Archive for May 12, 2008

No Age, High Places, and Fiasco @ The Bowery Ballroom. Tuesday May 6th, 2008.

Posted in music, shows, Tom with tags , , , on May 12, 2008 by criticalreviews

Tuesday was a day of celebration. KLK presented her thesis, I took a half day off of work, and No Age released their first full length Nouns. We got to the show about ten after nine, and unfortunately Fiasco was already playing.

I had read about Fiasco on Oh My Rockness:

The young band is comprised of three mid-teenage guys from Brooklyn who (so far) seem to have grown up listening to all the right stuff. They especially like Sonic Youth’s feedback madness, Lightning Bolt’s distorted bass messiness, and Shellac’s scratchy rawness.
Make no mistake, this is punk rock. But there’s definitely a Strokes-y element to their vocals that make their noise pretty melodic, too.

Those are big words for a band that is so young (probably no older than 18), but they were great and played really well despite the fact that they kept making the “We Suck” joke (they might be young and insecure, but they are really fun to watch …I guess being insecure is better than being cocky). Their music is definitely punk, but almost more appropriately could be called chaotic rock. Besides the influences sited I definitely felt some Nirvana, Q and Not U, and Black Eyes in their music too. The guitarist, Jonathan Edelstein, and bassist, Lucian Buscemi, switched up instruments while playing, and both sang too. Their set up was interesting with drummer, Julian Bennett Holmes, up front while Edelstein was playing toward the back of the stage. For a young band they are doing really interesting things musically, including Edelstein doing some innovative finger tapping (utilizing this technique for both technical rifs, as well as making dancey beats). I was totally impressed with them musically, and if these kids are this good now I can’t wait to see what they turn into over the next couple of years. While they were playing there were a bunch of teens moshing up front (the show was 16+ and rightfully so), they were fun to watch and fairly courteous to the already really packed crowd.

High Places played second and, I am sad to say, was the least exciting act of the night. I have heard a couple people say recently that they “really like high places, but they don’t really do it for them live.” And while I love High Places I can definitely see this . I enjoy seeing them play, but after a couple of times their performances start to run together in my mind. Honestly they were all pretty much the same…a couple tracks off of the digital download, and a bunch of new stuff…so much the same that I am starting to recognize some of the new songs that haven’t been released yet. I’ll continue to buy their releases, and see them live, but I’m not sure that High Places alone can bring me out to a show (yet their full length coming out on Thrill Jockey is still one of the albums that I am anticipating most this year!). For more of my thoughts on High Places go here or here.

No Age had a big Tuesday, playing their album release show to a sold out Bowery Ballroom. I got the impression that they wouldn’t have been playing here if Todd P was in town, because they even mentioned that he was in Central America (not sure if this was commentary on the show not being all ages). Todd P or not the show was still a blast, and everyone was dancing within seconds of the first song.

I am honestly a fairly recent fan of No Age. I saw one of their music videos on New York Noise, and have listened to the music on their websites(I liked them right off the bat, and had even considered ordering some of their eps from Upset the Rhythm) , but had not bought anything until Nouns. For those who haven’t checked them out yet…No Age is a drum and guitar duo (Randy Randall and Dean Allen Spunt) that play noisy experimental rock, some might call it punk but I think that is more of the attitude that the band has than the sound (don’t really sound like Times New Viking, but I would love to see them play together).

No Age, honestly seemed a little older in person than I expected them to be (they look super young in these press photos), and this was refreshing because I was starting to feel old after seeing Fiasco (I’m only 24).

There was a pretty big mosh pit, and for the most part it was courteous…there were some lame people that weren’t being considerate: knocking down girls who were dancing, and pretty much acting like a gorilla (reminded me of some of the meat ball hardcore shows I went to when I was in middle school). Despite the couple lame people in the pit No Age is one of the most fun bands I have seen live in a quite a while. They play loud, hard, and fast…I think it would have been hard not to be bouncing around a little during their set. I’m really excited that they will be playing at South Street Seaport on Friday July 11th with Abe Vigoda (and unfortunately Telepathe). This summer is looking pretty good.

Media:

No Age “Eraser” off of Nouns

No Age live at Other Music!

Listen to High Places!

Listen to Fiasco here!

Photo Credits:

No Age at Bowery Ballroom by Staticsilence (via vlickr)

Fiasco at the Silent Barn by this meik (via flickr)

*Sorry about the lack in posting…it has been a busy two weeks. I hope to be back up to normal posting speed this week.

(Tom)