Live: Insound's 10th Anniversary at Brooklyn Bowl, Featuring Real Estate, the Drums, and More
"It's a birthday party, y'all!" announced These Are Powers vocalist Anna Barie last night, her voice sounding slightly tinged with sarcasm--though she was conveying a truth of sorts. In honor of the online indie retailer Insound's 10th Anniversary, the New York/Chicago art trio were brandishing a gloopy, sample-triggered set at Williamsburg entertainment complex Brooklyn Bowl.
And it had felt a bit like a party initially, albeit one conducted mostly for marketing and client relations purposes. A steady supply of guest-listed industry affiliates arrived early, drank comped Brooklyn IPAs and schmoozed amongst those they'd lived, worked, and/or slept with, every trip across the bar an occasion for a hug or handshake. Everyone seemed fashionably familiar and nobody opened their wallets.
By the time The Drums, the second of the five blog-approved bands on the bill, took the stage though, the drinks cost money and the paying customer masses had started to turn up. At least the band put on a show: Drums singer Jonathan Pierce sashayed unabashedly, howling tormented love lyrics, while one of his bandmates could have won a big blue ribbon for theatrical tambourine playing. The band, fitted with tunes that hark back to the '50s and '60s, were one of the few hints music has even existed for longer than ten years, what with the fresh-faced crop of bands Insound had booked. Cymbals Eat Guitars were the bill's other sizable nod to the past, playing scrappy sprawlers like "And The Hazy Sea" that put a little '90s soft/loud/soft dynamic polish on the Pavement.
New Jersey four-piece Real Estate opened the night, their sound not so much retro or modern as timeless, all guitars and clear melodies. Frontman Martin Courtney's "Fake Blues" lyrics came out perhaps a little too apt, given that the music retailer that invited them: "Now I sell shit on the phone / 'cause I don't wanna live at home." Insound actually sells over the internet, Martin.