Between the World Cup’s conclusion hijacking the standard operating procedure of most any establishment serving alcohol and space enough for a TV screen, and Jelly NYC’s Pool Parties kick off at the East River State Park, on Sunday the greater Williamsburg area was even more a playground of creatively outfitted drunken dilettantes than usual. Which is saying a tremendous amount. A perfect storm of cause celebre on a perfectly storm-free day, and so it came to be that after Spain finally put a goal in the hole, the WC2010 afterparty shifted into Pool Party mode, at the park where there is still no pool, still plenty of party, and a new stage orientation which has the Manhattan skyline and its luxe sunset to the crowd’s back. But hey, at least the bands can enjoy it. And the bands on this kickoff Sunday were many: Xiu Xiu and Deerhoof melding into a single unit, performing as an Unknown Pleasures Joy Division cover band, a role that Jamie Stewart’s throaty vocal wavers were built to portray; the metallic and endlessly ebullient soundtrack to perpetual high-fives of Fang Island; the art/house/rave/noise turntablist cuts of Pictureplane (here joined by folks in fat suits and costumes, dressing to the occasion); and Yoni Wolf’s WHY?, a constant favorite of indie bros and sensitive bay area lyric champions alike. Also, Chuck Schumer came to remind you that he is working for you hipsters. Speaking generally, then: There are better options for food this year (Roberta’s, Meat Hook, tacos), there’s a spatial configuration that takes a few sober moments to internalize, there is a super-VIP pub sponsored by All Saints clothier and doling out free drinks, but otherwise this series remains the single best reason for anyone not to plot get-aways for NYC summer weekends, and there is still an afterparty at Brooklyn Bowl where you can muster all the courage and free rum one needs to make the questionable decisions any great summer is built upon.
The full lineup for the summer Sundays is below — not every Sunday’s a slam dunk, but the ones that hit (like the Cut Copy date, the Cap’n Jazz date, and the summer closer) are pretty massive. And it’s worth noting that Jelly’s on the verge of announcing six free Saturday shows, to begin later in the summer, and extend into October, in a lot at S. 2nd and Wythe, just a 10 or so blocks south of the Pool Parties site. Summer is most definitely here, not so cruel after all. Check the Sundays lineup, and also make sure to get a good look at this great gallery by photographer Ben Lozovsky, and also this here vid of Xiu Deervision doing “She’s Lost Control”: