FTA’s Bandcamp Friday Picks May 2023

FTA’s Bandcamp Friday Picks May 2023

 

Hello and welcome to FTA’s list of what we are excited for this Bandcamp Friday, aka every music nerds favorite day! A bunch of us weighed in on what we’ve been into lately and we’ve got plenty of goodies old and new for you to dig into over a wide range of genres. But don’t take our word for it, dive into these tracks/albums and judge for yourself. Feel free to let us know what you think and tell us your suggestions.

 

Check out some of our past lists here: April 2022, May 2022, June 2022September 2022October 2022November 2022December 2022February 2023, March 2023 and April 2023.

 

Kate Hoos- Editor In Chief

Goblin DaycareQ: EP? A: EP!! If you follow me on social media, you’ll likely know my nickname at work (and increasingly otherwise) is “the Goblin,” so you can imagine my reaction when I first saw the name of this band and that I thought it was very funny; of cooooourse I had to listen! The project of “Mama Goblin” (I’m okay sharing names here, ha!) it’s billed as “lo-fi punk for low-life punks/bedroom punk,” and sounds like it was recorded in said bedroom’s closet beneath a layer of cozy blankets. It’s fast and freaky and indeed very lo-fi—in all the best ways—with standout songs about killing landlords, “Landlordocide!” and hating cops “Officer Down!:)” so right in line with my world view too. This is a really fun way to spend eight minutes and thirteen seconds.

 

NeckingCut Your Teeth. In the last year or so, it seems like I keep hearing a ton of great stuff coming out of Canada (Bad Waitress, The Dog Indiana, Hot Garbage and Gloin to name a few), and when I recently watched an episode of a popular TV show on Showtime (aka Yellowjackets) I discovered yet another addition to my list. Necking performs their song “Big Mouth” in a scene on the show and while watching I thought “this is pretty good I should look it up,” which I did after the episode. Turns out the full album, Cut Your Teeth, is in fact really good and right in the wheelhouse of bands I already like anyway. The song in the show, “Big Mouth,” is definitely a standout, but my favorites from the album are “Still Exist” and “No Playtime.”

 

As an unabashed champion of all things DIY and local bands forever, I tip my hat to the music supervisor from Yellowjackets for picking a Vancouver local to get the nod to be on the show instead of bringing in a bigger more well known act. Here’s hoping a new album and perhaps a visit to NYC will not be too far off in the future for this “febreze punk” foursome.

Promykijeb jeb jeb. It’s noisy and raw, a bit lo-fi and also a little bit weird, almost like a riot grrrl band from 1992 and a noise rock band (from a nebulous time period) jammed in a blender. And I fucking love it. I was recently introduced to this Polish band via a music sharing “club” aka group on Facebook (one of the last remaining reasons I remain on that trash heap of a platform truth be told) and loved this, their brand new EP just released in March. They have a solid album, Plastik, which came out in 2022 that I also recommend. How do we get this band across the ocean and into a dive bar in Brooklyn? Asking for a friend.

Jenifun- Webmistress

The AnchoressVersions EP 3. There’s just so much good stuff coming out of Wales right now. The Anchoress being one of them and so absolutely sublime.

Maid of AceMaid of AceGreat stuff from England’s south coast.

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs– Land of SleeperSo loud, so good, such decent blokes too! I say this album, and especially the first track “Ultimate Hammer” on repeat! Check out our coverage from their recent NYC debut. 

 

Kate Bell-Contributing Writer

Constant Smiles– Kenneth Anger.

Display Homes– What If You’re Right & They’re Wrong?

 Dorthia Cottrell– Death Folk Country.

Hard NipsMaster Cat. 

 Scam Likely– Getting Worse.

Telehealth– Content Oscillator.

 Worriers– Warm Blanket.

 

Kyle Ostrander- Contributing Photographer

REZN– SolaceREZN released this album in March, and it’s six tracks of sludge metal goodness filled with heavy guitars, psychedelic vocals, and even the occasional saxophone. The whole album is great, but the standout track for me is the title-track, Solace. Recommended if you like Sleep, Monolord, or Dozer.

 

Mike Borchardt- NYC Scene Editor

CattyScratch.

GorgeousEgg.

Red Tank!Dreams & Monsters.

 

Ray Rusinak-Contributing Photographer

Lachlan Denton– FurnishingsLachlan Denton hails from Melbs (as the Ausies call it). Sort of a follow up to his 2019 release, A Brother, which dealt with the grief of losing his brother the previous year, Furnishings continues with this grieving process. This time its four years down the road and we find Lachlan in the acceptance stage of the process. Furnishings provides the listener with a beautiful lo-fi set of songs which still has the sadness of loss looming over it but with a feeling of hopefulness and optimism creeping through the edges. 

LoOn, The Jansen, & The Caroline’s– Flowery MelancholiaThis six-song, three-way split-EP released on Indonesia’s Paska Records offers up a nice mix and indicative representation of what each of these three bands have to offer. (Side note: I was drawn to this EP solely based on the name off of the record label. Paska is also the name for Slovakian Easter bread and it brings fond memories to my brain). With Flowery Melancholia you get the fluffy feel good power pop of LoOn (think late Veronica Falls) and The Caroline’s (RIYL Allo Darlin‘) juxtaposed with the somewhat heavier and rockier feel of The Jansen (imagine The Ramones singing in Indonesian). 

The Sprouts– Eat Your GreensThis Melbourne quartet makes jangly bedroom powerpop for the sad and lonely crowd. Simple melodies accompanied by just as simple instrumentation make this album sound like it was in fact recorded in a bedroom using Garageband. But in the case of Eat Your Greens, less is very much more and better; the lack of sonic clutter suits the material just perfectly. If you’re already a fan of the so-called Melbourne sound, Eat Your Greens ought to be an album that’ll tickle your fancy. And if you’re not, but still love some good old understated jangly power pop, use this one to start your journey down that Aussie rabbit hole.

 

 

 

JOHN announce new single, first North American tour

JOHN announce new single, first North American tour

JOHN (photo by Paul Grace)

 

We here at FTA have been long time fans of the London based JOHN, the grungy punk duo of John Newton (lead vocals/drums) and Johnny Healey guitar/backing vocals). They have been mentioned in our Bandcamp Friday picks more than once, made our recent favorite two piece bands list and are always in heavy rotation at FTA headquarters, particularly 2019’s Out Here on the Fringes. They have toured extensively in the UK and Europe with the likes of some of our favorites— IDLES, Metz, and Mclusky— and I know I definitely have been anxiously awaiting my own chance to see them live over on this side of the Atlantic.

 

So you can imagine I was thrilled at the news that they will soon be making their “maiden voyage” across the pond and onto the hellfire shores of ‘Murica (with one Canadian date) for a 15 date tour this October, including a stop in New York at Saint Vitus for the final show of the run.

 

Along with the tour announcement comes a brand new song and video, “Trauma Mosaic,” which sees them pushing forward in the exciting new direction they began exploring last year with “Theme New Bond Junior,” (read our thoughts), and continues in this more subtle approach for the band. It’s not a totally radical shift though and they do stay true to the sound that is their foundation, but they have broadened the expanse of that sound and the perceived limits of a two piece punk band in the process. Newtown holds his signature growl back a bit to show off his vocal range nicely, the satisfying gruffness kicking in as the guitars intensify and the song hits the soaring choruses. I’ve loved getting to hear another side of this band who as it turns out, are just as great at pulling back and riding a feeling as they are as crafting rip roaring shout it out punk anthems. The song does just that, the last nearly three minutes spent on a building jam that hits a fever pitch in the waning minute before things settle down once more and we’re left to contemplate as the guitar echos away.

 

Newton shared about the song and video:

 

There’s a deliberate, claustrophobic repetition to the earlier stages of the song/video, which mirrors the very human tendency to obsess in cycles of thought  — it’s certainly something we
both struggle with as individuals. If you take the title more literally, we all contain a patchwork
of images sewn together from the past, and these memories are used as a map of survival
within our present. These primal instincts seem overloaded nowadays, and we
become open to be haunted by even 
the slightest reflection.”

 

The song also comes paired with a video directed by Newton and the band’s long time collaborator Paul Grace. Watch the video below and scroll down for all North American Tour Dates.

 

 

JOHN tour poster

 

All dates with Tunic

10/3- Phoenix, AZ @ Linger Longer Lounge

10/4- Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo

10/5- Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room

10/7- San Francisco, CA @ Brick and Mortar

10/10- Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern

10/11- Portland, OR @ Mission Theater

10/13- Salt Lake City, UT @ The DLC

10/14- Denver, CO @ Skylark Lounge

10/17- St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway

10/18- Chicago, IL @ Schubas

10/20- Toronto, ON @ The Baby G

10/21- Columbus, OH @ The Basement

10/24- Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie

10/25- Washington, DC @ DC9

10/26- Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus

 

 

Brooklyn Music Community Pays Tribute to “Fever To Tell”

Brooklyn Music Community Pays Tribute to “Fever To Tell”

Cool Kids Belong Together: A Tribute to “Fever To Tell” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (art by Dima Drjuchin)

 

Being a true music nerd who cut her teeth and cemented her music tastes/habits in the the 90s and early 2000s, I am a huge fan of a comp to tell a story—of a scene, of a label, of a moment in time—and a covers comp is perhaps the best way to tell the story of a landmark album and the impact it had on a city. And even more than that, the mark it made on the cultural landscape of DIY music within that city and how its legacy continues in the scenes that exist today because of it.

 

Just in time for the 20th anniversary of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs debut album, Fever To Tell—which was released on 4/29/2003—the Brooklyn music community has created just such a comp to pay tribute to, and tell the story of, the album and the creative seeds it sowed, inspiring countless musicians in the two decades since to blaze their own musical paths and forge unique sonic identities. Twelve bands in all have left their individual marks on each song from the now classic album, interpreting the songs in new and compelling ways, just as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs did with their fresh retelling of rock music that ended a decade of grunge and nu metal, and helped kick off an indie rock revolution.

 

Jon Daily (who plays drums in Kissed by an Animal and sings in The Black Black) is instrumental in running the DIY spot East Williamsburg Econolodge aka EWEL which also serves as the nucleus for the scene that created the comp. He shared that the idea arose like many great DIY ideas do, when shooting the shit after a show: “A handful of us were just talking after an Econo show one night and the idea of putting out a cover album compilation came up. We thought it’d be a fun project and a good way for a bunch of us all to be on a record together. I always loved comps when I was younger and first discovering independent music. It was a great way to hear a bunch of bands and I would usually end up getting a full length from one or two of the bands on it. We wanted to do a record by a New York band that we all loved and that was perfect the entire way through. Kasey (from AVSE) suggested Fever To Tell, and we pretty much all went, ‘Yeah, that’s the one’.”

 

 

And thus began the process of coordinating the project, picking the bands and doling out the songs as well as recording, all of which speak to the commitment all of these bands have to DIY and the special place it holds in our lives. Working around full time jobs, partners, kids in some cases, and numerous other commitments, the bands all came together to make this comp a reality. Daily shared on the selection process: “We asked bands that were around Econo Lodge—hanging out there and playing shows there. Unfortunately there were more bands we wanted involved than there were songs on the album so we originally planned to ask other bands to do other YYY tunes, but the project started ballooning and we had to limit it to the twelve songs on the album. Hopefully we’ll do another comp soon and we can get more bands involved. Once we had all the bands on board we asked them to rank three or four songs from the album that they wanted to do. And then we just kind of mixed and matched to get to a place where we felt like everyone would be reasonably happy and where we felt like we’d have a cool mix of styles and approaches.”

 

The comp also got the blessing of the band and Daily told us that drummer Brian Chase was “very supportive and got that we were doing this from a place of love,” adding “I was really impressed that he listened to all of the songs and he seemed to be into it.”  

 

Daily also related that the album was an big inspiration to his younger self and said, “Today, being an active musician in the DIY Brooklyn scene, and being a part of making this tribute, really feels full circle for me. While the records I make with my bands don’t have the impact that FTT did and don’t sell even in the same ballpark as that record did, the fact that I’m part of a community that can come together and make this record is mind blowing to me. If people take one thing away from this release, I hope it’s the power of community. There’s no way I could have done this by myself, nor would I have wanted to. It’s the support and the excellence of craft of the people in this community that made this happen.”

 

 

Perhaps most poignantly, he also reflected on the place of love that made this tribute possible and what it means to be creating DIY art and music in an increasingly hostile world, in a city that has so radically transformed—and not for the better—since Fever To Tell was released: “To me, the DIY ethos and the community around that is so important right now. We are living in a world that is increasingly dominated by global media. We are constantly inundated with incredibly talented people pushing their very highly produced entertainment at us with tons of money fueling that push. It’s very easy to feel like nothing we would make is worthwhile because it won’t be able to compete at that level. But it’s so important for us to express ourselves in creative ways, because if we can’t, that energy ends up coming out in destructive ways,” a sentiment anyone who has a creative bone in their body can surely agree with.

 

He went on to say “I find the act of creation to be incredibly soothing—it helps me feel worthwhile on this very crowded planet where it is very easy to feel not good enough and unvalued. I see the creation of art in a local community as part of a self fulfilling creative cycle. Just because I can’t write a song that gets a million plays on Spotify does not mean it’s not worth it for me to write that song. It’s worth it to me, and it’s worth it to the community that I live in, because it helps me feel good, and I use my own good feelings to support those around me to make their own art and so forth and so on.” 

 

This comp is indeed full circle and beyond for the musicians who had a hand in making it, a true love letter from the DIY community of NYC. You can’t ask for a more fitting tribute than that.

 

Cool Kids Belong Together is available now for digital pre-order from EWEL Records and has also been pressed as a limited run vinyl edition for Record Store Day available in local shops or direct from EWEL.

 

Tracklisting:

  1. Ilithios (ft. Ana Becker)- Rich
  2. The Black Black– Date With the Night
  3. Phantom Handshakes– Man
  4. Gorgeous– Tick
  5. Desert Sharks– Black Tongue 
  6. Nihiloceros– Pin
  7. Shadow Monster– Cold Light
  8. A Very Special Episode– No No No
  9. DDMD- Maps
  10. The Royal They– Y Control
  11. Kissed by an Animal– Modern Romance
  12. Awful Din– Poor Song
SXSW Part Two

SXSW Part Two

Sunflower Bean at SXSW (photo by Shasha Léonard)

 

And here we are with Part Two of our SXSW coverage! Be sure to check out Part One.

 

DAY 4 – Thursday, March 16th 2023

 

Thursday afternoon was a late start, beginning in the Red River District where we popped into The 13th Floor to catch Militarie Gun, an LA hardcore band that formed in 2020. Through their thrashes and screams comes a real sense of tenderness being conveyed by lead singer Ian Shelton. 

 

Militarie Gun performing

Militarie Gun performing

Militarie Gun performing

Militarie Gun performing

Militarie Gun performing

Militarie Gun performing

Militarie Gun performing

Militarie Gun performing

Militarie Gun performing

Militarie Gun performing

 

The Plastic Picnic guys and I enjoyed some free hard seltzers at a random spot and then sought the promise of shade at Stubb’s, where Sunflower Bean was in the middle of their set. I realized the last time I saw them play was their EP release at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn in 2015. At that time, I had no idea who they were yet, but the friend who brought me was pals with Julia Cummings and promised a good show. There was even a little mosh pit. On stage in Austin, Cummings was wearing what looked like a horse hair collar around her neck, the words “unsigned” emblazoned in black across it. 

 

Sunflower Bean performing

Sunflower Bean performing

Sunflower Bean performing

Sunflower Bean performing

Sunflower Bean performing

Sunflower Bean performing

Sunflower Bean performing

Sunflower Bean performing

Sunflower Bean performing

Sunflower Bean performing

Sunflower Bean performing

 

Up next was a band I was unfamiliar with, but quickly learned were Austin darlings from the early aughts: Voxtrot. They are a five-piece indie band, somewhere between the sound of early Vampire Weekend and Arctic Monkeys, that had reformed not long before SXSW. After breaking up in 2010, their set at Stubb’s was part of the reunion they started last year with a short East Coast tour that hit NYC in September 2022 at Webster Hall. 

 

Voxtrot performing

Voxtrot performing

Voxtrot performing

Voxtrot performing

Voxtrot performing

Voxtrot performing

Voxtrot performing

Voxtrot performing

 

I next crossed over east to Low Down Lounge where my favorite identical twins were playing back to back sets with Die Spitz—a noise-punk match made in Hell. Venus Twins is comprised of only bass and drums, and Jake and Matt Derting are the only twins I know that lean into the whole telepathy thing. I first saw the two play at the Brooklyn DIY spot Rubulad just before the pandemic and have been hooked on their explosive music ever since. Their 2022 album RAXIS is a tight production but their live shows are a whole other beast. It makes sense that the brothers champion Venus, the hottest fucking planet in the solar system. 

 

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

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

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

Venus Twins performing

 

A SXSW highlight for me was getting to see Die Spitz up front and personal. It’s thrilling to recognize the band you’re watching is fronting the next wave of Kathleen Hanna’s and Joan Jett’s in the post-pandemic era. For a relatively new band where the median age is 19, this group of four is catching fire in the local Austin scene. The lead singer has the face of an angel and the voice of Satan. The bassist looks ecstatically possessed. The guitarist and drummer swap instruments effortlessly. What is it about this band that makes me think of blood? Fresh meat up on the industry chopping block? Or in the teeth of the very youthful, very hungry?

 

In any case, when Cyndi said girls just wanna have fun, I’m pretty sure she imagined a Die Spitz live show.

 

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

Die Spitz performing

 

DAY 5 – Friday, March 17th 2023

 

Cheer Up Charlies made another easy day for me with their excellent line up of grunge, punk, and noise bands. Brooklyn-based Native Sun was a great way to start the day, these guys are notorious showmen and their midday set on the outside stage was jarringly loud—vicious for the hungover crowd. My eardrums have still never recovered from the last show I saw of theirs with my friend and fellow photographer Nico Potosme at The Dance before it closed for good in 2019. Watching frontman Danny Gomez lose it, you have to wonder what kind of toll it takes on someone to exorcise themselves over and over for their music. Of course shows like these are always the most fun to shoot; guitars being thrown, bodies rolling off stage…one man’s hazard is another man’s opportunity for a really exciting shot. 

 

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

 

Model/Actriz played the outdoor stage again and with their tour dates selling out the way they are, I wasn’t taking a free show for granted even if I had seen them earlier in the week. That grinding bass detune Aaron Shapiro does was especially good this set.

 

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

Model/Actriz performing

 

Enumclaw was up next. A Tacoma band with excellent shoes and an honest sound, their tenderness caters to anyone with emo tendencies. You could feel the hometown angst dripping off their music and it kind of made me wish we were at a house show sipping warm beer from cans in the dark.

 

Enumclaw performing

Enumclaw performing

Enumclaw performing

Enumclaw performing

Enumclaw performing

Enumclaw performing

Enumclaw performing

Enumclaw performing

Enumclaw performing

Enumclaw performing

Enumclaw performing

Enumclaw performing

Enumclaw performing

Enumclaw performing

Enumclaw performing

Enumclaw performing

Enumclaw performing

 

I tried to catch Gargoyle, a friend’s new EBM/synthwave project, at Hotel Vegas but got confused and lined up for the wrong indoor stage. Instead I caught the tail end of another Miss Grit set, but the happy coincidence kept me from queuing in another long line. Sorry Gargoyle, next time!

 

Miss Grit performing

Miss Grit performing

Miss Grit performing

Miss Grit performing

Miss Grit performing

Miss Grit performing

 

Avoiding said long line, I didn’t leave the room when the next band got on stage and ended up getting to see a really fun show by Le Couleur, a Montréal based band I hadn’t heard of before but belong side by side with French electro disco artist of a similar psychedelic caliber like L’Imperatrice and La Femme. The lead singer and keyboardist, Laurence Giroux-Do, had all the energy to match the Baltimore Ravens cheerleading outfit she was wearing and more. The crowd ate it up, welcoming the opportunity to finally get to dance like it was a proper nightclub, not a dive bar in the middle of SXSW. This was definitely the most fun show I saw outside of the punk/noise genre during the entire festival and it was a great way to end the night.

 

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

Le Couleur performing

 

DAY 6 – Saturday, March 18th 2023

 

Dawn of the final day of SXSW. I couldn’t call it a slog, it was too enjoyable and too full of good musical surprises to complain about, but it did feel way longer than it actually was. I was glad to be on Plastic Picnic’s show schedule for the last day because having three sets already booked removed a lot of waffling over what shows to see. 

 

First up, a twenty minute drive south to the Do512 Presents showcase at Far Out Lounge. While the band loaded their gear into the green room, I got to give my online friend Aarvi a big hug for the first time IRL. We connected over Instagram after realizing we had both been taking photos of Plastic Picnic at their 2019 show in the basement of the old Songbyrd Music House in Washington DC. After finding out we were both at SXSW earlier in the week we made a point to meet up at this show.

 

Aarvi was hyped for the band just about to play, an indie rock band called Personal Trainer from Amsterdam. I was impressed they managed to get all seven members on stage, let alone all the way from The Netherlands. Their music was somewhere between Cake’s kooky, Franz Ferdinand’s panache, and Pavement’s earnesty; the effect was an entertaining genre-bending whirlwind.

 

Personal Trainer performing

Personal Trainer performing

Personal Trainer performing

Personal Trainer performing

Personal Trainer performing

Personal Trainer performing

Personal Trainer performing

Personal Trainer performing

Personal Trainer performing

Personal Trainer performing

Personal Trainer performing

Personal Trainer performing

Personal Trainer performing

Personal Trainer performing

 

Plastic Picnic has been together for several years now, all past and present members are PNW transplants that moved to Brooklyn for music. Their shimmery sound is surf-pop dreamy and consistently about love, loss, or more often both. Despite this, the average person has been known to sway, or even occasionally dance to, their self proclaimed sad songs. They’ve been compared to The 1975, Tame Impala, and Alvvays. I know these guys too well to feel comfortable writing about them more extensively but their Far Out Lounge show was a well played set to a full room.

 

Plastic Picnic performing

Plastic Picnic performing

Plastic Picnic performing

Plastic Picnic performing

Plastic Picnic performing

Plastic Picnic performing

Plastic Picnic performing

Plastic Picnic performing

 

 

Afterwards I watched Sorry Mom, who have a ridiculously irreverent song called “I Fucked Yr Mom” that I was happy to finally see live. Their other tracks are more serious but still tongue in cheek, with a grittiness reminiscent of Le Tigre, GRLwood, and Destroy Boys. Their debut album babyface is being released May 12th of this year.

 

Sorry Mom performing

Sorry Mom performing

Sorry Mom performing

Sorry Mom performing

Sorry Mom performing

Sorry Mom performing

Sorry Mom performing

 

Before driving to Plastic’s next show in East Austin I caught the tail end of Dream Wife’s set outside. Classic, unapologetic femme punk at its finest. 

 

Dream Wife performing

Dream Wife performing

Dream Wife performing

Dream Wife performing

Dream Wife performing

Dream Wife performing

Dream Wife performing

Dream Wife performing

 

The next stop was an outdoor show at Fair Market but the weather was weirdly cold and dreary at that point in the day. The venue was being sponsored by an energy drink called C4, most of which were too tooth achingly sweet to enjoy. Oh, and there was also no food, no alcohol, and no water available once inside the gates. The band had sound checked in the morning but to little effect; the sound engineer had seemingly deleted their settings. All these things led to a lukewarm showing for Plastic Picnic, but honestly, by no real fault of their own. Afterwards a few fans stopped by the stage to say hi and buy some merch before we were all quickly and unceremoniously kicked out of the space…but at least it was a paid gig.

 

Plastic Picnic performing

Plastic Picnic performing

Plastic Picnic performing

Plastic Picnic performing

Plastic Picnic performing

Plastic Picnic performing

Plastic Picnic performing

Plastic Picnic performing

 

After getting to Seven Grand, the last venue of the night, we watched a band from Chicago called Free Range play an acoustic-forward, very mellow set. In the vein of Why Bonnie and Hand Habits, their music is something I’d put on after getting home from a long day; quiet, intimate, and reliable.

 

Free Range performing

Free Range performing

Free Range performing

Free Range performing

Free Range performing

Free Range performing

Free Range performing

Free Range performing

Free Range performing