Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Deer Tick w/Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson & Those Darlins @ Southpaw

Thank god for Deer Tick.
Last night after a few Brooklyn Lagers I was ready to write a novel on this show, mostly in response to the devastating set from Murfreesboro, Tenn.'s, Those Darlins. But, instead of bumming everyone out on a Tuesday morning, I'll keep my criticisms brief, and attempt to be a little positive.

Erica (who took these photos) and I really came to see the oft-buzzed about (even on this blog) Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson. There was definitely anticipation in the mostly packed room, waiting to see what this kid was all about. Playing with a full band, MBAR delivered a passionate and lively set of Dylan influenced-indie rock with hints of folk and country thrown in. MBAR even played a few great guitar solos - a trend I would love to see revived in the indie-rock world. His stage presence was powerful, if not a little cocky, and he seemed to be truly enjoying himself. Overall, high marks for this set. Definitely worth it. Except...
More after the jump & more photos...

His drawbacks stemmed from his vocals. He swallowed every line, and every word. He didn't have the best voice (ok,) but his slurring just became outright annoying. It was bad to the point of almost ruining his set for me, which would have been unfortunate. Hopefully, this is just a trait specific to last night. On to Deer Tick - I'll save Those Darlins for the end...

I've seen Deer Tick twice, once solo and once band-backed. Solo, frontman
John McCauley's songs echoed with the
classic sadness of Townes Van Zandt - with his band, the songs came alive and crackled with energy. His drunken, mostly hilarious stage banter remained the same. McCauley brought along a tasteful and talented upright bass player and drummer for the evenings performance. They laid in the pocket and stayed out of the way and let the almost rockabilly-country songs and vocals come to the forefront. He played a great set focused on songs from his debut record War Elephant, and did not disappoint.
Those Darlins.
Shit. They were AWFUL. Never have I seen a worse set of imitation-country shtick. They did everything in their power, including wearing hot pants and tap dancing to distract from their terrible voices and even worse songs. They played sped up Carter Family-style country, that shockingly people seemed to be enjoying. I liked one song called "Red Light" or something along those lines. Apparently their new
record is being produced by the guy who did Vampire Weekend's record. I don't care if it was produced by T-Bone Burnett, Brian Eno, and Steve Lillywhite together - I would never buy it. Yet, in a hilarious twist - I saw one of them (below) (at least she was cute) becoming very "close" with Mr. Benjamin Anthony Robinson during the Deer Tick set. What good is a blog without a little gossip?

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

whoa. i have to say, i was thoroughly entertained by those darlins... thank god someone is giving new life to a genre that has turned stale and generic in its popular form. those darlins have put the grit, grind and punk back in country. i commend them! (plus, you've got to admit, those girls are seriously hot.)

StarkNY said...

Ok - I agree the genre has gotten stale for sure. There are just much better people out there then Those Darlins. Check out Caitlin Rose from Nashville - just as entertaining, but a better voice and songs.

And only one was really hot - come on now. And the drummer guy in the jacket and tie??

Anonymous said...

ouch

ira kgb said...

Deer Tick rules. Good review.

Anonymous said...

Deer Tick at Knitting Factory tonight July 1 with Death Vessel

nyctaper said...

John didn't "bring along" anyone, that's the rest of the Deer Tick band that's existed for a couple of years now -- the Ryan "brothers" Dennis and Chris.

Ken said...

Commercial content has certainly gotten stale and generic -- to say the least -- but I can show you easily a dozen bands right here in NYC that would blow those kids off the stage in terms of writing, harmonies, and instrumental skills.

Anonymous said...

I was at the show also and Deer Tick was indeed incredible. I sort of disagree with the "hilarious stage banter" part though. It was funny at first but McCauley talked WAY too much in between songs, at least during the first half of the set. I also saw Deer Tick perform a few times in various incarnations and he always seemed like a funny and laid back sorta guy - last night he seemed almost smarmy. A small complaint though given the quality of the music. His voice sounded amazing.

Anonymous said...

he was on last night for sure as was Miles - I couldn't understand him either but I thought the set was amazing.

Anonymous said...

This show was amazing...Deer Tick did not dissapoint and dug Miles...but wish I understood his lyrics.
And what show were you at in terms of the Darlins!?
Hard to believe you didn't enjoy like the rest of the crowd that danced their asses off. I agree with Hud Dot Son...these gals are my new favorite band...and hmm, comparing to Caitlin Rose and a dozen other bands?...I dig Caitlin all right, but the Darlins are so much more fun. They are bringing a raw, rowdy party...

Just different. Loosen up next time?

Anonymous said...

Oh shit, Darlins were great as was MBAR and Deer Tick. To add to the gossip...I think Jon from Deer Tick was smitten by the Darlin sirens. Saw him oggling after the show.

Anonymous said...

listen, you must be a f*ggot or something, because Those Darlins blew away the other bands, and the crowd certainly danced their asses off. Besides I can hardly take serious musical criticism from someone who is paying more attention to who wants to hook up than the acts themselves. Learn how to write, retard

Cheryl said...

I agree with anonymous. who gives a shit about gossip. their set was awesome, and I thought the drummer was cute. you come off as immature and jealous. I bet none of those girls would piss on you if you were burning

Anonymous said...

Yikes, he's just giving his opinion. No need to be mean.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks Those Darlins is any good probably has their bedroom lined with Taylor Swift and Shania Twain posters.

Anonymous said...

Aww Cheryl! You sound like a real sweetheart. Call me--I'd piss on you any time.

Cheryl said...

way to post anonymous comments in your own blog, tony. Real manly.

Anonymous said...

those darlins are mediocre at best. psychos.

Erica Carpiniello said...

i'm backing stark on this one. the actual music isn't terrible but the lyrics and vocals are just awful. granted i'm not really a huge country fan to begin with, but dressing it up with red ruffled hot pants and tap dancing did nothing to sway me. tasteless name calling doesn't either.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

i love spaghetti, and i totally agree! the darlins are all about the party. it makes sense that it won't "sway" everyone, but for me, it's been a long time since any band has made me dance that hard.

that's worth something, no?

Anonymous said...

I think Stark is bang on the mark. Those Darlins have an identity that you could paint on a barn door, which is totally cool, but the music is just not strong. Blog on Stark, don't let the bastards get you down . . .

Coke Wandy Wand said...

This is by far one of the most misinformed and just plain stupid posts I've ever read. I've seen Those Darlins ten times or more and never once have they 'tap danced' - it's called clogging, genius. 'Imitation country schtick?' Nothing imitation about these girls, dude. You can keep your antiseptic 'Dylanesque' (puke) twee-folk hipster bullshit, I'll take Those Darlins any day. And kindly go and eat a dick, ok?