Posted in music | pictures on February 2, 2012

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo, words by Bill Pearis

Blouse @ 285 Kent
Blouse

Captured Tracks took over 285 Kent Tuesday night, featuring three bands from their roster, as well as one that they merely liked a whole lot. I'm not sure if it sold out, but it was a full house by the end of the evening and a pretty fun night all-around.

Last time Blouse were in town, the band were a five-piece with a lead guitarist who really had that early U2/Chameleons sound down, which took the band into more "rock" territory than what you hear on their synth-heavy debut. Last night, Blouse were a quartet with the keyboards back in the forefront. Charline Hilton is charismatic front person who is no slouch, on guitar and the whole band are pretty tight in general. Blouse are best when they break out of the dreamy midtempo sound that makes up so much of their album: the driving "Time Travel" is probably their best song, but it's the cinematic "They Always Fly Away," that really impresses. In 285's airplane hangar acoustics, the song goes widescreen.

Cosmetics probably were the most successful group of the night at least as far as marriage of sound to space. The Montreal duo's icy, desolate beat -- made by vintage synths and sequencers cranked really loud -- sounded great bouncing off the metal ceiling and concrete walls, and fit the overall bombed-out Berlin warehouse vibe of the place. (The duo, all popped collar leather jackets and model-pretty, looked the part too.) From the bathroom they sounded like a munitions factory...in a good way.

Not that successful were The New Lines, the one non-Captured Tracks band on the bill, who haven't quite figured it out live. Their album, one of my 2012 favorites, is chilly baroque pop densely layered with harpsichord and all manner of analogue synths. It would be hard to pull off even under the best of conditions, something 285 Kent doesn't exactly afford, but even harder when you're only three members strong and your very good drummer can't hear the backing tracks. While they don't necessarily need the sonic precision their studio recordings have, a live bassist laying down the record's grooves would help immeasurably towards filling things out sonically. They did, however, have really cool psychedelic projections.

I got to 285 just a hair late to catch opener Heavenly Beat, the solo project of Beach Fossils bassist John Pena whose second single "Faithless" is like a lost 7" from some early-00's Swedish indiepop band. I think both sides are terrific. From what I was told, Heavenly Beat live is currently just Pena onstage with a laptop/ipod backing and not doing a whole lot, so maybe I didn't miss much. He plays this Saturday (2/4) at Cake Shop with fellow C/T band DIVE, plus Caged Animals and Fabric which is a pretty good bill overall.

More pictures from all the bands, including a shot of Blouse's setlist, below.

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Heavenly Beat

Heavenly Beat

Heavenly Beat

New Lines

New Lines

New Lines

New Lines

New Lines

New Lines

New Lines

New Lines

New Lines

Cosmetics

Cosmetics

Cosmetics

Cosmetics

Cosmetics

Cosmetics

Cosmetics

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

Blouse

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Comments (17)

no crowd pics? pretty but boring

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2012 1:21 PM

yeah, kinda like the crowd.

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2012 1:28 PM

Why is this place still open?

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2012 2:44 PM

so tame

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2012 3:10 PM

You need crowd pics to make fun of if you wanna keep the ad sales solid.

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2012 4:01 PM

it was in williamsburg. it's not a stretch to imagine what the crowd looked like.

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2012 4:06 PM

"Cosmetics probably were the most successful group of the night at least as far as marriage of sound to space."

You're absolutely right! 285 Kent is shitty, disorganized, full of bad fashion and never on time!

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2012 5:35 PM

Pancakes bitches!

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2012 5:55 PM

Cosmetics were seriously terrible. Bill P: if you liked them, you were definitely in the minority. Half of the crowd had cleared out after their 2nd or 3rd song. They sounded like someone singing bad karaoke over a mediocre Johnny Jewel beat. Note to the guy in the band who was clearly doing 95% of the work: get a singer that can actually sing, not just one that looks appealing in short shorts.

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2012 6:04 PM

285 kent is clearly too cool for the loser dregs that are BV commenters

this is excellent news for 285 kent

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2012 10:35 PM

Seriously, Cosmetics were fucking HORRIBLE. One of the worst live acts I have seen.

Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2012 11:36 PM

Keep on deluding yourself, 10:35! We all know that "cool" is priority #1!

Posted by Anonymous | February 3, 2012 9:10 AM

Cosmetics took 45 minutes or so to actually start performing. What the hell was the guy doing up there with that one synth for 30-fucking-minutes? Blouse had four members, multiple instruments and still took the stage faster.

And can we please convince Heavenly Beat to stop performing until he can get his shit together. Funniest moment of the night was after his first song and he realized his mic wasn't working. He basically lip synced to his own song and didn't even know it. So punk rock.

Blouse were excellent and saved the night.

Posted by Anonymous | February 3, 2012 9:37 AM

I think the funniest part is that he was getting paid while you were getting internet angry.

Posted by Anonymous | February 3, 2012 12:54 PM

Getting paid in what? Beach Fossil residuals? Or maybe PBR? Because that's about all the performance was worth - a couple of drink tickets. There's a reason he was the first of four bands.

And I'm not internet angry, just humored by the amateur hour of the first three bands.

Posted by Anonymous | February 3, 2012 4:00 PM

I love how she sings

Posted by jordon | August 6, 2013 6:11 PM

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