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Thursday, February 04, 2010


As mentioned, I had a good weekend in New York, including Doughnut Plant (lemon, hazelnut), a couple nice brunches, seeing Alex and Alissa's new place in Park Slope, and catching up with an old high school friend.

One thing I wanted to talk about was the show that Alex, Shane and I went to on Friday night. The venue was in Bushwick, Brooklyn, which is a slightly sketchy neighborhood. We got off the subway, and didn't see the club...the only thing on the block was a guy standing next to a metal door that looked like an emergency exit for a warehouse. Amid all the graffiti, the door had a number scrawled on it in marker, and this turned out to match the address of the venue. We paused so Shane could finish his cigarette, but the guy asked us if we were going inside...he said "You can smoke upstairs" (unexpected, given the smoking ban) and shooed us inside. We climbed a narrow stairway, paid our $10, got our IDs checked, and proceeded inside.

The venue appeared to indeed be an old warehouse of some sort. There was only one unisex bathroom, and some people selling drinks from a folding table. Because the building was built between two angled streets, the main room was triangular, with the stage at the apex. But there were lots of people there, a young crowd. Alex observed that the style in which they were dressed was noticeably different from how we're accustomed to seeing people dress at shows. We were presumably just a few years older than most in the crowd, but noting the bit of cultural daylight between us and them did have a way of making one feel old.

The bands were experimental. There was a one-woman guitar drone performance that I liked. The headliner, Oneida, was interesting, but a bit too unstructured for me -- I think noise is good when it acts as a foil for the more ear-pleasing elements, but there was such an onslaught of discordant sound that it was overpowering. However, I think all three of us liked Zs, who managed to take discordant noise and shape it into compelling forms. The band's performance was impressively tight -- it almost seemed like they were applying jazz structures to the weird squalls of sound coming from their instruments (I say this without knowing a thing about jazz, so don't take it too literally).

Anyway, the whole thing was a cool New York experience...

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