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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Buscabulla, DeliMag Print Issue # 42, 4Knots Fest 2015

The penultimate night of most Thursday through Sunday music festivals is usually that Saturday.  Despite an impressive June 11 opening day portion that kicked off this years Northside Fest, a case could be made for June 13 as well.


Recent discovery (and new found favorite) Buscabulla headlined The Deli's NYC B.E.A.F Electro Stage at The Living Room in Brooklyn.


The band (who's name is Spanish slang for troublemaker) is the music project of Puerto Rican designer and Brooklyn resident, Raquel Berrios and Luis Alfredo Del Valle.



Fronted by the captivating Berrios, a dynamic set of music was delivered to dancing, grooved-out and totally enthusiastic audience members.

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The bands recorded works are quite impressive, emphasizing both glamorous good looks and sonic creativity.

Perfectly captured in this video here:



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This year’s 4Knots Music Festival took place on Saturday, July 11th in its new location at Pier 84 in Hudson River Park. Relocating from lower Manhattan’s South Street Seaport to 555 12th Ave, by W. 44th Street reflected 4Knots new partnership with Friends of Hudson River Park.


Serious local dream pop veterans Heaven played early in the day.

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Matt Sumrow continues to move his  "Heaven dream" forward by consistently delivering outstanding live performances.

Accurately representing the impeccable studio recordings of his songs.


Featured album track "Mountains Move" come off moody, dark and dreamy (all rolled into one) as Matt's outstanding guitar work alternates between clean-note arpeggios and wah-wah effected choruses


Frequent bandmember Lizzah Lohse added a glamour element to the overall live show, providing essential keyboards and backing vocals.


Other featured album tracks played like "Once The Heartache," "Falling Apple" and "Centuries"  emphasized the importance of those majestic keyboard pads, as they underscored  clearly defined chord progressions and atmospheric dream-gaze vocals.


While stand-out track “Telepathic Love” accentuated Matt’s soft yet sandpapery vocals, weaving imagery about having seen “the ugly and the beautiful,” and simply trying to “figure it all out.”

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It was great catching up with Matt and Lizzah in the Press Lounge on the yacht.

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Brooklyn punk rockers Surfbort kicked off the event with their female fronted lyrical nihilism and Ramones inspired rhythms.

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With song titles like “Trippin Over Babies,” “Perversion” and “Junk Estate,” the bands mission statement includes how they “laugh in the face of the end of the world,” while “getting emotional about the slushie streets.”

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During the early part of the day a Zepplin flyover was spotted


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Jimmy Page would have been proud


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Next up were the pride of Grand Rapids, Michigan - Heaters



They played an intriguing set that at times featured driving spaced-out psych rock, emphasizing expansive, sonic peaks.

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At this point it was time for a little chill time over on the Hornblower Yacht.


Hanging out with The Teen Age band members Micah and Bill throughout the day make for some great conversation and a lot of laughs.

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Everyone was completely psyched for the Meatbodies show, and they did not disappoint.


The meat boys crushed it in a hair whipping frenzy.


While a feverish crowd lapped it up.

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Heading back over to the yacht for a bit more cooling off - from that vantage point the set from London indie rockers Happyness was taken in - serving as the midpoint break for this fest.



Now completely sweat soaked and fully rocked - the anticipation for Screaming Females took everything to yet another level.


One of two featured bands returning to the annual Village Voice event for a second go this year (the other highlighted further down), Marissa Paternoster and her boys put on the expected shred fest.


More than a few songs played from their ever expanding catalog shared the recurring pattern of appealing descending chord progression.


While the bass and drums throttled forward like a 1980's SST label punk band


With Marissa's guitars chunking over top until the inevitable sinewy guitar solo.

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Following that was the California jam-rock of Mikal Cronin


An easy, breezy west coast vibe runs through this music.  Especially on the recorded tracks.


However, here in the live environment, the tunes were stretched out and many an extended jam delighted an attentive audience.


Cronin's unique hook is the ability to homogenize classic progressions and then deliver them back in his own personal style.


None other than the legend himself - Stephen Malkmus - was spotted checking out the set from a side stage road case perch.

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The youthfully exuberant Twin Peaks were next, delivering a wildly entertaining show.


Heavy emphasis on slashing guitar chords and Iggy Pop style vocals (especially on the song "I Found A New Way") kept the excitement level high.


Fat Possum Records t-shirt and monster drum thump.


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The crowd responded with a fever pitch intensity.


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The moment had now arrived for one of this festivals biggest names to make their return. 


Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks


Back in 2008 - when this annual event was still called The Siren Fest (and held at Coney Island in Brooklyn) The Malk headlined the show that year - and was cromicled by yours truly here


An early unique-to-this-particular-fest moment occurred right away when Stephen looked down at all of us in the partitioned off photo pit and simply said "hello photography people" (no doubt somewhat taken aback at how many of us were crammed in there).


Anchoring the rhythm section and still acting as his onstage foil is bassist Joanna Bolme (who initially impressed in that 2008 show linked above).


Although revered as much for his work with early alternative band Pavement as his now long running band the Jicks, Malkmus' clever sense of wordplay remains at the forefront of his appeal.


Playing a wide variety of tracks from an extensive catalog (was great to hear "Baby C'mon" once more) - the focus obviously was on the most recent release "Wig Out At Jagbags"


The beauty of Malkmus' work is his ability to seemingly weave three songs into one, as exemplified on the Jagbag's song "The Janitor Revealed" (with it's near prog-like time changes and multiple melodies).


While the obvious nod to The Grateful Dead's "St. Stephen" (where that songs actual signature riff is recreated within his own "Cinnamon and Lesbians") becomes a playful spoof on deadheads and hippies in general.


Wig out indeed!

A perspective shot from deep in the crowd.


The Malkman truly had delivered.

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Taking a moment to capture a variety of images and views from the press yacht proved inspiring

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With a few social media salvos garnering appreciative responses.


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The other big deal of this years fest was the return of Welsh space-pop rockers Super Furry Animals


Playing their first shows as a unit since 2009, the band made certain to present both a visual and audio tour-de-force on this (now) evening.


With the band wearing all white NASA style jumpsuits, the initial song was delivered with vocals coming through a tricked-out space helmet.

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"Hello Sunshine" evoked the mood of Orange County, California

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The now ever present Social Media factor provides additional gravitas


While evening views of the Yacht create color palettes in newly vivid hues.

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While an ever evolving array of colorful lighting dropped a psychedelic sheen over it all.

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