So I went to a sarcastic late-30's white dude convention and an Austerity Program show broke out.
Austerity Program announced this as a sort of "low-key" show which was to serve as a testing ground for the new material they've been working on recently. They've said that the new stuff is the strongest of their career, and from the two new songs I heard at this show, I might be inclined to agree (and I think Black Madonna and Backsliders are both frickin' awesome).
Anyway, this was a show with a defined curfew; apparently a DJ was taking over the room , at 11, which meant the rockin' and rollin' had to get underway toute de suite. Oh, Don Pedro's... I can remember the days that I found myself mildly intimidated by the douchey "punk" posers that comprise Don Pedro's regular crowd, but those days are loooooong gone. I got inside early, and noticed that a few of these schmucks were taking regular trips to the bathroom every five minutes or so, meaning either that they all suffered from the same UTI, or that they were snortin' stuff. I shortly noticed a telltale baggie of powder being passed back and forth between these bathroom visitors, so I guess it's good to see that cocaine is still in style amongst the obnoxious attention whore trustafarian set.
Queens' own Risk / Reward got the show started around 8ish, and I enjoyed their 90s-influenced songs, at times grungy and recalling stuff like Chavez or Polvo, and at others pulling off tunes that would've fit poifectly between, say, The Gin Blossoms and and The Toadies on your favorite alt-rock radio station 15 to 17 years ago. [Looks like I fucked up and only got this brief clip - oops.]
During Risk / Reward's set, said aforementioned sarcastic ball-busting began in earnest between the members of the small crowd and the bands; of course I barely knew any of the people in the room so I had no fucking clue what they were talking about most of the time, but I usually find it at least reasonably entertaining to hear people randomly insulting each other, so that was good.
Nonagon, all the way from Chi-town, played next. Their website describes them as follows: "[t]hey play loud and abrasive rock with varying time signatures and screamy vocals." Works for me! I thought they split the difference between Am-Rep and Dischord pretty nicely.
Austerity Program closed out the show with a set of tough-as-gravel tunes which (as mentioned before) leaned heavily on new stuff, along with a few songs from their excellent 2010 EP, Backsliders and Apostates Will Burn. The new stuff is incredibly intense, and I'm obviously really looking forward to hearing the record when it comes out (probably not until early '14, according to their website, which also mentions that 1.) the new record has been written; 2.) they won't be playing many local shows coming up; 3.) aaaaaaaahhhh just read it yourself.
If you're interested in hearing another "new" Austerity Program song, check out this post from their previous show in April at Vitus. Tuddd out.
Well, I suppose it's only fitting that the first post here is about The Men, since I've probably listened to more The Men studio recordings this year than any other band. Yes, I realize that they've actually been around for a few years and that, as such, I'm a bit late to the party, but what better way to make up for that than near-complete immersion in the band's discography, right? [Word to the wise - that discog link includes download links to a lot of The Men's rare / out of print stuff, so grab 'em.]
Anyway, after much careful deliberation, I've come to the conclusion that The Men are the best band in Brooklyn right now. Their last two albums, 2011's Leave Home and the more recent Open Your Heart, are nearly flawless, genre hopping primers on how to rock the fuck out in all the best ways. Over the course of these two albums, The Men manage to emulate legends as diverse as Dinosaur Jr., Pissed Jeans, the mighty Led Zep, Guided by Voices, Can, and Harvey Milk, and they even somehow manage to pull off a total Stones rip that doesn't suck. While making one's way through Leave Home and Open Your Heart the listener can't help but assume that these guys must have one helluva great record collection between them.
This was my first time seeing The Men live, due to an inexcusable screwup this summer when I missed them opening for Ty Segall despite actually having tickets to the show. And adding to the anxiety, on this night, we were risking battle with Hurricane Sandy, who was expected to touch down in the evening. Either way, a couple good buddies, Beafv and Bricer, had separately caught sets by The Men last summer, with both of them reporting that the band favors a full set of grimy, adrenalized punk, eschewing the more contemplative or krauty aspects of their catalog entirely. Fair enough. And with The Men taking the stage after 1 AM on this night, much of the crowd (myself included) needed a good kick in the ass, so the more aggro the better, as far as I'm concerned.
The band set the tone (um, like I said, AGGRO) early by opening with "Turn It Around" into "Open Your Heart," and the rest of the set continued apace, with them trying out several new songs along with some stuff I recognized ("Cube," "Night Landing," "()," and "Ex Dreams," um, I think). As expected, everything RAWKED, which is probably the way to go when you're battling the clock (it was nearly 2 AM when they were done), Mother Nature (Hurricane Sandy was fortunately not punctual), and Don Pedro's legendarily awful PA. The set was super fun - loud, sloppy, and aggressive.
So, what to expect from this band going forward? They apparently have a single coming out on Matador sometime soon (?) and according to their website they have a whole new album in the can, as well. It will be interesting to see if they eventually add some less-hyperactive numbers to their set, but even if they don't, they're more than worthwhile in the live setting. RAWK.