This Weekend In New York: Wild Yaks, The Death Set, Woods, And Crystal Stilts Get No Sleep In Brooklyn


In Waste Of Paint, our writer/artist team of Jamie Peck and Debbie Allen will review goings-on about town in words and images.

This weekend, Waste Of Paint caught four rather different bands united by their status as beloved standbys of the Brooklyn DIY scene. It also marked the beginning of uncomfortably sweaty show season.

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Download Generation: Yes In My Backyard's Best Local Music Of 2011, An 80-Minute Mix Of NYC's Greatest Hits This Year

Tami "Making Friendz" Hart.
For New York City, 2011 was the year local musicians proved that RSS feeds didn't kill old-school ideals like "scene" or "community." Every great band seemed to come tied to three or four like-minded bands you could love for the same reasons, often on the same bill. Maybe we read (and wrote) enough trend pieces to believe it ourselves. Maybe bands are just using Facebook connections to write the narrative before writers could. Maybe retromania has led us to think everything is back in a big way?

Don't get too excited. Bloggos still continued to rally deep and hard around the cleverest, firstiest mash-ups of hypester runoff micro-genres (good luck in 2012, A$AP Rocky, Light Asylum, CREEP and Caveman). But while so many jockeyed for positions and pixels, larger stories emerged that felt refreshingly like the street-level phonecall-and-flyer scenes of yore. As, I wrote in SPIN the new hip-hop fraternity of Das Racist, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Action Bronson, Despot and a newly keyed up El-P represent the most energizing force in New York indie-rap since Def Jux's heyday. And as I wrote in the Voice, a beercan-ducking, sweat-gushing, feedback-obsessed swarm of new pigfuck bands have been laying waste to 285 Kent, including The Men, White Suns, Pygmy Shrews and Pop. 1280. Often pushing the boundaries of what modern metalheads can play and wear, there was a downright onslaught of forward-thinking, critically acclaimed extreme metal releases (Liturgy, Tombs, Krallice, Hull, Batillus), which helped turn New York into the most important metal scene in the country for maybe the first time ever. Hell, if record labels still had the money to fly people out here, they'd be swarming!

Below, the 2011 edition of our annual Yes In My Backyard mixtape—this year's encompasses 18 tracks, over nearly 80 minutes—which collects this year's greatest music from New York City.

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Live: The Rock Yard Persists In Bushwick

Karen Plemons
Rock Yard: The Growlers, Japanther, The Death Set, Cerebral Ballzy, The So So Glos, CSC Funk Band
The Morgan
Sunday, August 7

Better than: The all-ages punk shows you went to in middle school.

Standing in the dirt parking lot of The Morgan in Bushwick for yesterday's JellyNYC Rock Yard event, it was to forget all the nonsense that had brought the bands and spectators there. Here's a tattered toddler mattress being thrown around like a beach ball; there are some Jell-O shots available for free, more or less; all around are bands playing at ear-damaging volumes. Sundays in the summer have always been thus, right?

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Download: The Death Set's Charlie-Sheen-Conjuring "Can You Seen Straight"

Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.

death set YIMBY.jpg
Pic by Nate "Igor" Smith, as it happens
Brooklyn loft-show firestarters the Death Set are a post-modern pizza party: the tireless punk-o grind of an ABC No Rio bubblecrust band, the whizzing ghosts of New York electro (and electropunk), and the pounding 808 boom of classic hip-hop and modern crunk. Basically, they've found the hyperkinetic missing link between the Beastie Boys' hardcore salad days and the "Cooky Puss" 12-inch. Their third album, Michel Poiccard (due March 15 via Counter/Ninja Tune), comes in the wake of the 2009 death of Beau Velasco, who founded the band with frontman Johnny Siera in Australia back in 2005. Rising above tragedy, the album is even more celebratory than their spazzy previous work, nailing the "we're in this together" life-punk vibe of kindred spirits Japanther and the endless-party vibe of Baltimore club (Spank Rock's XXXChange handles most of the production). The "Slap Slap Slap Pound Up Down Snap" single is a good taste of the album's Loko-soaked energy and general "going ham" vibe. But the album's most perfect track is "Can You Seen Straight," a divine piece of fractured Buzzcocks sugar filtered through summertime slush. Or, as Siera puts it, "It was about trying to marry melody with as much energy as possible. A tune you would want to whistle after you heard it, but go crazy when you see it live."

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Congratulations to the Death Set for Puking on a Girl in the Front Row at SXSW

Nate "Igor" Smith
The Death Set at SXSW 2010. Guess the puker.

Mad Decent, Jelly, and I Heart Comix joined brand forces during South By SXSW to throw a three-day Austin Carniville, a main-stage show space encircled with candy apples, a funnel-cake booth, and a roving pink monster. Major Lazer headlined on Saturday, and Rebecca Smeyne's photos of an airborne Skerrit Bwoy attest to the night's insanity. But how must the craziness have compared to Friday afternoon, when Johnny Siera, firecracker frontman of spaz-rock trio the Death Set, actually puked on an audience member? Yeah, it happened, though he's sorry.

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The Shank, Williamsburg's After-Hours Spot, Is Alive

Jokes just write themselves. Photos by Nate "Igor" Smith

The Shank, Williamsburg's infamous "after-hours club of unprecedented size and bravado," lives. Since its ignomious Bayard Street rise-and-fall, documented last summer in a lengthy New York Press cover story, the space's actual location has moved--the all-night den no longer resides near McCarren Park. We will not divulge the Shank's new coordinates, since we've been accused more than once of murdering legally questionable fun around here, except to say that the all-night ridiculousness remains in Williamsburg proper, within walking distance of the L Train, and that it's still a tagged-up bastion against sleep and sobriety. Even though the Shank's future looked questionable after its makeshift reunion last December, this seems to be on the regular. Our main man Nate "Igor" Smith went there on Saturday to find Drop the Lime, one of the Dinner With the Band twins, the Death Set's Johnny Siera (above), at least one Union Pool bartender, and a con man pretending to be Miami Dolphins wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. Full gallery here, selected images below.

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Remembering Beau Velasco

beau velasco.jpg
Emily McDonough
Beau Velasco, co-founder of energetic punk outfit the Death Set, was found dead this past weekend, a horrible tragedy announced via the band's Twitter. No details regarding the cause of death have been released.

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R.I.P. Beau Velasco

Photo of the Death Set's Beau Velasco by Rebecca Smeyne. More on this sad thing later.

Photos: The Death Set, Ninjasonik at Terminal 5

Ninjasonik, tryna get girls pregnant

The Death Set, Ninjasonik
Terminal 5
Saturday, November 15
photos by Nate "Igor" Smith

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Photos: The DeathSet at Bodega

The DeathSet
Saturday, July 5
photos by Rebecca Smeyne

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