Well, things get a little fuzzy at this point in the night. We had a cabbie that didn’t know Brooklyn from Bangkok, and Syrup Room is nestled in a not-so-easily found neighborhood of empty warehouses and little else. True, the room is only a few steps from the Morgan St. L stop, but the L is the last train you want to be waiting on after midnight. But once you get to the Room, the space is nothing short of awesome. Smoke ‘em inside if you got ‘em, cheap beers, lots of space, and a dedicated crowd that let’s concerned with “scene” and more attuned to tunes.
And the draw was fierce! We missed Bound Stems and The Big Sleep, (but you know how we feel about those bands already), and the rest of the bill (VietNam, Annuals, and Professor Murder) kept us engaged and out late.
VietNam were first up for us, and don’t judge ‘em by their Devendra beards — these guys are doing the reverby, ’60s psych-blues VU stuff — and doing it surprisingly well. We remember hearing their self-titled debut and being put off, but live (and late, and drunk) they sounded really fucking great. Plus, Jenny Lewis is on their record, so maybe it’s time to turn a fresh set of ears to their rock, yeah?
Vice signees Favourite Sons were up next, and we were impressed by cig-smoking frontman Ken Griffin’s (formerly of Rollerskate Skinny) stage working; it just didn’t matter that there weren’t many left standing by the time they hit, dude acted like it was MSG. Big sound, decent songs, great presence.
Ever heard of Annuals? That’s a blog joke, see. People can’t shut up about ‘em (including us). By the time they got to Syrup Room, it was probably around 2AM, they were visibly exhausted, but in opening with a blistering “Brother,” they quickly reminded us why they have tongues wagging; the band is full serious fucking players (a hot-chops, effects rack loving guitarist and a paradiddle drum freak) and has some serious tunes. And the indie world loves a group with alotta members and a cute girl on keys.
Last up, P. Murder. We counted twenty standing (or propped up on walls and bars and such) before they started, and we counted twenty dancing within two minutes of their first song. It’s all a bit of a blur from here, but we remember the lead dude had a floor tom, two other toms, whistles, cowbells, and pushed it art-dance-punk style. Best line of the night was the one they opened with: “If you’re still here, this song is dedicated to you — ’cause you’re dedicated!”
And if you can, shut off that computer and get yer ass down to Pianos for some Stereogum/Yep Rock goodness. See ya there!