Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More From the Pool: Crystal Antlers, Magnolia, Dirty Projectors

Another LOVELY Sunday out at the ole' Jelly sponsored Williamsburg Waterfront. Sunshiney, warm and just generally the best bang for your buck (it's free) you can get on a Sunday (if you can manage to stay away from Time Out New York reporters trying to trick you into being in their "singles" section. There's no easier way for you to stop getting laid, immediately.)

Crystal Antlers were good, not great -- high energy psych/punk songs with great stage presence. Yet, from the "Crystal" name to the group choruses and jangley staccato guitar lines, the 'Antlers were fairly cookie cutter indie rock. Not bad in the least, but certainly needing something to set them apart from the million other bands out there. Hear our thoughts on some recent fashion trends (yup, we're qualified), as well as sets from Dirty Projectors and Magnolia Electric Company alongside more great photos from resident photog Karp

SIDEBAR: I don't know whether it was us or not, but there was a lot of really stupid looking people there yesterday - more than usual. Not trying to jude here - my rolled up jeans did not look the sweetest - but the metallic gold, gladiator boot/sandal combo one girl was wearing was one of the stupidest looking pairs of shoes I've ever seen. It was all downhill from there. Just sayin' is all. Also, the crazy crack-dancer in front of the VIP section was a classic touch. 

Moving swiftly along. Magnolia Electric Company were a bit of a disappointment. We LOVE this band. Yet, outside in the sun, it wasn't the melancholy nature of the music, it was more the lagging tempos that brought the set down. We knew it would be slow and mellow, but not THIS slow. We'll never flatly criticize Jason Molina, but from Magnolia's vast catalog they could have easily brought out a few more uptempo numbers to spice up the vibe for the eager concert-goers. It was nice to hear the new material from Josephine that comes out today though. Of course, the vocals and musicianship were top-notch.

The headliners Dirty Projectors solidified themselves as the front-runner for band of the year. Anyone who claims they ride on hype alone is full of shit. This is a band of immaculately talented musicians (save one or two) who write music that is artistically challenging and accessible at the same time. Yesterday, (for us) was less about a quality show (it wasn't) but more about evaluating the band on a live basis for the first time. From crappy sound to a few sloppy moments on stage, it was clear this wasn't the DP's best show. Yet, from the likes of what we saw - it's obvious this band is capable of great things live. With the right venue and good sound, the Dirty Projectors will easily exceed all expectations. Highlights included the closer "Knotty Pine" (we're still waiting for Byrne to ride his bike on stage in a white suit and sing back-up) all tunes from Rise Above and of course the "hit" Stillness is the Move. 

(me masquerading as a photographer in the photo pit)

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