21 March 2006

Live From London event @ Virgin Megastore Union Square - 21 March 2006

Brakes are in town, Brakes are in town!! That's right peoples, time for me to again wonder why bands like Editors come here and stir up hipster tornadoes while the superior Brakes are stuck playing at 3:30pm at Virgin Megastore and then at 12:30am at The Annex. I'll keep saying it though. They kicked serious ass in October with their two shows at Pianos, did the same again today in the middle of the day at a retail store, and I stand by my pick of their debut album as EAR FARM's #2 album released in 2005. More on Brakes in a bit. First, there were two bands that played before them as part of this Live From London showcase....

The Young Knives
The Young Knives got things started with a bang. They're a three piece from Oxford and are of the same mold as many other current UK bands, meaning that they bring an obvious love of post-punk/new wave to the table. The planet has become so overly saturated with his kind of material that I generally don't even give bands that wear such influences on their sleeve much of a chance. That's right, for an extremely open-minded music listener I can be pretty close-minded. Well, lucky for me, live shows can change all of that. The Young Knives have a certain something that I find lacking in other current music. Something that kept me interested and very much liking their music. Three things I loved about them: Henry's (guitar) vocals, that they all seemed rather nerdy, and the fact that the bassist goes by the name The House of Lords. Hey, they must be doing something right - they've had Andy Gill record and produce some of their music.

Click HERE to stream some of their songs and HERE to watch two of their videos.

Go see The Young Knives at The Annex (152 Orchard St.) tonight at 1:30am.

The Heights
From North Wales, The Heights were up next. Interestingly the entire cafe area cleared out and new shoppers found their way towards the stage when the second band began so most of my fellow audience for The Heights were newcomers. While they were setting their levels I could tell that The Heights were going to be bringing something totally different from what The Young Knives played. Two guitars, bass and drums - right from the start of the first song they ripped into some excellent classic rock inspired indie music. The kind of stuff you heard more of in the 90's, the kind of stuff that makes for some great beer drinking music. Rock.

Listen:
"Jamaica Beer Eyes"

Visit The Heights on MySpace or see them live tomorrow night at Pianos.

Brakes
Okay, here we are. Back to the reason I found myself skipping out of work to go hang out at Virgin for two hours on a Tuesday. Brakes! They took the stage not long after The Heights ended and another new set of audience members found their way into the cafe area. I wondered how many new fans would be made today. Just as they were the last time I saw them, Brakes were on fire. Of course, their songs kind of demand to be played with energy and a sense of urgency but Brakes really shred. They play loud punk-rock indie-pop that had two people with gray hair dancing in front of me and had two kids behind me throwing their heads around. If you are still unfamiliar, consider that Brakes sound a bit like Pixies sometimes and maybe a bit like Camper Van Beethoven at other times. In fact, they did a great cover version of "Shut Us Down" by Camper Van Beethoven which you can hear below. Go see them tonight if you can, and BUY Give Blood for crying out loud!

Listen:
"Shut Us Down"

Visit Brakes on MySpace or see them live at The Annex (152 Orchard St.) tonight at 12:30am.

3 comments:

brian said...

I love Brakes! You're right - why no love? It's sad.

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