The third day of the Northside had me waking up bright and early on a Saturday and heading out to the sublime new Bushwick venue Sunnyvale for the indie label Time Castle’s massive daytime showcase. The show started off with Brooklyn’s superbly powerful force of full-frontal energy known as Stuyedeyed. Next was the uniquely cello and drum-powered space jam that was Warcries. Into even spacier noise-psych phantom zone was the Queens trio Dead Waves who blast the volume to max head-trip and even play to a projected light show to further mess with your noodle. There was also a last minute addition of my favorite local bands, the roaring power trio Haybaby, who combine a sludgy grunge, an infectious shuffle rock, and a thunderous punk power. Singer and guitarist Leslie Hong is a blistering powerhouse full of howling riot grrrl rage and bombastic garage rock muscle and they are really worth checking out for those uninitiated.
At this point my partner in coverage crime took over the show from me at Sunnyvale, and I headed to my first McCarren park show of this festival thus far (those that my cohort had covered already). The lineup for Saturday was a bit more country than I am typically comfortable with, but I must admit I was pleasantly satisfied in the end. I got in about half way through the set by The Felice Brothers, who had their bluegrass-infused Bob Dylan thing going in full force by this point. Next was a set by the undeniably charming Conor Oberst, who has a sort of amped-up folk sound by this point in his maturing musical evolution, although I did catch myself missing his edgier old band Bright Eyes many times throughout, which wasn’t helped by him playing at least a few songs by that former outfit. Actually, he also played a Felice Brothers song and even covered a Kacey Musgraves song with her joining him. Oh yes, it was indeed Kacey Musgraves who followed as the headliner, and this amazing modern country fairy Queen certainly lays bare her faith in the country greats of the past with tastes of Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton abounds. Playing to the backdrop of wacky glowing neon cacti, she belted out a surprisingly personable and enchantingly delightful set, mixing her excellent original songs with really bewildering covers of everything from Johnny Cash to TLC’s “No Scrubs” and her closing version of “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” was downright awe-inspiring.
After that, it was up to the typically more metal-oriented club Saint Vitus at Brooklyn’s most northern edge known as Greenpoint. We came up specifically for the D.C. anti-political punk band Priests who followed up a very strange performance art show involving lots of bread with their fiery brand of howling commentary on the state of our overly-commercialized and under-exceptional society. This band never fails to bring on the high-octane power rock, with a mix of punk, surf, and riot grrrl rage. It’s also hard to not to be awe-struck by lead singer Katie Alice Greer as she pours out every particle of blazing fury in her soul.
Article: Dean Keim