Elvis Guesthouse is a relatively new venue located on Avenue A in Alphabet City. Sunday night it presented a stellar lineup featuring Cosmonaut, Warbly Jets, Tony Castles and a DJ set by Dylan Rau of Bear Hands.
The small venue sits under a restaurant, almost invisible. If it weren’t for the music barging from the space and invading the surrounding street I would have missed it. I walked in during Warbly Jets’ set, an L.A. band featuring two former NYC residents, and felt like I had just walked into a private party. The entire venue had an intimate feel like a private home in L.A., which had been abandoned and reclaimed by a bunch of deadpan faced kids wielding guitars and drum sticks. The four piece band was cramped into a small space in the back while just to the left of the “stage” in a fully tiled seating area members of the crowd sat with their “I’m too cool to show I actually enjoy this” vibe. They observed the music being performed for them with an air of indifference while discreetly tapping their feet. It was a quintessential moment of the NYC music scene and I loved every second of it.
Cosmonaut played a set heavy in new material including a few never before played songs. The band has been working hard in preparation for a new album, one they will be recording very soon. With each new song of theirs that I hear, I grow increasingly more excited for it. I was first attracted to Cosmonaut’s indie pop rock, like a slightly more upbeat version of Pavement, because the songs were infectious and made me want to dance. The new songs reflect a darker side to the band and have a more drawn out sound. The pop guitar riffs paired with the occasionally darker lyrics and moody rhythm creates a complexity that always draws me in. Simply put – it is just incredibly good music.
The crowd seemed to trickle out during Tony Castles, but it didn’t phase the members of the band. They continued on to play a lively set enthusiastically. In general, the crowd was very light for such a great line up. Maybe everyone was resting up for CMJ (New Yorkers rest?). In my opinion, the bands deserved a larger turnout but at the same time I enjoyed feeling like I had the music all to myself. What can I say, I’m selfish.
Article: Chrissy Lush