Ex-Bikini Kill and Le Tigre leader Kathleen Hanna debuted her new band, The Julie Ruin, at a Northside Festival show at Saint Vitus in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, on June 13. After a poignantly bleak set by Motreal duo Majical Cloudz, The Julie Ruin–featuring a lineup of co-Bikini Kill founder/bassist Kathi Wilcox, Kenny Mellman of Kiki and Herb fame on keyboards, guitarist Sara Landeau, and drummer Carmine Covelli–ran through a setlist of songs from their upcoming album, Run Fast, as well as songs from Hanna’s 1997 solo album from which the band takes its name. Following The Julie Ruin was Body/Head, the experimental guitar duo of Bill Nace and Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon. Despite filling the room with guitar drones and the giant projections onstage, it was impossible to watch the performance without the dissolution of Gordon and Thurston Moore’s marriage (and thus of Sonic Youth) in the back of your mind.
Canadian rock duo Japandroids played the post-Governor’s Ball show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on a hot and rainy June evening. Continuing their marathon tour in support of last year’s Celebration Rock, the duo tore through the entire album amidst a never-ending wave of crowd-surfers, stage-divers, and fist-pumpers. If the entire crowd was psyched throughout the show, they reached a whole new level of pyschitude for closer “The House That Heaven Built.” Always an interesting mix between indie-rock kids and guitar-rockin’ meatheads, the dude-heavy crowd pumped their fists to the “oh-oh-oh-oh oh-oh-oh-OH” chorus, and they might as well have been singing “BRO-BRO-BRO-BRO, BRO-BRO-BRO-BRO!”