I’d meant to put up these photos by Sean O’Kane yesterday, but Peter Gabriel got in the way (always getting in the way, that guy). So a day late but still worth framing: Williamsburg’s Glasslands Gallery, which seems to have stepped up their booking game especially since the folks at PopGun stepped up theirs, assembled a blog-star lineup for their Friday night: Each band in that headline rolled into the Kent Ave. art space with varying degrees of deserved internet accolades, resulting in a 4-hour show worth every minute. There were two out-of-towners (Ontario’s swooning female-fronted dream-pop outfit Memoryhouse, and Chicago’s more raucous, laptop-stitched indie rock outfit Light Pollution) and three local natives: wild eyed psych-pop trio Keepaway, darkwaving dance trio and Small Black-affiliates Psychobulidings, and the headlining and (somehow increasingly) excellent synth, guitar, and percussion-sampled Ibiza minded party starters of Tanlines.
Memoryhouse’s set, all mellow haze and video projections, was a conversation starter. Apparently one of their first shows, the group traded in a gauzy nocturnal hush that drew sidewalk-comparisons to everyone from Beach House to Low. We’ve posted up some of their tracks, all worth grabbing. For a younger band making the blog rounds, I’m not sure how advisable covering Grizzly Bear’s “Foreground” (from last year’s Veckatimest) is, at least for purposes of avoiding being pigeonholed; that said, Denise did a great Ed Droste.
Surprisingly impressed with Psychobuildings, too, whose lineup consists of (nearly literally) balls-out frontman Peter LaBier (rightly credited by the band for “vocals, dancing”), Peter Schuette (keyboard synths), and the prolific and incessantly active Juan Pieczanski, a member of Small Black and the namesake behind the once independent-then-Pitchfork-affiliated web video series Juan’s Basement. The first Peter is formerly of the band Precinct, the second also plays in Silk Flowers. According to Juan, he only met Schuette in person when the band posed for a FADER photo shoot — until then their collaboration and relationship was strictly internet-based. Which made their dynamic set at Glasslands all the more impressive, although in fairness most of the credit their rests with LaBier, whose one-piece black spandex outfit with strategic cutouts, glittery embroidered stripes, and pom-pom’d sleeves was upstaged only by the body dancing inside it. You can see shots of it in the gallery, and if you want to buy it, talk to the dudes at JF And Son; it was custom made.
It was my first night with Keepaway, whose set that night was endlessly praised by the same folks that were minimizing my expectations in talks earlier in the evening. I thought they sounded great, tightly swirling and unhinged only superficially, sounding honed and bound beneath that rambunctious skin.
Tanlines, as always, enhanced the party. There was a time, say during their Guggenheim show, that people were sussing out their sound. Now they’re sussed-out, and people come to sing to “Real Life” or dance to “Reinfo” (also, watch “Reinfo”‘s awesome fan-made video). It was sweaty, yes, but how else would you want to be when listening to such sweetly tropical tracks. Killer night.
Anyway to make up the post’s tardiness, I’ve assembled a little mix of each of these bands’ key tracks, each of which you should download. Included are a pair from Psychobuildings, including the excellent a-side from their limited release 7″ out on All Hands Electric (“Birds Of Prey”) and the darker “Portrait.” After you grab those, check the dates on Tanlines’ May tour through Europe, tell your friends, they will love you for sending them to one of their shows.
Tanlines in “Real Life”: