Both of these bands have been on my radar for a few months; both use sampling (ES sampling & looping live sitar), both are referencing influences from the 60’s, both are very young in their development, & both have names that I think are poo, compared to the power of their music.
The first, SOS (formally known by the name I prefer, Shadows On Stars), was on Monday. Since all of New York went back to work & school after the summer, it can’t have been easy to get people to come out.
However, Glasslands was heading towards full for SOS's first NYC performance.
Hard to really put a genre name to SOS, but if pushed, I guess I’d call them a cross between abstract R&B/cyber soul & spaced-out modern rock. They simply call it Alt on their Soundcloud.
While the gorgeous Randa Leigh sings, one can not help but be seduced by her smile, & hips, but for me, the show was most interesting when Brian Vincent & the band actually dug in on the instrumental parts of the tunes.
Elephant Stone at Rock Shop, a venue I hadn't been to before, was equally a hard night to pull people since it fell on 9/11.
The band was cool & tight, playing their own brand of pop-tinged psychedelia, & channeling both the Beatles & the Byrds at times, but with bass & drum rhythms that are danceable.
I’d love to see/hear these guys with a "real" loud system.
Both bands will also benefit when they can afford to add visuals, & in ES's case I missed the diva-type backing vocalist on the record.
Even though they both played in Brooklyn, they could have been in different countries, in different eras.
Monday’s Williamsburg show was a young & cool crowd, making me feel my normal mix of uncomfortable & self-conscious, being the old guy in the room. While Thursday in Park Slope, I actually felt sorry for the band who were looking out on the oldest & uncool gig crowd I've ever seen. If I didn't live in Park Slope, which is a black hole of style, I might have thought this crowd came from some normcore fashion-week event.
Coincidentally both are featured on this month’s Blurring Radio mix tape, "Pop Isn’t a Dirty Word."