Total Slacker, Widowspeak, and some Chilean band I missed played at 285 Kent on Friday. I was there with my old camera, snapping shots like I'm wont to do. An A/C system had been installed since the last show I'd been to there, which is good. That last time felt like watching a show inside a sauna. I expected to see old Jews sitting around in towels. This was just a pleasant hang with some of the more interesting and attractive people of Brooklyn.
I got to the club and ran into my old friend Tucker from Total Slacker whose band I've been hyping and loving for the past three years. It seems like they're better known now than they once were, and their sound has changed a lot. They started off playing a ton of slow, crystally-sounding pretty songs and are now almost full-on grunging. The performances are livelier than ever, and they've got a new drummer named Terrence. They've also added Dave Tassy as an additional guitar player, who moves around on stage like Flea (if Flea was a dynamic chubby black guy who was fun to hang out with). Tucker and Dave were just writhing around like crazy, and Tucker kept trying to light his guitar on fire but it didn't seem to take. I don't know why they got a new drummer, but I remember that their old guy, Ross, fell asleep behind the drums at least once. So Total Slacker rules and is different than I remembered.
When I ran into Molly and Rob from Widowspeak they gave me big hugs and we talked about recent stuff. I used to see them around a lot for a short while before they got signed, and then they got too busy around the same time that I got too busy. I like to proudly remind people that I booked their second or third show. They'd just gotten back from tour. Molly mentioned that they'd been playing shows with some punk bands where she saw no women in the audience, and that people were still into it.
Widowspeak had added another lady to the band on bass. Earlier, Molly and I spoke about how it seems like maybe being a woman is being less of a novelty in arts and culture. A lot of the best cartoonists and artists these days are women who aren't necessarily approaching their craft with a blatant political angle. Julie Klausner mentioned that she feels like there's a war on women what with Rush Limbaugh calling women whores and stuff, but I think that's just pigs acting like pigs. I think that, within the scene of culturally aware and curious people, there's less of an undercurrent of sexism going on. Maybe I'm wrong, or this is only happening in Brooklyn.
Then Widowspeak blew my mind. Although the people most visibly affected by the show were a few girls doing hippy dances at the front of the stage, it doesn't feel like a music with a gender. This show also marked Widowspeak performing in front of projected visuals that Rob, the guitarist, worked on with a friend of his. It made a lot of sense. Whereas a band like Total Slacker is very much about frenetic energy and noise, Widowspeak is more about having an intense experience that's more internalized. The visuals helped you forget that there were even people performing music on stage and go into yourself.
After the show was done, Matt Molnar from Friends (or "Team Other Guy," as Hipster Runoff calls him) DJed an awesome girl group dance party. I danced around with pretty girls to the pretty sounds of pretty girls. Then we went to a roof party. The end.