Lilys, Dilly Dally, Shopping, Mothers, Martin Courtney, Frankie Cosmos, Gotobeds & more played BV’s Saturday party (pics)
Lilys / Dilly Dally / Martin Courtney @ Baby's All Right - 10/17/15
After the mere seven-hour BrooklynVegan Friday party at Baby's All Right during CMJ, we threw a 12-and-a-half hour party on Saturday (10/17). It kicked off bright and early at 11:30 AM with Murals and continued through midnight when reunited '90s shoegazers Lilys wrapped up their set.
Murals, whose sound these days is sort of pastoral and proggy (not unlike Andora-era Caribou at times) which was a gentle start to a long (fun) day, while we munched on free Thai samosas -- courtesy Baby's new Bangkok-inspired menu -- and sipped complimentary Bell's Brewery Octoberfest. Though that keg went quick, Bell's Two Hearted Ale and Lager were also on tap all day, and they gave out pins, sunglasses, bottle openers and other goodies, too.
After Murals it was Petal, whose set we wrote about and posted pictures of HERE (with her new album stream), and then we were treated to an early afternoon set by Real Estate frontman Martin Courtney. Martin was supporting and playing songs off his forthcoming solo debut, Many Moons (due 10/30 via Domino), and he was backed by an ace band that included Woods' Jarvis Taveniere (who produced the album) and Doug Keith of Sharon Van Etten's band (and several other projects). Martin plays an acoustic guitar the whole time, and they're a little more on the '70s folk/soft rock side than Real Estate's slightly janglier indie pop. Martin also threw in a cover of Pavement's "Major Leagues" which fit in perfectly with his own compositions. They ended the set with Doug Keith's extended guitar solo that Martin's Grateful Dead-obsessed Real Estate bandmate Alex Bleeker probably would've been proud of.
Then came Australian trio Methyl Ethel, who gave us a set of psychedelic dream pop and had a frontman with quite a bit of urgency to his performance. The Gotobeds then seriously kicked things up a notch with their tough, post-punk inspired indie rock. These guys are just the kind of smartasses you want at something like CMJ, coming on stage saying "Hey, we're Viet Cong! What!?! They're not using it anymore!" and being good enough musicians to make playing sloppy charming. The set featured their 'hit,' "NY's Alright" (which Kasan sang as "Baby's All Right" at least once), as well as songs from their upcoming Sub Pop debut, including one that Protomartyr's Joe Casey will be guesting on. Between that show and their set at Sub Pop's showcase two days earlier (which Protomartyr, who played our Baby's day parties in 2014, also played), they were a definite highlight of CMJ.
They were followed by UK trio Shopping, one of the most buzzed about bands at CMJ this year (as the beyond packed room illustrated). They wear their minimal, danceable post-punk influences (Delta 5, The Slits) on their sleeve, but they make up for the lack of originality with a super fun live show. They were bouncing around up there the whole time, and if the crowd was more familiar with their songs (or drunker) you could imagine the rest of the room bouncing along with them. Tight musicians too.
The tight musicianship did not die down at all when Dilly Dally followed. They instantly won us over with an early set on our 2014 day party, but this year they returned bigger and better in every way. The sound and light show was perfect for them, which didn't hurt, but the band's grungy force and Katie Monks' throat-shredding voice is what keeps this band exciting every time.
Things got a bit calmer for Liverpool trio Stealing Sheep, who are still a new-ish band but already have a fully-formed unique vision. All three members wore matching outfits, and they're all set up in a horizontal line in the front of the stage. They all sing in close harmony, and they make a kind of arty pop that's not exactly in line with any current trend. While trying to remember who you saw at CMJ, you don't forget Stealing Sheep.
The rock returned when local staples The So So Glos followed. They've been doing their thing around NYC for years now, and they really do play like stars. Their poppy punk might have actually made them stars in 1995, but it's nice to get that kind of performance in a smaller venue in the midst of a CMJ party too. Things stayed turned up to 11 when Baltimore shoegazers Wildhoney followed. They don't exactly do the whole "punkgaze" thing that's been going on, but they definitely have a hard backbone as far as shoegaze bands go.
It was a full house when Frankie Cosmos kicked off the evening portion of our party with a set of appealing indie pop that is both winsome and spirited. Jessica Lea Mayfield, who played the ATO showcase the day before, then brought things down even softer than Frankie, with a haunting solo set. It would have been nice to see her full band, especially with her heavier new album out, but she's good with just a guitar too. Chicago garage punks Meat Wave followed and wasted no time turning things way back up. They're just a trio but they were one of the loudest and heaviest bands of the day. Almost their whole set was flooded in entirely red lights. It suited them well.
Up next were young locals The Lemon Twigs, who are still in their teens but already have approval from Foxygen whose Jonathan Rado is producing their forthcoming album. Fronted by Micheal and Brian D'Addario (who take turns between guitar/lead vocals and drums), The Lemon Twigs seem to take inspiration from mid-'70s rock: Michael, who wore eyeshadow, a floor-length robe and Aladdin Sane-Orange hair gave us the weirder songs with hints of Syd Barrett, early Bowie and Sparks; while Brian seemed to draw more from classic songwriters like Paul Williams, Burt Bacharach or Todd Rundgren. The whole band are seriously good musicians (and killer at harmonies) and, if these guys keep at it, it seems like they'll be crazy good by their mid-twenties.
Mothers from Athens, GA then came on for the penultimate set of the day. Kristine Leschper has a great voice that reminded me more than once of Angel Olsen, and the music is a bit like Angel's last album too. It's folky at times, but driving indie rock at others. And the rest of her band were no slouches at all.
Finally Lilys wrapped up the day with what was only their fourth show of 2015... which is probably as many as they have played in the last five years. Kurt Heasley has seen nearly as many members of Lilys as The Fall, and this lineup -- the same as the two shows the weekend before at Baby's -- was put together by former member Don Devore, one of the five guitarists on stage. Sticking to songs from the band's early shoegaze years (like 1994's Eccsame the Photon Band which just got re-pressed on vinyl) with some seriously trippy projections, Lilys melted faces (helped along by Heasley's insistence that the A/C be turned off) with Clinton-era classics like "Ginger." We were very happy to bring this very rare show to fans (which included a lot of folks in other bands) to you for free. What a day!
Then we went to bed.
More pictures and videos from Saturday's show below...
(More Petal pics HERE.
The So So Glos
Jessica Lea Mayfield
The Lemon Twigs
see you in 2016!