Natural Born Kissers, Big Girl, Lola Star @ Elsewhere Zone One

Natural Born Kissers, Big Girl, Lola Star @ Elsewhere Zone One

Natural Born Kissers at Elsewhere Zone One (photo by Riss Williams)

 

I found the Natural Born Kissers show at Elsewhere Zone 1 the way I find a lot of shows—by looking through venue calendars and listening to upcoming bands until I find something I like. And lately I’ve been big on indie and shoegaze so this lineup was super appealing to me. 

 

The show was openned up by Lola Star, an NYC-based shoegaze band with a couple members from another dreamy rock band, waveform*. I was interested in seeing this band in particular after hearing their self-titled EP that came out last year. Their sound has the classic dissonance of bedroom pop and ringing high notes reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine. While I’m sad I got there a little too late to see their entire set, I did enjoy their performance and would see them again. 

 

As for the second act, Big Girl, I wasn’t sure of what to expect at first. They only have one song on streaming platforms at the moment so it was hard to grasp how their performance might sound. In retrospect, I’m really glad I got to see the group with fresh eyes; they’re a theatrical force and you can really only feel their full effect in a live setting. Made complete with cherry red vinyl and platform crocs, they put on an amazing show.

 

Big Girl

Big Girl

 

Big Girl’s act is campy, electric, and gives Rocky Horror Picture Show energy. With choreographed dancing and saturated stage outfits, I almost felt like this show could be taken to Broadway. I loved how unique their set was and the dynamic energy singer Kaitlin Pelkey brought to each and every track. 

 

If you’d like to see Big Girl perform, you can find them at The Broadway in Brooklyn on Sat 8/20 for their “Summer Sickness” single release. You can pre-save the track here, as well.

 

Headlining band Natural Born Kissers went on last. Their performance was angsty and infectiously sweet, something to be expected from their self-described “picnic punk” genre. Singer Mika Itkin-Weinstein hopped around in a yellow cottage-core dress and pigtails while her bandmates grounded the stage. The crowd echoed their energy right back and it felt a bit like a homecoming. This made sense as it was their first show since 2019—and they made an inspiring comeback. Everyone knew the words, Itkin-Weinstein killed the performance with her shoes off, and the crowd got the band to do an encore. The real kind where they had to ask the sound crew to turn the stage back on. 

 

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers

 

They played a number of songs and included their new single, “thing I do when I’m alone.” The band also covered “Sweet Jane” by The Velvet Underground with the help of lyrics written in a small, picnic-friendly notebook. 

 

While I’m not sure of who to compare them to in terms of active bands, they do remind me a bit of early No Doubt. Whether you’re a No Doubt fan or just want to hear a band with their own distinct sound, I’d suggest giving Natural Born Kissers a listen if you haven’t already. 

 

Natural Born Kissers “things i do when i’m alone”

 

Listen to their new single above and find it on all streaming platforms. Follow them on Instagram to find out when they play next.

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Riss Williams)

 

LOLA STAR

Lola Star performing

Lola Star performing

Lola Star performing

Lola Star performing

Lola Star performing

Lola Star performing

Lola Star performing

Lola Star performing

Lola Star performing

Lola Star performing

Lola Star performing

 

 

BIG GIRL

Big Girl performing

Big Girl performing

Big Girl performing

Big Girl performing

Big Girl performing

Big Girl performing

Big Girl performing

Big Girl performing

Big Girl performing

Big Girl performing

Big Girl performing

Big Girl performing

Big Girl performing

Big Girl performing

 

 

NATURAL BORN KISSERS

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers performing

Natural Born Kissers performing

Blü Anxxiety, Mother Juno, Neuter, DJ Amina Acid @ SL

Blü Anxxiety, Mother Juno, Neuter, DJ Amina Acid @ SL

Blü Anxxiety at SL (photo by Riss Williams)

 

Goth rock band Blü Anxxiety played a secret location in Brooklyn on July 21st alongside Mother Juno, Neuter, and DJ Amina Acid. The show was dark, hot as hell (people were literally taking their clothes off), and gave the David Lynch vibes that you can really only get from a DIY space.

 

Neuter, a solo electronic artist, opened with dangerously loud noise and an array of electronics that almost felt like an art installation. Their performance was anything but ordinary with nails-on-a-chalkboard screeching, harsh light shining through a loose bicycle wheel, and their own ambling around a table of synthesizers. What I saw of the performance was short (I came in a little late), but interesting nonetheless. All I had for earplugs was toilet paper and Neuter put two-ply to the ultimate strength test. 

 

Then Mother Juno set up. Their red light was gorgeous so I had to take a snap before they even got started. The performance brought gothy beats and shrouded vocals. Mixed with all the fog and dancing, they really turned the space into a nightclub during their set. The visuals were like something out of a nightmare and the bops infectious—I’d definitely see them again for that sweet dichotomy.

 

Mother Juno performing

Mother Juno

 

Between Mother Juno and Blü Anxxiety, DJ Amina Acid filled the space with beats suitable for the graveyard vibes of the night. Then Blü Anxxiety was up.

 

The first thing I noticed about them was their iconic look—they wore nun headpieces (a cornette according to Google) and gowns. The singer, Chi Orengo, blacked out their teeth, and of course black nail polish was present for church. Orengo connected with the crowd, mostly singing off stage and engaging all the people in front. Blü Anxxiety’s music had a blend of rock, hip-hop, and political dissent. While I couldn’t totally make out what I was listening to with the kind if production you might expect in a DIY space, the performance was clearly passionate and I admire the band for fighting through the heat to deliver their message to the world.

 

Blu Anxxiety

Blü Anxxiety

 

Overall I’m really glad I went and I’d go to shows at this space again. I wish I could share where it is, but you might just need to find that out the hard way.

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Riss Williams)

NEUTER

Neuter performing

Neuter performing

Neuter performing

Neuter performing

Neuter performing

Neuter performing

Neuter performing

MOTHER JUNO

Mother Juno

Mother Juno

Mother Juno performing

Mother Juno performing

Mother Juno performing

Mother Juno performing

Mother Juno performing

Mother Juno performing

Mother Juno performing

Mother Juno performing

Mother Juno performing

 

 

 

BLÜ ANXXIETY

Blu Anxxiety

Blu Anxxiety

Blu Anxxiety

Blu Anxxiety

Blu Anxxiety

Blu Anxxiety

Blu Anxxiety

Blu Anxxiety

Blu Anxxiety

Blu Anxxiety

Blu Anxxiety

Blu Anxxiety

Blu Anxxiety

Blu Anxxiety

Godcaster,  Venus Twins, Griffy Jones and the Phantom Band @ The Broadway

Godcaster, Venus Twins, Griffy Jones and the Phantom Band @ The Broadway

Venus Twins at The Broadway (photo by Riss Williams)

 

Being relatively new to the NYC music scene, I like to go through show listings (like we have here every week) and listen to bands I’ve never heard of. That’s how I got into the local noise rock band, Venus Twins. After listening to a few tracks, I knew I’d love them live and got a ticket for their show at The Broadway in Bushwick.

 

The night started off with Griffy Jones and the Phantom Band, a folky band sporting an upright bass. Their performance gave a warm summer camp vibe, as if they met around a fire in high school. The band’s Instagram page would imply that they have several members, but only three were performing, which might explain why their performance felt a bit less layered than their studio recordings. Either way, the set was pleasant and suited the summer heat.

 

Venus Twins played after with a set of fast heavy-hitters to celebrate their newly released single, “Return to Dust.” The twins, Matt and Jake Derting, created that whirring wall of sound that I look for in live shows – the ephemeral type that hits you in the face and you wish would never end. Their bassist’s strap holder broke on song two, but they held it together and did a really good job of pushing forward with the same energy. Overall the set was awesome and the twins’ sonic output is impressive for a two-piece band. 

 

Venus Twins “Return To Dust”

 

Godcaster (listed on the ticket as “C Dogtears”) played afterwards with a lineup of dynamic songs and stage theatrics to match. I looked up the band afterwards to find out that they’ve opened for others like of Montreal, and I totally see the fit. (See our coverage from November 2021 when they played with Sloppy Jane.)

 

If you’re looking to get into some noise rock anytime soon, I’d highly recommend seeing Venus Twins Tuesday, August 9th at Market Hotel

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Riss Williams)

 

GRIFFY JONES AND THE PHANTOM BAND

Griffy Jones and the Phantom Band performing

Griffy Jones and the Phantom Band performing

Griffy Jones and the Phantom Band performing

Griffy Jones and the Phantom Band

Griffy Jones and the Phantom Band

Griffy Jones and the Phantom Band

Griffy Jones and the Phantom Band performing

Griffy Jones and the Phantom Band performing

Griffy Jones and the Phantom Band performing

 

 

VENUS TWINS

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

 

 

 

GODCASTER

Godcaster performing

Godcaster performing

Godcaster performing

Godcaster performing

Godcaster performing

Godcaster performing

Godcaster performing

Godcaster performing

Godcaster performing

Godcaster performing

Godcaster performing

Godcaster performing

Godcaster performing

 

Anysia Kym, cumgirl 8, Jack Powers @ Elsewhere

Anysia Kym, cumgirl 8, Jack Powers @ Elsewhere

cumgirl 8 at Elsewhere (photo by Riss Williams)

 

I stumbled upon the band cumgirl8 about a month ago and with such a standout name, I had to give them a listen. Their music was punky and alienesque, so of course I had to see how their music would translate to a live show so I headed to their recent show at Elsewhere.

 

The show was opened by Deep Breath who I unfortunately missed, but I made it in time for Jack Powers who took the stage next to lead a poppy set with his two leather-clad dancers. Powers brought a lot of energy to the space and made an impression with lyrics like, “I cut my cheeks like an Italian steak,” (referring to make-up, of course). He even had his dancers in a match with boxing gloves toward the end of his performance. 

 

Up next was cumgirl8, arriving in layered lingerie outfits to match their sex-positive title. They brought a no-fucks-given essence that even had some fans freeing the nipple. To say the least, these women have a lot of guts and I admire them for it. 

 

They played nearly every song from their self-titled album – my favorite being “Waffles”, a bass-heavy bop with a chorus about breakfast foods. The group closed their set with a campy synth track called “I Wanna Be”, bringing Jack Powers back up to turn the stage into an impromptu party. I love that cumgirl8’s music blends a 1970’s punk influence with otherworldly synthesizers and a bounciness only their songs can describe. Their sound is fresh, fun, and downright weird (in a good way).

 

After cumgirl8’s performance, Anysia Kym rounded out the night with clean, punchy beats. The crowd danced and mingled until people started heading out.

 

Overall I’d highly recommend cumgirl8 to anyone wanting to see a show that feels like the heartbeat of New York City nightlife – bright, odd, and fantastically unpredictable. 

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Riss Williams)

 

JACK POWERS

Jack Powers performing

Jack Powers performing

Jack Powers performing

Jack Powers performing

 

 

CUMGIRL 8

cumgirl8 performing

cumgirl8 performing

cumgirl8 performing

cumgirl8 performing

cumgirl8 performing

cumgirl8 performing

cumgirl8 performing

cumgirl8 performing

cumgirl8 performing

cumgirl8 performing

cumgirl8 performing

cumgirl8 performing

cumgirl8 performing

 

 

ANYSIA KIM

Anysia Kym performing

Anysia Kym performing

Anysia Kym performing