21 October 2007

Black Kids @ R Bar - 19 October 2007

I had my sights set on the Brooklyn Vegan October 19th CMJ day show since I first saw the lineup announced. Obviously, the real draw for me was Islands, but I wanted to get a chance to see a few of the bands on this bill to let them show me why they're getting so much hype lately. Tops on my list in this regard was Black Kids, who recently have been getting all kinds of attention in the indie music world. A band with no label, no real touring history, and a 4 song EP available for free on their MySpace page getting an 8.4 and much love for their demo on Pitchfork?? Sounds like good old Pitchfork bullcorn. Or, sounds like they have the right PR/management connections. Oh right, they do. Color me extremely skeptical.

So there I stood, barely inside the doorway to the back room at R Bar, already annoyed. The place was packed past its limits with people just as eager as myself to see what all of the fuss was about. In other words, it was hot, impossible to move or see (and I'm tall - but the stage was a mere three apples high) or hear, and crowded with a ton of New York's most gullible music lovers. A show already setup to fail from my point of view - a surefire recipe for CMJ success for most others. Right? Let's check... yep.

Pardon me as I skip the BS and cut right to the chase: Black Kids are an embryonic band unsure of how to deliver on the hype swirling about them. I don't know what manner of beer goggles Marc Hogan had on Thursday night at The Annex, but in person on Friday at R Bar Black Kids were one notch above awful. A 1.7 on the Pitchfork scale.

I don't blame them for this, it's not their fault. They've written a few good songs and have been put on the fast track at least a year too soon, something happening more and more often and something that is not a good thing for artistic development. There's no good reason this band should be on anyone's radar other than a few of the talent buyers at clubs in Jacksonville, Florida, yet here they are being touted by the NME, Village Voice, NY Times, Pitchfork, etc etc. What choice does the independent thinking indie-rock fan have but to call Black Kids "not all that"? They've got energy, charisma, four very good songs already in the can, and potential to expand their sound beyond the Cure/Go! Team comparisons (not that those are bad, or off the mark), but they need more time. So let's all give them a break until, say, next year's CMJ - yeah?

Listen:
“I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You”

See pictures of Black Kids (from this show, taken by someone else) HERE.

Visit Black Kids on MySpace.

18 comments:

Sean said...

Thanks for the report Matt. I think I have similar feelings about the Black Kids so far but have never seen them...sometimes you talk too much sense to be a music blogger.

nards said...

Marc Hogan is a putz. If a 4 song demo (EP, whatever) gets best new music, it damn well better be something special. Something groundbreaking. It needs to be breathtakingly beautiful or revolutionary...or even controversial. Not some bullshit derivative electro-pop. Jesus H. Christ. And hogan gets another shit-pop best new music in Tough Alliance. What is this, the marc hogan show? He needs to auto-asphyxiate himself.

Andruw said...

too bad Pareles was too much of a pussy to actually give an opinion about them in the Times today.

Anonymous said...

I was there at the r bar, too, and they were mediocre and GREEN. I don't understand the hype, and they sure seemed underdeveloped. Thanks for the bit of sanity.

Anonymous said...

looks like that stupid Idolator blog read your post yesterday and stole it:

http://idolator.com/tunes/you.ve-got-to-be-kidding/an-idolator-real-talk-special-report-the-black-kids-hype-must-be-stopped-313517.php

Anonymous said...

RE the above mentioned idolator article, this piece here managed to get the same point across much more efficiently.

Anonymous said...

I was at the R Bar. The first couple songs were so-so, but the rest was amazing.

Matt said...

to Anon 3:40 - that's just, like, your opinion man

to Anon 2:14 - completely stolen, and my lawyer has been contacted.............. kidding. i'd say definitely not stolen, but some similar points were raised in theirs. and thanks for the link to it.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard of Black Kids until this morning. While surfing the net, I suddenly came across a bunch of negative reviews and disparaging remarks, mostly based on their performance at CMJ.

It seems ironic that all the breath and scope of the "negative hype" has actually managed to transcend the "positive hype", so that now, the average joe like me is being introduced to Black Kids as "that over-rated band that didn't live up to expectations". Therefore the band is becoming famous for being infamous, and only infamous for not being amazing.
"This band isn't as great as everyone was saying".
"Who's everyone?"
"You know, that guy over there".
"Oh him. Yeah, Black Kids sucks".

For the record, I downloaded the EP just now. It sounds pretty good to me... like little pieces of other better bands mashed into one group. It's not great, but it's not bad either. I wouldn't mind wandering in to one of their shows on an otherwise dull Tuesday evening.

Anonymous said...

That guys voice is so fucking annoying. SO FUCKING ANNOYING and the drummer needs lessons something fierce! I was at CMJ to see them, as well. I thought the first showcase was embarrassingly bad and dragged a friend along to the second showcase to prove to her that I was right. She, too could not believe that people were investing any interest or time into this band. Just goes to show you how lazy the industry has become. If I were their management team, I would let them down easy right now and save myself money and embarrassment. I'm originally from their hometown of Jacksonville Florida and I know for a fact that there is untapped talent in that town that far surpasses this bologne. So what gives, eh?

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