While we’re usually anticipating what to do at the CMJ Music Marathon around this time of the year, we’ll just have to find something else to do instead. Fear not, however, because a regular weekend is obviously still packed with things to do and this one is no exception, which is especially well-timed given the political circus and “killer clowns” (maybe they’re the same thing?) stinking up the air.
The seventh Northside festival wrapped up on the 14th of June, with over 100,000 people spending time indulging either music, innovation, film, or a combination of the three. Free Williamsburg staff spent time at various shows from metal to pop acts, among thousands or sometimes only a dozen likeminded souls. The best sets and the ones that got away all feature below.
The term “post-punk” is almost as nauseatingly ubiquitous as saying “indie”, but language is descriptive and lazy-usage aside, post-punk is going to land you smack bang into Viet Cong-territory. The Canadian 4-piece arrive on a wave of expectation due to their outstanding self-titled album that has just been released; Mercury Lounge is suitably packed to the rafters (as was Union Pool the previous night).
With almost the entire city having a “snow” day on Tuesday, the feel of the week is skewed. Thursday feels like Tuesday, which will feel pretty good when the realisation hits. Here are some ideas for the impending weekend that don’t involve watching oversized men throwing a ball around for about 3 seconds then taking a break for 2 minutes, and people have the temerity to call it football.
5) Big Muff Radio, Slonk Donkerson, Sofa Club at Baby’s All Right
Big Muff Radio will be celebrating their latest offering, the synth-tinged Life is Easy, which you get on cassette for free with the cost of admission ($8); not a bad deal even if I’m suspicious of anyone who plays cassette tapes. Also be sure not to miss the rather criminally underrated Slonk Donkerson,if you like power trios and don’t know Slonk Donkerson, check them out and thank me later.
Saturday 11:59pm (Sunday then…)
The Village Voice’s 4 Knots festival is perhaps the most consistently booked free music festival in… well, I want to say the world, but at the risk of sounding myopic, I’ll just say New York City. The 2014 edition, which took place this past Saturday, continued the festival’s tradition of indie guitar hero-heavy bills with the godfather of ’em all at the top of the bill, Dinosaur Jr.
Mascis, Murph and Barlow played a predictably incredible, hit-heavy set (which you can watch highlights from right here) that blew away similarly amazing offers from past headliners like The Men (who are the best live band in Brooklyn) and Archers of Loaf. Thirty well-earned years (THIRTY?!) in the indie rock cannon forced a different stage configuration to accommodate a much larger crowd than we’ve seen in past years. Everyone was there. Even Kim Gordon.
The smaller stage was pushed across South Street into that area where I think they have the “FiDi” Smorgasburg to allow for what looked like Terminal 5-sized crowd for Dinosaur Jr. and Mac DeMarco from the drunken confines of the SS Christgau, docked stage right. While the new configuration made shuffling back and forth from stage to stage somewhat frustrating, (I gave up after enjoying fifteen or twenty minutes of Nude Beach’s set) it’s a small price to pay for a free afternoon of draws on the level of Dinosaur Jr., Mac DeMarco and Speedy Ortiz. [Read more…]
The Village Voice’s annual 4 Knots Music Festival drew thousands of spectators to the South Street Seaport yesterday. Split over 2 stages, the event was graced with the most beautiful weather. We got there just in time to bring you some impressions from Dinosaur jr.‘s, Mac Demarco‘s, Those Darlings‘ and Viet Cong‘s sets. Sorry for the poor audio quality of Demarco’s clip. The sound volume was generally very low and apparently it is true that in 2014 nobody pays attention to the bands on stage anymore but just chatters the day away. On the VIP ship docked right next to the stage, the twenty somethings seemed more concerned with ‘gittin some’ than with what the artists had to offer. Anyway, Dinosaur jr. destroyed as expected, low sound volume or not.
Dinosaur jr. – Freak Scene
Dinosaur Jr. – In A Jar