Saturday, January 27, 2007
Brooklyn vs. DC
I managed to foist a ticket to Deerhoof last night from my compatriot in Pub, J. Seroff of Tofu Hut. Its good to know people in internet places.
Unfortunately I missed the first show by the as of now unsigned band Proton Proton, who, my other compatriot in pub, Grace, assured me was one of her favorite unsigned bands from Brooklyn. Afterwards she gave me the Proton Proton EP being sold at the show, a dischordant mess that swirls and discharges and reunifies all within the same song.
I, like the David Karesh I am, lead you into the compound where Proton Proton offers their riff driven punch. Plates begins with overdriven harmonics and an
ex models-esque guitar zapcrunch on the alternating beats, and, like I said, starts and stops on several dimes.
Sand seems to be more the direction Proton Proton wants to go, and, though it is a sloppier song in its construction, it seems like they are a bit more confident in the performance itself. The two guitars jump back and forth between speakers answering each other until it breaks down into an all out riff jam in the middle.
Proton Proton - Plates
Proton Proton - Sand
But wait there's more!
I do not mention Proton Proton because I think they are particularly awesome. I do indeed think they are going somewhere smart, but only in the ephemeral way I once wondered at the couple who attained "most likely to succeed" status in highschool. Nay, I bring up Proton Proton because they are indicative of this sound coming out of Brooklyn. A dischordant mish-mash, and I do not use dischordant lightly.
DC is the king of Dischord for obvious reasons. Fugazi not being the least of them. but, as of late, Dischord has been a bit lacking in the, well, dischord. I've seen The Aquarium several times because they happened to play several shows with a friend's band. Not Dischordant. The Evens, Ian Mackaye's political acouso-folk band is kind of a bore (search your feelings, you know it to be true). Also not dischordant. In fact, the only band not atypically Dischord to come out recently, Antelope (former members of el guapo, the song is called goggles, I kinda like it don't you?), sounds like Fugazi w/ nutri-sweet and a lime.
So what is the summation of all of these links and proclamations? Well, I'm not claiming that the DC music scene is dead or anything even remotely like that, its just...going through some phases, some changes, growing little budding bosoms. And who can blame them? DC's BMOC, MacKaye is reaching his mid forties(!!!). He's no longer the virile young hellian he once was. Who's going to take over, Dave Smalley? The Former singer of Dag Nasty? The guy who runs ConservativePunk.com and has a fucking hummer?? yeah. sure.
So, the gap. Is there a gap? Probably not. At least none big enough that anyone would care about filling it. Brooklyn certainly doesn't claim to fill it, and I'm not claiming that Brooklyn does, but there is a definite analogousness between the DC sound and the Brooklyn sound of bands like Ex Models, Excepter, Proton Proton, Pterodactyl and even Grizzly Bear.
Its the discordance, the flippant lack-of-structure, and a splash of darkness. But there is something else that differentiates the two. perhaps its the direct, or indirect, political nature of DC's scene. and the lack thereof in Brooklyn. but that focus, though important, is not a specifically aesthetic one.
Fascinating, then, that New York does not have the same consistency maker as a single, and singular, label, run, basically, by the creators of the scene and the sound(i.e. Fugazi).
Actually, very much like their counterpart cities, Brooklyn's indie scene swirls and changes with a dark, spacious, but fluid sound and DC's is more angular, more visceral, more immediate. The overall spacious, dark, fluidity of New York's streets seem to tug it's gaudy, bleak, barge-like art scene behind them. and Brooklyn watches and waits, a little to the side, and describes that in it's music. DC is small, jagged, easy to get lost in, and full of laws (both in action in the city, and in utero for the country).
Of course, these comparisons rely upon the flimsy, one dimensional pyramid of speculation. I wish it were that easy to describe a scene in a few words, and there are clear omissions. but hey, I can always fall back on the notion that nobody actually reads all of my posts all the way through! I'm golden!
-cap'n guthrie out