Creek & Kills at Parkside Lounge (photo by Kate Hoos)
On a recent sweaty July Friday night, a “multi generational” show went down at Parkside Lounge and this was most certainly true with the band members across the four acts ranging in age from early 20s all the way up to their late 60s. And let me tell you, this is exactly what I love about the vibrant music community in NYC; being at a show where people from every age range all rub shoulders and share the stage like it’s no big deal is my kind of night (and not for the first time in more recent years, I was firmly in the middle aged tier amongst the shows attendees and performers). This was almost every band’s first show back in the (semi) after times and the excitement was palpable in the room among the crowd and musicians alike as everyone settled in for the show.
The Elgin Marbles kicked off the night with a set of 80s flavored indie art rock. They had funny quips and anecdotes between songs and definitely reminded me of a band that would have been right at home in the Athens scene that birthed REM and The B52’s in the late 70s and early 80s. In a maybe subtle, maybe not so subtle, nod to that art rock ethos- their name is taken from the Elgin Marbles after all- more than one of their songs was also about art or “art movements in the early 60s.” I really enjoyed their quirky vibe and it was a great kick off to the night.
Jekssaira hit the stage second, this being the solo venture of Jessie Rodriguez of twee punk band The Loneliers (though she has a backing band on stage with her). I’m a long time fan of The Loneliers, but this was my first time getting to see her perform in this newer project. The single she currently has out “I Want Your Love,” is more in the twee punk vein like her main project, but I immediately noticed the songs the band was performing at the show were a bit darker in tone, showing a shift in Rodriguez’s guitar style; I was very excited to see this other side of her songwriting. I love when I can see musicians growing and shifting as they try different things and move through different projects. An EP is in the works for later this year and I am absolutely ready to hear it.
Creek & Kills not only did the legwork of organizing the night, but also pulled extra rehearsals to make the gig happen as their drummer, Erin Harney, was injured prior to the gig and couldn’t drum. They didn’t show any sign of fatigue with all of that going on behind the scenes and put in a powerhouse performance with Heather Wagner of Elgin Marbles sitting in on drums; Harney- who also sings a significant amount in the band- was on hand and still performed her vocal parts. The songs had a punchier tempo throughout owing to the peppier style of Wagner’s drumming vs. Harney’s more laid back post punk sensibilities, but it really worked and it was an interesting treat as a fan to hear the songs in a different context, something that doesn’t often happen! Vocal duties in the band are shared by bassist Kate Bell and Harney- both being phenomenal singers- belting and crooning separately, and then beautifully harmonizing together. They are gearing up for the release of a new EP “Unstitching” which is due out 8/20; they will perform a release show the same night at 18th Ward Brewing.
Que Sick is absolutely one of the most fun bands I know of; they always look like they are having the time of their lives each and every time they’re on the stage. All four members share vocals across their set and the rhythm section swaps between bass and drums depending on the song, as was common in the heyday of the classic riot grrrl acts of the early 90s. Their sound does remind me of some of the riot grrrl bands of the past, with a healthy dose of the less polished pop punk of the early Lookout! era also fueling the relentless drive of their hyper bops. Lyrical themes range from love of their pet dogs, to “getting ice cream” at Friendly’s and you just can’t help but have a smile on your face listening to lyrics like that. They closed out their set with a cover of “Sugar We’re Going Down,” by Fall Out Boy which I admit was a liiiitle lost on me (remember that “firm middle age” thing. That being the case, I never got into FOB or the emo bands of the early 2000s era) but again, you just can’t help but smile and be caught up in the enthusiasm that Que Sick brings to the stage even if it’s a song you likely wouldn’t listen to outside of the context of a cover. I’m hoping they record some of these songs soon because I would love to have them available on the go, especially as I’m getting ready to commute via the NYC subway to work again, I really need things that will make me smile going through that on a regular basis.
Scroll down to see more pics from the show (photos by Kate Hoos)
CREEK & KILLS