Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Matt Pond and His PA in the BK

According to my all-knowing concert almanac, I haven’t been to North Six since the fall of 2003, which in indie-rock years translates to about 3/5ths of any given band’s lifespan (speaking of which, who are the Stokes and why do I still have their CDs in my closet?).

If I remember correctly, the last show I saw at North Six was Lake Trout and, at the time, all parties involved unanimously agreed that I was nowhere near cool enough to ever step foot in Williamsburg again. But, now that all jambands claim to be of indie-decent and all intelligent indie-rock bands have realized the financial benefits of playing to hippies, its become increasingly hard to avoid this stuffy, slice of west Williamsburg. Besides, I’m Friendsters-in-law with Matt Pond PA guitarist Brian Pearl and they were nice enough to play on my home turf last fall (a Guster concert, of course), so I feel I owed North Six a visit.

In post-Millennium New York, riding the L to Williamsburg is kind of like taking a bus tour around Haight Asbury in the late-1960s. Its become a caricature of itself and most of its original residents have been economically boxed out, relocating to refuges in either the east village or Hoboken (where Yo La Tango surely offered them social asylums). But its still an interesting section of the city to visit (especially to see a bill as intriguing as Matt Pond PA and Youth Group) and still manages to horizontally with my below 14th Street comfort zone.

I can see myself really liking Youth Group given the right setting, but since I not suffering from a broken heart and haven’t recently undergone a traumatic experience (like wrinkling my pressed pants) I decided to talk about Pink Floyd with a friend in the lobby instead. Don’t get me wrong---I like indie-rock just as much as the next aging Phish-kid, but there is something inherently uncomfortable about sitting through a club-size hipster show. Its as if North Six is so frail that cracking a simple smile could instantaneously shatter the room’s entire façade. In retrospect, I don’t think I would have survived Haight Asbury either. I’m a jamband kid who doesn’t do drugs, a indie-rock observer who doesn’t tie his shoes. I guess in searching for a scene, I’ve been able to carve out my own little, neurotic scene. Besides, no style of music should take itself that seriously.

Before Brooklyn authorities evoke my Metrocard-size passport, I want to clarify a few things. First off, I’ve always been a fan of indie-rock, even back when it was called alternative-rock. Second, I see a distinct stylistic difference between the hickster breed of indie-rockers (My Morning Jacket, Iron and Wine, Calexico, et all) and the more straightforward, dare I say generic, bands people associate with the indie-stereotype. I think it boils down to geography and drumming, which tends to be flashier in Brooklyn than, say, Kentucky. Speaking of indie-rock, I’m still really, really digging the latest batch of jam/indie cross-overs (Dean-is it too early to classify these bands as post-jam?). Tom Hamilton’s American Babies brings tears to my eyes and the Duo’s new, Broken Social Scene sound makes me bounce in a whole new way.

I’m generally of the belief that if I spend too much time in Williamsburg I’ll magically grow a “the” pre-fix before my name, so I decided to bounce just after Matt Pond PA broke into “Brooklyn Stars,” an ironic song title if there ever was one.

As they Say In Matt Pond PA,

The Mikey Greenhaus

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