Dum Dum Girls @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, 03.26.2014


Touring in support of their new record, Too True, Dum Dum Girls played the second of two sold-out New York City shows on the 26th, at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Opening band Young Boys seemed to have something going on musically, though no one in the band can sing, and not in a charming kind of way. Second band Blouse were impressive. My immediate reaction was that if either the Breeders or Camera Obscura–two bands with little in common–were shoegaze bands, they’d both sound a lot like Blouse. Speaking of shoegaze, Dum Dum Girls reminded me more than a little of your typical mid-90s dream-pop alt-rock band. I mean that in a good way. Like a slightly less-rocky, more sinister version of Belly.

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, 02.27.2014


Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks played a sold-out show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on February 27th. Malkmus has basically settled into nice late-career groove, pumping out a record every couple years, touring, and repeating. He’s no longer running away from the Pavement years, having gotten all that out of his system during the reunion a few years ago, and he’s regularly playing a Pavement song or two during his sets now. And even though he’s been Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks longer than he’s been in Pavement now, there’s no doubt that it’s the Pavement songs that still get the most reaction, particularly when he’s playing deeper cuts and b-sides like “Harness Your Hopes,” as he did at MHOW.

Diarrhea Planet @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, 02.16.14


Nashville, TN pop punk sextet Diarrhea Planet played an opening set for fellow Nashvillains Those Darlins at Music Hall of Williamsburg, and if the point of an opening band is to warm up the crowd, then they failed miserably. Because by the end of their blistering set, the crowd was flat-out warn out. Both band and crowd were incredibly raucous from the start with shirtless bros abounding on the 20 degree night. I can’t really imagine anyone having more fun than being one of the four guitarists in Diarrhea Planet.

DP call themselves punks– and even went so far as to go on a rant explaining how anyone can be a punk, and then brought a guy onstage to explain what makes him angry (subway wrong-way walkers)– but their closest punk relatives are probably the mid-90’s wave of pop punk. Except DP are way faster and way louder. It’s a little incredible how a band with six members can be so tight. They even break down into mini-units, with the two stage-right guitarists breaking into choreographed guitar wagging.


Unfortunately, the same got-their-shit-together-ness can’t be said for large portions of the crowd, who’s “moshing” and “stage diving” so deserve the ironic quotes. It was more like  stage-lower-yourelf-slowly-into-the-crowd-ing. Seriously, it was kind of pathetic. And pathetic on both divers and the crowd tasked with catching the divers. The best dive of the night came from, unsurprisingly, one of the guitarists of DP. The heaviest one. He took a huge leap of the stage, and was barely saved from hitting the floor by the shocked crowd beneath him. And I mean “beneath” him as in physically below him as well as that they were not even worthy of catching such a magnificent rock showman. Diarrhea Planet are on their own world right now as far as live bands go, and everything in orbit can barely keep up.