Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Live: Don Giovanni Showcase feat. Noun, Shellshag + more

OK, so I've been taking a little unannounced vacation from the blog and I'm at least two months behind in live reviews, so I'm just gonna plow through in about three sentences per band and get up to speed.

Here's the first of many:

When: 4/24
Where: Mercury Lounge

I saw indie pop punk mainstays The Measure at the first night of a two night Don Giovanni showcase at Mercury Lounge in April. My friends' reaction was pretty much the same across the board - they wished they had as much fun listening to the music as the band had playing it. The Measure are fun and love what they do and put on a good show, but the songs are just unmemorable. Enjoyable, but unmemorable. [myspace]

Screaming Females headlined. They ruled the fucking stage. They always do. I've reviewed them at least 17,000 times, so that's about all I have to say. [myspace]

When: 4/25
Where: Mercury Lounge

Night two of the Don Giovanni showcase kicked off with the ever excellent Pregnant, whose awkward but brutal hardcore is some of the best unknown music in Brooklyn. The band consists of a skinhead, a glasses-wearing hardcore type and a tall girl who fucking destroys on bass. Not every song is a winner, but as the set went on, their tunes seemed to get better and better. There are some fucking great songs on there that I better have on my ipod soon or I'm gonna be seriously pissed. [myspace]

I'm always impressed by Black Wine, whose simple punk, despite touching on emo, packs in a lot of energy. It's youthful and heartfelt and all three of the band members RULE at their instruments. The singing is not the most technically adept but the down-to-earth feel is a big part of their charm. The other big part is how great their songs are. Which is PRETTY DAMN GREAT. [myspace]

Full of Fancy, featuring Black Wine drummer Miranda Taylor on guitar alongside one Erin Hays (I think that's her name) on bass. They are more pop than punk and their incompetence isn't quite as charming this go around. They aren't awful - better than I expected, based on what I'd been told - but they're skippable, sorry to say. [myspace]

In a continuing busy night for Miranda Taylor, she also drummed on half of the next set, Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females performing her solo material as Noun. This was my first time hearing Noun, as it was most people's, and it was as good as expected. Better, even. Paternoster's solo material is more varied and less complete sounding than her band's work, but it's less lowkey than msot solo projects tend to be. She hit some hushed songs but also some burning rock numbers with sick guitar. Her lyrics here seem a little more bare than in Screaming Females, with some gut-punch self-loathing and good old depression appearing here and there. She pulls it off, though, without ever getting whiny or self-absorbed. The talented Taylor, as always, proved up to the task, following Paternoster's screaming, raging lead and not missing a step. The rest of the set was drummed by Angela Boylan (ex-Cheeky) and I was much less impressed by her work. Her snare drum's distinctive tone was clearly intentional, but I wasn't into it. In fact, that "tock tock tock" sound was really irking me the whole time and her drumming in general seemed to flatten Paternoster's songs instead of adding dimensions. Still, all in all, a great set from one of the greatest guitar heros I've ever seen. Check it out. [myspace]

And finally, Shellshag closed out the night. The duo, at least one of whom I knew to be very hung over, pounded out their slurred, riotous, fuck-off style punk with as much enthusiasm as always. I don't know what to say about this band - they have a special little place in my heart but most of all, they are just plain fun. And while I've seen them attempt a drum tower many times (stacking all Jenn's drums, stands included, into a single tower), this was the first time I saw it stay up. Well done. [myspace]

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