Stereogum & Popgun STEREO★GUN CMJ Party, Santos Party House, NYC 10/20/10

Last night our STEREO?GUN collaboration with PopGun Booking went down on both floors of Santos Party House. Sometime from when we organized it, to the actual happening, people got especially excited about Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., who found themselves with a relatively raucous, packed room by the time they played their basement set. There were plenty of other members of the Stereogum Class Of 2010 in attendance: Tamaryn’s shadowy, smoky run through The Waves made upstairs feel like the intimate shag-carpeted basement rec room of your goth friend’s parents’ place. Wild Nothing also piloted some sort of time machine: It’s fun, albeit a bit nerve-wracking, seeing Jack Tatum give up some control of Gemini’s perfect, insular bedroom dream pop and put it into the hands of a living, breathing quartet. The award for charisma goes to Marnie Stern, who also played our ’08 CMJ Show. Here, the stage banter about “peens” and her “vagean” were raunchy in a wholesome, teenage way that fit with the ’80s vibe of the bands before her. (As a friend to my left mentioned during some Stern finger-tapping: “I feel like we’re high school stoners again.” Or maybe it was the incidental Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Billy Ocean…) The Drums were in fact our “secret headliner,” capping off an upstairs run that also featured the surf/garage/shambolic punk of DOM and airy, ambling twin-guitared Twin-Hand Movement of Lower Dens. The first floor started with Evan Voytas, brought the noisy, stylish din of Captured Tracks crew MINKS, ended with Laurel Halo, and in between featured the compelling electronic pop of Toronto Blue Jays fan Diamond Rings and the dreamier, though occasionally equally danceable digital sounds of Houses. Graeme Flegenheimer memorialized the night with his camera. (After you’re done with the photos, check out a couple videos of Marnie Stern and Diamonds Rings’s performances, respectively.) Thanks to everyone who came, waited in line, danced into the night with Kingdom’s DJ set. And big thanks to our partners at PopGun Booking for all their work making this show a smoothly run sell-out.