Sunday’s Northside Festival day showcase included performances sponsored by Engine Room Recordings and Tijuana Gift Shop. I arrived at the cold as a cave (perfect on this hellishly hot day) Public Assembly to catch Madison Square Gardeners. Their rich sound felt like a good old American summer complete with a 12-string guitar. With clever lyrics like “my ex-girlfriend is a lesbian,” the Brooklyn transplants kept the atmosphere playful and light.
I then headed over to Spike Hill for a showcase that I couldn’t find. Everyone was watching the World Cup at the venue, so I turned back round and headed back to my new favorite venue… Public Assembly. I walked in during the set of vocally-strong The Art of Shooting. “Japanese” is a beautiful piece with melodic guitars reminiscent of 90′s indie, accompanied by the nonchalant Courtney Love-styled vocals of singer Kelly Irene Corson. The band’s set also included a cover of Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure.” I must admit, embarrassingly, that when I heard the first bar of the song, I thought it was “Ice Ice Baby”. Easy mistake. Oh well, it was still a strong cover with guitarist Gavin Dunaway doing an amazing job on the vocals.
Harper Blynn, made up of Peter Harper and J. Blynn, (formerly Pete and J), brought on more summertime harmonies that got the crowd dancing. Their ultra pop song “Models and Dancers” was preceded with an apology to models and dancers. Did they not get the memo about musicians and models? The breezy set also included one of their “most famous” songs… Beyonce’s “Halo.”
Next up was Jody Porter of Fountains of Wayne. Though not a man of many words, Porter let the music do the work, as most songs lingered at the end, then started right up into a new piece.
The garage sounds of Porter were melodic–quite different from the power pop pieces of Fountains of Wayne. [Here he is above, hamming it up with Pete Harper of Harper Blynn].
The Canon Logic performed to an upbeat and dancey crowd with some disco beats and Brandon Flowers-like vocals. The energetic and hilarious showcase ended with a video shoot involving a 7-8 foot tall robot performing onstage with the Brooklyn-based band.
The day showcase neared its end and I left to enjoy the streets of Bedford Avenue, now with gratitude for the warm air and a Diet Pepsi. –Tear-n Tan/photos by Tear-n Tan