360’s for people to play in the back. From Joystiq:

In spite of that ominous rule, we have no choice but to talk about Capcom’s incredibly well-orchestrated community event last Friday night. It’s rare to see a games company reach out to the fans with early access to its most anticipated games. It’s even rarer to see a games company conduct a PR event in a location like this: a converted bodega in the middle of Brooklyn.
We were told that some of the higher-ups at Capcom were uncomfortable with the location, and for good reason too. The neighborhood wasn’t “safe” nor “clean,” being one of the few neighborhoods in NYC that hasn’t been hit by rapidly spreading gentrification. Guys in suits would never come here. And that’s exactly what this event was about: reaching out to real fans (who, as you know, don’t wear suits).

Click on through for more pictures, or heck, I’ll just post ’em here:
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Jay Reatard at Santos Party House

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Jay Reatard
My ears are still ringing this afternoon (even though I was indeed wearing earplugs last night) because Jay Reatard, Vivian Girls, and Cola Freaks took FULL advantage of the hefty sound system at Santos Party House for their sets.
It was decidedly Mr. Reatard’s night, as he drew a much denser crowd than his openers. Denmark’s Cola Freaks had had a strong post-hardcore meets post-punk feel, with not a single audible word from their lead singer – who was full of hyperactivity and bulging neck veins. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for his more stoic bandmates.
The über-hyped Vivian Girls were also on the lackluster end of the spectrum, albeit sweet.
“I’m so tired from playing so many shows,” admitted singer Cassie Ramone between songs. But as her redheaded bassist Frankie Rose quipped, “At least this show isn’t CMJ!”
Jay, with his curly mop of hair, 2-minute long song catalogue, and his Flying V guitar upped the ante for sure. He drilled through tons of great material including “It’s So Easy,” “See/Saw,” and “My Shadow,” and rarely paused between songs as he whipped his head every 3-4 seconds. In his guitarwork, vocals, and stage presence he demonstrated the togetherness and tenacity that has accumulated lots of fans in the past year or two.
It was hard to get our asses off the couch after the lllooooonnnngggg week that was CMJ, but everyone that headed to Santos on Sunday night found it worth it – I just hope my eardrums stop pounding by Tuesday morning or so.

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Jay Reatard

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Vivian Girls

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Cola Freaks

Photos c/o Mark Iantosca

Gondry Shooting a "Top Secret Project" in Williamsburg

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img via flavorwire
Orient Ave. is quickly becoming one of our favorite streets in the ‘burg, as it features steak-knife stabbings, squatters, and Williamsburg’s own Michel Gondry (who, it turns out, is no longer missing). The latter, Mr. Gondry, is apparently busy shooting some kind of top secret project outside his house today, which he kinda-sorta told a passerby is a music video. Flavorwire reports:

Last night I passed by two guarded, trash bag-covered cameras in front of his house that had been set up earlier that day. When I asked the guys watching the equipment if Gondry was involved, they smiled but would not confirm it. When I then asked if Michel Gondry was paying them well to stay up all night, they said yes.

She returned this morning to check back in and see what the deal is. “I returned at 7 a.m. this morning and spotted Gondry busy sweding with a group of lackeys. One of them joked that they were working on a student film; Gondry told me that he was shooting a music video but would not reveal the artist.”
I’m betting its someone awesome, as Wikipedia lists Gondry as a director on videos for pretty much all of the world’s biggest artists – from Beck to Kanye to the White Stripes, and everyone in between.
He’ll be at Strand bookstore tonight promoting his latest book, You’ll Like This Film Because You’re In It, tonight, so hopefully someone will get the skinny and send it in.

CMJ '08 = Over. = YAY!

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c/o Clarissa Roudabush
I spent the final two nights of CMJ in Brooklyn, and I’m feeling Negative Nancy-ish about the entire thing. As with any massive marathon like this, you can expect to sift through lots of shit to find the gold, but this week that felt particularly true.
Obvi there were sweet acts like An Albatross, Designer Drugs, The Teenagers, Cheeseburger, TK Webb & the Visions, and Pattern is Movement that played locally in our fair neighborhood Friday/Saturday, but I feel like we already know and love them. Isn’t CMJ supposed to be about seeing new talent, and growing a big ole’ semi over unheard-of bands, and getting all riled up about the next year or so and who is going to blow up? Was CMJ even fun? Am I the only person who found this week to be a heinous adventure into the depths of bad music and annoying people sporting colorful badges?
Although I did collect a handful of new favorites from CMJ, which made my suffering worth it:
Starfucker
The Physics of Meaning
Bell
Wild Sweet Orange
Stars Like Fleas
And bands that I’ve already fallen in love with – like Monotonix, Au, Hot Lava, and The Ruby Suns – worked their usual magic yet again in NYC. But dang, I’m so happy it’s OVER!
(I’d really love to hear some suggestions from you guys if you got to see any great bands during the marathon that other people should know about – post ’em below!)
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c/o Maniac World

Hands Down, The Best Obama Ad Of The Entire Election Season

Christ, we hated those “Whasssssssssupppppppppppp!!!” ads. This spoof makes them all worthwhile:

Weekend Party Planning

If you’ve got some spare time during the afternoon tomorrow, you should certainly stop on over at Pianos. The generous crew from Bowery Presents is putting on a free showcase:
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After that, you can easily stumble a few doors down to Cake Shop, for the Oh My Rockness Showcase. They know their shit, and it’s gonna be sweet stuff:
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Yowzah!

Force Field PR Showcase

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The Physics of Meaning

Force Field PR took over Pianos last night, with superb acts playing in both main stage area and the upstairs lounge. Quite a few darlings of CMJ ’08 were on hand, including Tobacco, Bell, Stars Like Fleas, and PWRFL Power. More nostalgic and lesser-known groups like Donovan Quinn & the 13th Month added breadth to the sweetness of the lineup.
Fortunately the evening also gave us another chance to check out Au, with their rousing percussion, feline vocals, and experimental flair. We’re still not over them after being blown away last month when they opened for The Dodos.
Particularly impressive was the set put on by The Physics of Meaning ‚Äì it’s kind of a ridiculous name, but this foursome fronted by an intense violinist is destined for big things. They’ve got the same sort of integrity and gorgeousness that makes other North Carolina-bred bands (like Annuals) so loveable.
Good times!
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The Physics of Meaning

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Donovan Quinn & the 13th Month

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Au

Photos c/o Mark Iantosca

Carpark/Paw Tracks Showcase @ LPR

Last night I was fortunate to make it out to the Carpark/Paw Tracks showcase. I think it goes without saying that bands like Ecstatic Sunshine and Beach House give pretty consistent stellar performances, so I would like to turn my attention to some of the lesser known acts.
I caught the tail end of Tickley Feather’s show, which was fairly melodic, lo-fi, and sometimes minimalist in all the good ways. I have seen her before and again she came through with a solid offering.
Next up was a personal favorite of mine. I will preface this and say that I understand that Excepter’s noisey/dancey/provoking aesthetic isn’t for everybody. However, they have provided me with some of the best dance shows I have ever seen/heard. Often, you can never predict what they will do. This time they leaned towards the noise, slightly performance art side of their performances‚Äîsinger John Fell Ryan even wielded a knife throughout a good portion of the set. All I have to say is give Excepter a couple of chances before you make up your mind.
Adventure was an artist that I wasn’t familiar with until this show. His sound is in keeping with the Baltimore future shock sound. And, he was able to get a good portion of the crowd dancing by the end of his set.
Last but not least, the newest addition to Paw Tracks is native Mississippians Dent May and His Magnificent Ukelele. This was the most unusual band on the bill. The sound has elements of country and folk music (perhaps a nod to zydeco) straight from the backwoods of the Delta‚Äîsung by a younger indie rock kid. At first listen, it might be difficult to understand how this act fits with the Paw Tracks family. However, I kept thinking of how charming and familiar the music sounded and didn’t really care if it fit with the overall Paw Tracks aesthetic. I will definitely catch him again when he comes around. Epic win.
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Adventure
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Dent May and His Magnificent Ukelele