Monday, June 15, 2009

Showcase Review and Photos

Tristen @ Cameo
First, we must thank long-time friend of Stark, Karp, for all the fabulous photos taken at the Showcase.

The evening began in the Loving Cup Cafe which is attached through a series of speakeasy-esque narrow hallways to the main venue Cameo. We Starkians dined on some fabulous Loving Cup cuisine including pulled pork and massive frittatas before the festivities. A few Side Cars later, we realized it was 8:30 and time to get Tristen on stage.

Tristen (8:30 pm):
There was a pre-show buzz circulating around Tristen who trekked from Nashville with close friend and band-mate Larissa. Aside from Stark reviews, myspace and word-of-mouth, there was little known about Tristen's sound. Donning the stage with vintage cherry red, '66 Gibson, Ukulele, acoustic guitar and cello, the duo of Tristen and Larissa soon quieted the milling audience. Fiery vocal lines and powerful harmonies were unveiled to a highly receptive Brooklyn crowd that was at one point, proclaimed to be "better than in Nashville." Booyah. Tristen was a surprise to most, but made fans out of all. Most fell in love with her and Larissa's quirky stage presence, soul-piercing vocals and quality musicianship. In case you missed Tristen, check out Lakeside Lounge this Wednesday (June 17) or Toad in Boston, MA on June 18.

Read more and see more after the jump.


Pursesnacthers (9:45 pm):

And then there was a full-band. Following Tristen, the Pursesnatchers unleashed a raucous attack of well-crafted, locked down rock jams. There was tons of energy during this performance, which was reciprocated by those in the audience who huddled around the stage, bobbing rhythmically to the music. The give-and-take between the band and the audience was spectacular.

April Smith
April Smith (10:45 pm):
We knew something was going to explode when April Smith loaded in switch boards of effects peddles, had road cases, and a five piece band in tow. Again, the hum in the crowd was that of unknown anticipation. April Smith left little to chance as she stepped toward the mic and unleashed a unique vocal sound with seemingly endless range, not once looking back. The audience took a step back, then five steps forward as the intoxicating sounds and mystique of April Smith took them over. The dark horse of the evening became an instant highlight.

Photo: Chris Becker
Jaymay: (11:45 pm)
There was an unbridled excitement and jump in Jaymay's step Saturday evening. Playing as a trio with electric guitar and upright bass accompaniment, Jaymay revealed some new tunes which will be included on her upcoming EPs. A silent aura of artistry always surrounds Jaymay, only accentuated by her beautiful vocal lines and lyrical craftsmanship. She draws you in only to push you away, leaving you wanted more with every tune. Cameo's alluring lighting arrangement and close-knit feel exacerbated the intimacy of Jaymay's performance. Satisfaction was paramount and widespread afterword.

Xylos (12:45 pm):
A great end to a fantastic night. The tropical-rock stylings of Xylos meshed perfectly with the intoxication levels of the audience and subsequently, their willingness to get up and dance. Upbeat tunes spawned spontaneous dancing and singing capping off a great evening.