photos by Jessi Bautista
Last weekend’s Northside Music Festival was a melting pot of musicians converging on various venues in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. Of the many great artists who played over the four day festival, I managed to see 6 solid acts who proved they are worthy of their buzz. Sharon Van Etten’s wistful, captivating presence struggled at first to silence the semi-rowdy 5 o’clock crowd at Trophy Bar on Saturday. But with a voice like Van Etten’s, it was only a matter a minutes before the bar quieted down and paid witness to her astonishing talent.
The night prior, I headed over to Death By Audio, where I caught great sets by Air Waves and Real Estate. I had never heard of Air Waves before, but they impressed me with their easy-going sing-song tunes, reminiscent of lighter Yo La Tengo fare when Georgia’s at the mic. Real Estate delivered their psychedelic progressions to a suddenly packed house. They sounded great and their catalog is developing nicely.
Next, headed over to Spike Hill to catch Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers. Wow! This show was fantastic! If you ever have a chance to catch their live set, don’t hesitate.
Saturday at The Shank in Greenpoint, buzz band Woods lived up to the current hype. The smoke-hazed warehouse grew increasingly crowded when the band went on, but it was the ideal venue for their potent set. I was particularly impressed with Lucas Crane, the bands electronic mad scientist.
We rounded out Saturday night at Studio B to catch the Daedelus set. Oh my God this guy is brilliant. Part DJ, part composer, part conductor on acid, Daedelus creates a schizophrenic menagerie of samples, beats and sounds. The highlight was definitely the sped-up, meth-crazed reversion of a Beirut track. I was a bit sauced, but I believe the track was “Elephant Gun”. This was so awesome I wish I had a copy for myself!
All in all it was six for six in my Northside Music Fest experience. I’m impressed and really hope the festival returns next year.