The second night of the Don Giovanni records showcase at the Knitting Factory was a marathon of punk music and good vibes. The early arriving crowd was treated to a comedy act by Chris Gethard, who was joined by Don Giovanni’s own, Joe Steinhardt. Chris and Joe did a “long form improv” and ended up trying their breakdancing moves which was undoubtedly funny!
After laughing our asses off we were treated to 7 bands who brought punk, garage and rock influences to each of their sets.
First up was Alice, a 3-piece group more on the garage rock side of the spectrum that gave us a half-dozen spirited tunes. *Side note – The drummers mom was jamming out next to me and couldn’t of been more proud of her daughter!
Next up on the docket was Brick Mower, a hard hitting threesome from Jersey that describe themselves as “living room punk,” which is a fairly decent description.
At this point in the evening Chris Gethard sauntered on to the stage and in-tow was NYC legend, Peter Stampfel. Stampfel proceeded to tell us all a story about him having sexual relations with numerous vacuum cleaners…and I seriously almost pissed my pants. It was a pure NYC moment that I will not forget.
NYC punk trio – Nuclear Santa Claust was next on the bill and celebrated their new record, “Je Ne Sais Claust,” which has just been released today! The new record sounded tight and was a fine performance which left me wanting more.
At this point of the night, the Knitting Factory was nearly full for Brooklyn’s own – Worriers, who put on a spirited performance with killer bass and a great lead singer.
The only hiccup of the night happened to Pink Wash when the amp just wouldn’t cooperate delaying their set by 20 minutes, which was a shame as they really got my blood boiling and really enjoyed their 4 songs.
What would come next defined the night as the Downtown Boys brought everything they had and more. The large band that featured two saxophones, a leaping guitarist and a lead singer that was in your face – was raging all set. Victoria Ruiz prefaced every song by spitting fire about racism, inequality and other things that fuck us all over making each tune that more urgent. By the end of their raucous punk set there was a drummer standing atop his floor-tom while crowdsurfing, a lead singer who took her first surf and the stage full of fans jamming along to the encore.
Last up was California X, who brought some serious volume and guitar power to end the night. When I say loud, I mean it, my earplugs did not help…at all. Not unlike Dinosaur Jr., California X had an alternative grungy style that I totally love and didn’t mind that it was nearly 2am before the great showcase ended. With ringing ears and a smile on my face, I made my way home, dreaming of the final showcase on 2-28 featuring Screaming Females!
Article by: Shayne Hanley