Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Concert Marathon

Last night I pulled off a three gig's in one evening bonanza, starting at the Pipettes instore at Other Music (SoHo), then on to the Pipettes main gig at the Highline Ballroom (Meatpacking District) before heading down to the Horrors secret last minute show at Pianos (Lower East Side). Very exhausting. The gigs were all interesting - the instore was short, but sweet. Their headline gig featured excellent support in the shape of Marit Bergmann, a Swedish singer-songwriter who was joined by Nina Peerson (of the Cardigans) on back vocals, which was a nice surprise. Smoosh were the main openers and were more confident than when I saw them support the Go! Team last year. The youngest of the Smoosh family came and joined them on bass duties for a couple of songs - so sweet. The Pipettes were good, but the new songs they played lacked the catchy genius of their earlier songs. Whether their success will continue depends greatly on their ability to come up with the magic a second time round. Let's hope they can do it.

The Horrors were loud and frightening. Really scary. I saw them last summer in Berlin and they were very intense, but not really terrifying. This time Faris Rotter was swinging from lighting rigs, lashing out into the crowds, jumping across like some praying mantris. There were hardly any stage lights, just a strobe effect caused by the many photographers trying to document this unbelievable and 'you had to be there' show. The Horrors definitely aren't for everyone, but if you want some theatrics and you don't have a low fear threshold, it should be enjoyable. On an OMG note: Nick Zinner + gf were there as were Dorian and Emma from the Long Blondes, who I am seeing tonight with We are Scientists as not-so-secret openers!

One thing that has really struck me about going to gigs in NY is that people are obsessed with 'hipsters'. In the queue for CSS, the Pipettes instore and also inside the CSS gigs I heard the people behind me discussing the merits of hipsterdom and constantly referring to 'hipsters' as a groups, making them into these unattainable super-beings, yet at the same time identifying themselves as on the peripheries of this intangible movement that isn't a movement. I heard two talking about how hard getting into MisShapes so I turned round and asked how hard it was. They were two gawky 16 year old boys, very nice though, and they quickly explained that they wouldn't know and they only go to free things. I realised then that NY hipsterdom was a very aspirational thing - something that was there for you when you turn 21 and can get into these places, but until then you observe from too far away. When I turned around at the Pipettes main gig to see who was obsessing over hipsters I realised it was the same people who were behind me in the CSS queue, making fun of hipsters yet at the same time identifying as them! The same people! Still talking about it! Hipsters don't exist, they are social constructs evident only when sufficient people believe in them to be a social reality. Don't worry about it all y'all!

posted by Robbie de Santos at 6/06/2007 07:02:00 pm


Anonymous Hannah said...

Sounds fun Robbie!
You're getting to some brilliant gigs! I only managed a few whilst there,but we did see a good local band called Jealous Girlfriends (supporting Razorlight, but we can ignore that) They have a residency at Piano's on Ludlow/Stanton on Thursday nights, so if you're still around next week and aren't busy on Thursday, check them out. I promise they're good!
Hope the weather clears up for you too!


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