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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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21 comments:

Mirror said...

Ray Kimura wrote:

Thanks for sharing the great review as always Dave x
Wow...Stephen Malkmus And The Jick!!!!! I love them!!

As for other bands which you wrote about there, I will definitely check them out in detail later and share my feedback with you.

(Here's my drawing of Stephen x)

https://www.facebook.com/RayKimuraPaintings/photos/a.270269129678537.64249.270262819679168/437785189593596/?type=3&theater

DaveCromwell said...

That is a beautiful illustration of Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks and Ray! But - I would expect nothing less from you.

I see you attended one of their shows in Tokyo back in September of 2012. Very cool.

Anouk vdM said...

Nice review, Dave.

William said...

nice review as always- sounds like a fun time
of course you should know, its not a tricked out space helmet but a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger helmet. I'll leave you to Google that.

W

DaveCromwell said...

I actually AM familiar with the MMPR world, William. There was a time when it was running in the background non-stop on certain tv's within my proximity. I couldn't get past the "cheesiness" factor of the whole thing, but then again - its not really intended for someone in my age group. Thanks for the clarification, however. ;-)

Mirror said...

Rob Tochterman wrote:

First of all, it looks like the 4 Knots took off in style this inaugural year on its new Hudson River digs. And I'm supremely envious of the line-up I missed this year, so thank you Dave for bringing such a strong photo document (as always). Really wanted to catch Screaming Females as well as Mikal Cronin, I have been digging his recent 7" split on Famous Class records from last fall. And then I missed Stephen Malkmus. I'm going to be dealing with that show envy for the rest of the year.

DaveCromwell said...

Sometimes circumstances beyond our control prevent us from following through on our plans, Rob.

I know you'll be back at this event, front-and-center - next year!

And who knows what other opportunities to catch a number of these acts will present themselves in the coming months.

smork said...

seems like it was a memorable afternoon.
great scenery as well.
oh, and there was one chick that reminded (by her appearance) to an artist you wrote, I think last year. "laserra" i think was her name.... :P

DaveCromwell said...

Ah yes - Lizzah Lohse and Katy Goodman (of La Sera) DO have similarities in their ginger haired looks. Well spotted (as I previously had not made that connection). Glad you liked the photo show, Smork.

Misty said...

agree this is a truly spectacular photo document of two nyc fests! first off, love that Buscabulla song! so dreamy and beautiful. as for 4Knots, Heaven is wonderful, no doubt about that. also enjoying that link to the band The Teen Age. they have real promise. all the legendary bands that follow like Screaming Females, Malkmus and the Jicks and Super Furry Animals appear to have put on super entertaining shows!

DaveCromwell said...

Buscabulla at Northside Fest was one of the true highlights, Misty. And 4Knots has become an annual event that always delivers quality performances. I was super psyched when I first learned Stephen Malmus was returning. It was particularly circular (and nostalgic) since I covered him at the original Village Voice Siren Fest event a number of years earlier. The same for Screaming Females. As for newer bands like Heaven - they've been covered here more than a few times now as well!

NYCDreamin said...

Great coverage of several well deserving bands (I'm sure). I always like that you post so many great photos from shows you attend - just wondering if there is a way you can post them a bit larger? Glad (and none too surprised) to see that you're getting out and enjoying so much music during this beautiful summer of 2015. All too soon we'll all be stuck inside again to do our rock-and-rolling indoors.

DaveCromwell said...

If you click on the photos, NYC Dreamin - they actually all get much larger. Then - if you want - you can simply page through all the pictures in succession that way. Afterwards (or before) you can read the text that goes along with it. Google/Blogger is now configured that way. Larger photos on closer inspection!

ViewFromSpookysDoghouse said...

I really like the stage backdrop, the light blue colored drapery (I suppose), with the Village Voice and 4Knots logos. It makes for a tidy and unified Cromwell presentation throughout. Also, as a squirrelly character myself, I'm pleased to note the inclusion of Super Furry Animals in your discussion. Way to represent, yo! I'm pretty sure I've commented in the past about the great bass playing on the song Caer, so please pardon my repeating myself. But you've included this song in your expositions previously. Also, I'm not sure how a recorded work can emphasize a good look (see again the Buscabulla section), unless you are discussing colors within music, which is still something I fail to comprehend. However, I did feel that this was a really good write-up, and my day is enhanced because of viewing it.

DaveCromwell said...

Yes, for sure you HAVE pointed out Luis' creative bass lines in Buscabulla's wonderful song "Caer." I made note of it as well on initial hearings and had the good fortune of telling him in person how much I enjoyed it. As for a "recorded work emphasizing a good look" - of course I'm referring to the *video* associated with the song. Raquel is the perfect mix of natural beauty and glamorous styling. Additionally the overall video presents multiple visually appealing moods. I'm happy to learn that an "enhanced day" resulted from my work here.

Mirror said...

Croms! You are my personal music guru - just when I've been craving new music.

Haven't been to many shows lately. Even though there are lots of big music fests with big stages out here near Bezerkeley, CA.

Like Outside Lands for instance.

Enjoyed reading this blog!

DaveCromwell said...

I am honored to be considered by anyone a "personal music guru" ;-) So, thank you for that, Marlene (of the double same name).

It is always my hope to provide at least some kind of glimpse into the NYC Summer Festival scene. Northside and 4Knots are two of my faves, and covering them both become a priority.

Those California shows are always well covered as are the big ones in Chicago this time of year. Get to the one's you can!

Mirror said...

Chris Mills writes:

Buscabulla is troublemaking fun! Caer is hypnotic, trancing, irresistable, with a streak of the avant-garde that Bjork captures so well. She's also a stunner, which ( ahem! ).....helps!

I must take in the rest of this blog when I can sit at a decent sound system on my desktop.

DaveCromwell said...

Without a doubt Buscabulla was my top new discovery this year, Chris. Your commentary on "Caer" is spot on, and I like the Bjork comparison. I hadn't made that connection initially, but definitely can see what you mean.

By all means please do take the time to explore the other artists featured here. It most certainly will be well worth your time.

Bruninha said...

Hello my dear!!!

The Buscabulla band, very caught my attention because it mixed some undergrounds elements 60s that pleases me, the vocal combination was perfect, and certainly also has space on my ipod.

The band happyness, also caught my intention for more danceable sound style, like the sound more independent so that they can play with the songs.

Already Band Heaters, came with good sound messy, doquele kind you can not really define the instruments, the proposal is interesting, but does not fit much as I appreciate the music.

So my friend is that, I takes me a little bit to send comments, but I love to read your publications.

They always bring me something new, surprising and exciting. Thank you for giving me that.

You are a fabulous writer, fantastic and amazing.

DaveCromwell said...

Well done in pointing out the "underground 60's elements" in Buscabulla's music, Bruninha. It is definitely there and deserves mentioning. Interesting that you investigated the music of Happyness and Heaters too. The "middle feature" bands can sometimes get overlooked in a blog like this (which covers so many) so I'm sure those artists appreciate you taking the time to check them out.