Saturday, June 29, 2013

4Knots Festival: Kurt Vile and the Violators; Reigning Sound; The Men; Marnie Stern; Parquet Courts

4Knots Festival: Kurt Vile and the Violators; Reigning Sound; The Men; Marnie Stern; Parquet Courts
@ South Street Seaport
New York, NY - June 29, 2013

Parquet Courts should be considered the signature band of minimalist punk in New York City. They are fast, fun, sprightly, and yet also wonderfully stumbly and slappy. A few flecks of No Wave make that latter part possible. And to hear them live really drives the point home. Barnburning through their initial spate of work, the likes of which include insta-classics like "Borrowed Time", "Stoned and Starving", and the aptly titled "Master of My Craft", we have on our hands here a winner. Fabulous.

I heard Marnie Stern from down the way on the pier. Sounded good. I think.

I missed the first moments of the Men so if they played "Half Angel Half Light" I missed it. It would be a shame if they didn't play it. It's a splendid piece of  powered punk. What I did hear the Men play was their long form forays into rhythmic unknowns but peppered with familiar sounds and feelings, the original acquired taste I thought them to be. But then with a little help from friends (a band on the festival bill whom I missed?) came a rip roaring cover of "I Wanna Be Your Dog", straight from hell. It was fantastic. And I swear I heard some of Big Black's "Cables" prior to it. Any band who would cover that one is already A+ in my book.

Greg Cartwright and the Reigning Sound have added more of the Stax style to their Memphis sound and they sound more relaxed than ever before, definitely not the loud clang of Too Much Guitar. But bona fide classics like "Your Love is a Fine Thing", "We Repel Each Other", and of course "Time Bomb High School" still ring true, but with more organ soul, bringing out the 60's pop maven that lurks in the beating heart of Cartwright. Also as a cohort chortled, it is perhaps with the return of the Oblivians (who are sounding wild and great themselves by the way), that Cartwright is satisfied now at two ends of his tastes.

You'd think with a name like Kurt Vile & the Violators you'd be getting a Germanic Goth Punk thing. Nope. This cat has made his way up the Indie Rock World of Respectability by playing the laid back classic rock game. I just learned he used to be in the War on Drugs, that very good band out of Philly, and that would explain some of this but he's feels San Francisco, dig? THAT band - the War on Drugs - takes Dylan Rock and work a little oomph into it, but Vile in his own fashion is a little too laconic, at least live.


At June 29, 2013 at 9:49:00 PM EDT, Blogger Sean O'Connell said...

Pretty sure the Men didn't play that song in the beginning

At June 29, 2013 at 9:51:00 PM EDT, Blogger Elwood D. Pennypacker said...

"Cables"? I didn't really think so, that's why I said it sounded like. Whatever they did play, it worked well as if it was that one.


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