So, it was the second day of the annual Out In The Streets Festival in Flushing, Queens’ on the grassy grounds of the gorgeous historic Dutch Onderdonk House. I think the second day was even more fun than the first in many ways, especially as a bunch of my good friends were there with me to soak in the summer sun and take in copious amounts of live music and art. Exceeding beyond the expanse of bands performing that day, I also found myself taking more advantage of all the leisure activities like the kiddie pools, tasty food, cold drink stands, and just generally lapping in the day-in-the-park, cookout vibe.
I came in towards the end of the set of one of my favorite local Brooklyn bands Dead Stars. This trio takes you on a trip straight back to the early 90s in the best of ways with strong similarities to some of my favorite high school and early college low-fi, hard-jamming, and garage-rocking bands like Mudhoney, Teenage Fanclub, and Dinosaur Jr., so they are definitely in superb company. Plus, they just keep getting better, as their newest album Bright Colors may very well be their catchiest effort yet. Another of my favorite local outfits, The Teen Age, were next, and their shuffle and swing kicked in a nice party atmosphere for the early afternoon hours. Their appeal is definitely a boozy and hazily romantic brew and their new EP Doo Wop Garage sounds like real a hoot and a half.
Next were the dreamy pop sounds of Philly’s Weekender, who blend a shoegazey-haze with an easy-going 70s/early 80s new wave pop sound. After that was the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Boston band BOYTOY, who come out firing on all cylinders and never stop crunching a hyper brand of grungy surf rock with singer Saara Untracht-Oakner delivering humorous cynicism while shredding guitars with fellow lady axe killer Glenn Van Dyke. The Britanys followed with their cocky lo-fi swagger that shifts between the Strokes and the Kinks in their bouncy scrappy, but often also reminding me of a workingman’s Sloan.
Probably one of the biggest surprise impressions of the day’s bands was the insane shot of adrenaline that was PILL. They have a massive, earth-shattering howl in the form of their lead singer Veronica Torres, who wails lyrics of protest and disillusionment to a funk beat that sounds like it got sent through the blender in the most brilliant of ways with screeching sax solos and plastic toy guitar bleeps and squeals. I was so impressed by their wild blend of elements that I had to check out some of their stuff online and now I can’t wait to get my grubby hands on their new album Convenience when it’s released in August. After that was a band that never ceases to blow the roof off any joint I’ve seen them, by the name of Honduras. They deliver a raw rock punk with a high adrenaline attitude that just implodes your cranium while getting even the laziest of us ready to mosh through the crowd. Much like Gathering Rust, make me feel as though Deerhunter met the Sex Pistols and had given birth to a strange demon child. No insult to the following acts, but I almost feel as though this is where the festival should have ended as they clearly held the highest intensity and squeezed out the most sweat, much like the high-intensity set by the So So Glos had ended the night the previous evening.
Brooklyn’s electro-pop outfit TEEN was up after that to chill out the crowd with a synthy R&B type grove. The quartet based around the three Lieberson sisters trading off leads and instruments alike often reminded me of a late 70s Roxy Music, 10cc, or Human League with much more of a focus on female sexuality and desire. I just ended up listening to their new album Love Yes, and it really does end up having some real chilling moments. Then came the second night’s headliner Frankie Rose, who had been a part of some high profile bands like Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, the Vivian Girls, and even Beverly who had played the night before without her. She had made a name for herself by crafting music that was a bit more raw garage rock, but her new stuff sounds far more dream pop driven. The harmonies were solid, but I do get the impression she had not rehearsed with her extensive band much yet, so there were a lot of sweaty start and stops along the way.
Article: Dean Keim