Lesson of the week – NEVER FORGET EARPLUGS WHILE ON ASSIGNMENT.
You never know when you’ll be clinging onto the speakers in an effort to protect your equipment from a surprisingly violent mosh pit.
Who would think a band called Vivian Girls would draw such a mosh pit in the first place?
That said, The Bitters, The Grass Widows and the Vivian Girls played at the Market Hotel in Bushwick on Friday night. The venue is located on the corners of Myrtle Avenue and Broadway, a section of Bushwick under the train tracks and more dangerous than desolate.
The Market Hotel is a giant run-down loft. It packs quickly with 20-somethings and charges $10 at the door, even to bloggers. Abstract, unimpressive paintings hang on the walls. The stage looks homemade – the walls and ceiling around it are black, peeling paint. Just a curtain hangs to the back of it. It looks like many places in Bushwick – ratty, large, and utilitarian.
Maybe it was the equipment, or the sound guy or the acoustics, but the bands sounded terrible. The guitars were always too high with lots of static and reverb, the vocals indecipherable.
The first band that I saw (I accidentally showed up late) was The Bitters, a 4-piece from Toronto. Aerin Fogel, an attractive lady in a flowered dress, was the singer.
Grass Widow played next. They had just flown in from San Francisco.
Hannah Lew, Lillian Maring, and Raven Mahon of Grass Widow
Vivian Girls headlined. They’re hard to describe because of the problems with the sound. The wildly shoving crowd was crazy over them.
Kickball Katy of the Vivian Girls
Cassie Ramone, guitarist, Vivian Girls
Both of the final two bands were garage rock, pop-punk, loud. The ladies in each tossed their hair and flaunted their guitars, most of them wearing short skirts and tall boots. It led me to assume that their popularity was based more on looks and stage presence than musical ability. But again, overall sound was a problem.
I regained hearing by Sunday.