CMJ: Gang Gang Dance at Webster Hall; Cool Kids at the Gramercy
Courtesy of Stereogum
Gang Gang Dance
Studio at Webster Hall
Blender Theater at the Gramercy
Arts & Leisure cover stars Gang Gang Dance christened Webster Hall's new VIP-inside-the-VIP Studio space a bit past 1 A.M. Private parties are evidently the new CMJ: at the Cool Kids showcase earlier that night, the venue was half full at best; two hours later, Whitney Port's tits were hanging out upstairs at Webster Hall and Friendly Fires were on turntables, making them shake. Gang Gang Dance may indeed be a "hot ticket," in the sense that every dirtbag in the city rushed the stage when they finally took it; still, once their interminable soundcheck coalesced into Saint Dymphna's unlikely, broken-glass groove, dudes at least stopped shoving.
One way you know this band's getting even better: Liz Bougatsos is no longer the pervy, prurient center of the onstage orb; her substantial, poncho-clad charisma was nothing compared to the Bollywood accents, sucking dub breaks, blast beats, break beats, calypso half-riffs, the swirling, cumulative, edible total of the miles of equipment this band lugs to 35 minute industry showcases. These days, GGD are so finely balanced on the verge of so many different things that it's hard to know what to want more of.
No such confusion with Cool Kids: "It was fucking sick," sobbed the cellphoned-up high-schooler exiting the Gramercy next to me. "We were high-fiving Chuck and Mikey the whole time. Mickey Factz was there!"
These guys are like a warm blanket: Pharcyde, Slick Rick, Beastie Boys interpolations? Check. Throwback Chicago Cubs jacket? Check. Super-excited Bronx-based nerd rapper pogoing in the back? Check. Mikey rapped an entire song with a box of children's cereal in hand; add that to the "who's birthday is it?" break, the subsequent ID check, and the eventually gift of an Xbox game, and we could've been at Chucky Cheese.
(Except women—doing the worm, chrissake, dancing for still more video games onstage, rotating in the crowd —love this band, schoolboy anti-sexual charisma be damned. . .so possibly models at rap shows are the new CMJ?)