Tonight at 8 PM there will be a concert at Death by Audio that not only features three of Brooklyn's best upcoming bands, but also a donation drive for Sandy relief. Recommended donations are food, water, flashlights, D batteries, cleaning supplies, hand warmers, diapers, baby food, blankets, sleeping bags, hypothermia blankets, carbon monoxide detectors, folding chairs and tables, sternos, and catering equipment. (But no clothing, please.)
Headlining quartet People Get Ready, which recently released an eponymously titled first full-length album on Brassland after a few EPs on Quite Scientific, consists of co-founders vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Steven Reker (Silver Haunches; David Byrne's touring band) and drummer Luke Fasano (Yeasayer) along with vocalist/keyboardist Jen Goma (A Sunny Day in Glasgow) and guitarist James Rickman (Slow Gherkin). Though they are notorious for incorporating dance and performance art, they're also more than capable of putting on a riveting show without those elements. A few tracks superficially suggest the Shins, but with less predictable rhythms, more keyboard, more vocal versatility, and a generally more left-field view of music, most of the tracks are a lot harder to come up with comparisons for. Reker has several different voices he uses, and he and Goma also sometimes combine their voices in an eerily synchronized unison that sounds like one uncategorizable voice, as can be seen/heard below.
Grooms, one of my favorites, has already made two fine albums, but
hearing the trio's recently completed (not yet released) album shows it continues to evolve stylistically. The easy comparisons for their earlier work (Sonic Youth, Pavement) have been eclipsed by Travis Johnson's use of a wider array of guitar textures, some shoegazey and some rougher or brighter. The compositions and arrangements also often have an Asian tint, with the scales and intervals suggesting his musical ethnographic explorations have focused on China recently. Siouxsie & the Banshees used to incorporate similar elements, but more superficially, even parodically; Grooms makes it more interesting (and doesn't much sound like S&B).
Also playing is Formica Man, which I knew nothing about until this show was announced, but which sounds so rabidly post-punk/no-wave on the tracks on their Bandcamp page that I can't wait to hear them.
Death by Audio is at 49 South Second St. (at Kent Ave.) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a short walk west from the Bedford Ave. stop on the L train.