19 October 2007

"I like everything better when I make it." -- Bands Five (5) to Eight (8); Day 2

It's 3 AM and my head is ringing like Mike Tyson just boxed my ears. The thing is, it's not that recurring dream where Oscar De La Hoya dresses up in women's clothes and I'm a heavyweight champion (as opposed to real life where I'm only a featherweight champion). But let me back up.

Rolling on 4 hours of sleep when an early evening lull hit, I crashed for a power-nap, setting an alarm for 6:45 PM. The time came and in a sleepy haze I decided I had a few more minutes to rest before I would book it to Brooklyn. The next time I opened by eyes it was 9:45. Jay Garrick style, I was in Greenpoint in time for The Vandelles (picture) and the greater part of a CMJ showcase at Europa. Initially, I was the least hip person in the room as I was the only one to approach the stage -- guess I just didn't get the memo.

While the self-proclaimed "loudest band in New York City" were killing time in Williamsburg until their night-cap, undoubtedly reciting their Best New Music 'fork review to one another from memory, Brooklyn's The Vandelles were doing all they could to usurp the title by fuzzy coup. While A Place To Bury Strangers ride aggro-shoegaze revival, The Vandelles skip the gazing all together and just pulverize ears, burying their Dandy Warhols psych-rock in a deep, dark place.

The rhythm section, wo-manned by two unassuming, comely females, was a true force -- bass dipped in a hot vat of distortion and drums clawing and clamoring to be heard. You know the scene in Kill Bill where Uma Thurman is buried alive, forced to karate-chop her way through wood and tightly packed dirt? In that adrena-frezy, she'd play the drums like the chick from The Vandelles. Three-quarters through the set, the sound guy chimed in: "You're gonna have to turn that down." READ THE REST

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