photos by Leia Jospe, words by Andrew Frisicano
the brothers JEFF
MyOpenBar presented a show Above the Auto Parts Store which was one of the last shows of CMJ's rainy Saturday night. Many, like Leia, came directly from the Pitchfork show at Market Hotel. I came from the Neon Indian and Almighty Defenders show in Williamsburg, and missed noise-pop duo Sisters and power trio Screaming Females but caught Surfer Blood (who play DBA tonight, 10/26).
It was at least Surfer Blood's tenth set at the five day festival, but they didn't let it show. Attempting to bring some much needed energy to the waning crowd, the band's additional fifth member worked a percussion rack and a tiny, standard-issue MicroKorg and passed out maracas and shakers to the crowd. Surfer Blood loads its echoey pop with familiar musical and lyrical references. Their song "Twin Peaks," which makes mention of the frequent indie muse (see Mount Eerie's newest album), has a certain Vampire Weekend buoyancy but with a harder edge. Instead of crisp sounds, spacey vocals take the lead through their winding melodic lines and African-inspired rhythms. Surfer Blood were good, but in a tough spot, sandwiched between Screaming Females and JEFF the Brotherhood - two bands that radiate full-on essence of rock - in a mostly empty second-floor garage at 2am.
Spacious as the massive garage was, and with a crowd sized more for a smaller venue like Death By Audio, once JEFF the Brotherhood took the stage everything changed. People who had been idly dozing off, or smoking on the entry ramp as it seemed like more than half were, lined up along the front of the stage to pound their fists on the plywood floor, jump around and more or less go totally fucking nuts. The band (actual brothers) has a heavy, crunchy sound for only two members (something to do with Jake's three-string guitar?) and the rock riffs are leavened with bubblegum hooks and direct choruses that resonate even if you're floating on a sea of hands. It was the perfect introduction to the band.
It was one of a ton of shows for JEFF, including three earlier in the day and a showcase for their Infinity Cat label on Friday, but not their last for long. They go on tour with Shonen Knife (which has two NYC-area stops in November) and open for Ted Leo at Bowery Ballroom on December 6th.
Screaming Females' next show, before they head out with Arctic Monkeys (at Terminal 5 on December 11th) and play a holiday show with Bouncing Souls, will be a benefit at Asbury Lanes for 180 NJ, a non-profit organization set-up to help combat domestic violence & sexual assault. That happens on November 21st with Full of Fancy, No Connection, the reunited Kanamits, Sick Fix, Black Kites and Human Failures. A flyer is below.
Surfer Blood will soon go on tour with Art Brut, and both are scheduled at Brooklyn Bowl on November 13th. Finally, Brooklyn's Sisters have an upcoming TBA Halloween show and a gig at Market Hotel on December 4th with Pterodactyl.
Darren Mabee and Sally Burtnick were in the crowd, especially during the Screaming Females set, and they let their presence be known. More pictures (NSFW), below...
Jeff the Brotherhood