Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
Sound Go Round
Dressy Bessy at Littlefield in Brooklyn
Frank YangIf anyone were to ask – and really they’re not – this long weekend jaunt to New York was most definitely not a music trip. It was a shopping/eating/visiting/just getting out of Toronto trip, yes, but not a “music” trip as so many of my getaways tend to be. So that I ended up at shows the first two nights I was in town was purely mostly coincidence.
I mean, I hadn’t even thought about Denver’s Dressy Bessy in the better part of a decade. I saw them at The Horseshoe way back in 2002 circa Sound Go Round – pre-blog era, yo – but lost interest not long after that and they haven’t exactly fought their way back onto my radar, having not released an album since 2008′s HOLLERandSTOMP. But here they were, still together and getting ready to put out a series of singles this Summer, and here I was, in an apartment just a few blocks from Littlefield in Brooklyn and in town with friends who wanted to go. And so we went.
And though Dressy Bessy were ostensibly the headliner on the bill over former Dream Syndicate leader Steve Wynn and his Miracle 3, they went on first – just as well since the day was beginning to catch up with me. The turnout was relatively light – perhaps some of their audience was peeled off by NYC Popfest, which this show could easily have been part of but wasn’t – but the band seemed bound and determined to have a good time of it regardless. Though they’re associated with the Elephant 6 scene and all the tweeness that can come with that, they were refreshingly loud and garagey/glammy in performance – I really wished I had earplugs – yet still bouncy and fun, with the energy of a band that doesn’t play much live but still really enjoys it. And as I remembered from that one time I saw them a decade ago, Tammy Ealom still has a curious relationship with the concept of pitch – her singing isn’t accurate, at least not with respect to the Western musical scale, but it is precise. It’s really kind of interesting.
Only stuck around for a little bit of Steve Wynn’s set – see above about being tired – but stayed long enough to a) hear Dream Syndicate’s “That’s What You Always Say”, which I know mostly from Luna’s cover, and b) acknowledge that Steve Wynn is a shit-hot guitarist. ‘Tis true.
Photos: Dressy Bessy @ Littlefield – May 19, 2012
MP3: Dressy Bessy – “Ringalingaling”
Video: Dressy Bessy – “Hey Alice!”
Video: Dressy Bessy – “Pretty Pleaze”
Video: Dressy Bessy – “Automatic”
Video: Dressy Bessy – “Anyone Can See”
Video: Dressy Bessy – “Ease Me Down”
Video: Dressy Bessy – “Dressed The Part”
Video: Dressy Bessy – “Do You Whisper”
Video: Dressy Bessy – “Roundabout”
Video: Dressy Bessy – “In Your Headphones”
Video: Dressy Bessy – “Left To The Right”
Video: Dressy Bessy – “Simple Girlz”
Video: Dressy Bessy – “Shoot I Love You”
Video: Dressy Bessy – “Ten Million Stars”
Video: Dressy Bessy – “Electrified”
Video: Dressy Bessy – “Better Luck”
The Afghan Whigs have released their first single in a half-decade, a cover of Marie “Queenie” Lyons’ “See And Don’t See”, and have made it available as a free download. They kick off their 2012 reunion tomorrow night at New York’s Bowery Ballroom – if I were staying here one extra day, I’d have moved heaven and earth to get a ticket. Instead, I will go home and feed the cat.
The first track from Major, the second album from Fang Island, is available to download. The record is out July 12.
Merge Records continues their duties as archivists of the ’90s with remasters and reissues of all of the Sugar albums. Copper Blue and Beaster will be collected as one double-LP/triple-CD set and File Under: Easy Listening on its own, both with attendant b-sides and live material. There will probably not be a more essential musical release this year, folks. They’re out July 24 and you can download live versions of three Copper Blue songs by Bob Mould earlier this Spring at Slicing Up Eyeballs.
Perfume Genius has made a non-album track that’s been showing up in live sets available to download.