Beach Fossils Footage from that Fateful Pitchfork Office Party Has Surfaced

Remember that Pitchfork office party last month we told you about so dutifully. No? The one with a girl nicknamed Meatball? The one Beach Fossils played a few weeks before John Pena tossed his bass in the East River? The one Pitchfork Reviews Reviews documented so precisely ("a hush fell over the room when ryan schreiber made his grand entrance, he stood eight feet tall and was trailed by three interns hoisting boomboxes over their heads that were playing Wolf Like Me by TV on the Radio, and also two interns carrying smoke machines") before getting New York Times shine? Oh, now you remember.

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Last Night: Beach Fossils Say Goodbye To Guitarist Chris Burke at the Mercury Lounge

Beach Fossils' Dustin Payseur. All photos by Georgia Kral.
Beach Fossils/Small Black
Mercury Lounge
Wednesday, July 14

These last two weeks have been pretty exciting for Brooklyn's Beach Fossils: first, their bassist threw his low-end ax off a boat at the conclusion of a Fourth of July performance, inspiring a load of heated love/hate on blogs and in Brooklyn Vegan comments. (Later, we asked John Pena why he did that.) Then, just days later, guitarist Chris Burke announced he was leaving the band to pursue other interests, namely his solo project, Red Romans, who we happened to see just last week. (There were only five people at that show; we're taking bets on how quickly that will change...) Last night at Mercury Lounge was Burke's last show with the band, and their last night in New York before hitting the road for a month-long tour. No one threw or broke any instruments, though Burke did break a string.

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The Beach Fossils Bassist Responds: Why John Pena Threw His Bass Into the East River

Yesterday, a minor scandal broke out as video surfaced of Beach Fossils bassist John Pena chucking his instrument into the East River after a particularly heated Fourth of July performance at Long Island City's Water Taxi Beach. Certain corners of the Internet were not amused. Brooklyn Vegan commenters questioned Pena's commitment to the environment. His shorts were made fun of. Trust funds were alleged. In response, we figured it was only fair to ask Pena for his side of the story. Cell phone service went out in Cleveland last night, where the band was performing -- wonder why? -- so this morning, we chatted with Pena over e-mail instead. His account is below:

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List: Top Ten Brooklyn Vegan Commenter Reactions To The Video Of The Beach Fossils Dude Throwing His Bass Into The East River

So here is delightful footage of, yes, Beach Fossils' notably spastic bass player chucking his axe into the river during a Water Taxi Beach show. This is a thing with this band, apparently: 45 minutes or whatever of amiably, jangly, glo-fi good vibrations climaxing with 15 seconds of visceral, instrument-damaging (-drowning, in this case) rage. At Bruar Falls last week Mr. Bassist pretty much flattened the drummer's kit with his, uh, body, so at least now he's on to destroying his own shit. Brooklyn Vegan's commenters, though, were unamused, for aesthetic/environmental/classist reasons. Here, a sample of their wit and wisdom.

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Live: Beach Fossils and Woven Bones Bashing Away at Bruar Falls

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Beach Fossils prior to the grand, violent finale. Pics by Chris Becker.
Beach Fossils/Woven Bones/The Beets
Bruar Falls
Thursday, July 1

You get to like it, the rudimentary BOOM-BOOM-THWACK, BOOM-BOOM-THWACK of a two-piece stand-up drummer -- no flash, no cymbals, no particular variety -- especially when that's all you know. All three bands tonight at this fuzz-garage spectacular use such a setup; only one ends their set by attempting to physically destroy the drums in question.

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Dustin Peyseur, From Beach Fossils, on Loving Rock Ladies: "They all make me want to give chocolates and roses endlessly (and then be immediately punched in the face for being a chauvinist pig!)"

Dustin Peyseur, sensitive as fuck.
Even though they are so cowardly and weak that they ran screaming from their offices yesterday as if a little snow were a nuclear bomb, we still love our friends at eMusic, not least for their tradition of putting together holiday-appropriate featurettes. How else would we have seen a picture of Bon Iver's Justin Vernon as Wayne's World's Garth, right on the eve of Halloween? So of course they were going to ask various indie rockers about their first musical crushes in honor of Valentine's Day. Our personal favorite? The endlessly quotable Dustin Peyseur, of Beach Fossils, who cops to loving lots of different rock ladies:

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Neon Indian Playing Last-Minute Market Hotel Show Tonight

Put on by our old buddy Greg Finch, formerly of the Under 100 gang. Texas zombie pop and ambivalent lo-fi ambassador Neon Indian is sort of hanging in New York all month, it seems--after playing with the Atlas Sound last night at NYU, dude plays Brooklyn tonight, and then DJs at Glasslands on Valentine's Day. And he's one of the first announced bands for Todd P's upcoming Mexico fest. So if you want to see him before you're on the side of a mountain, freaking out on drugs and indie-rock, think about this evening. With Beach Fossils, aka New York magazine nemesis and alleged former Urban Outfitters employee Dustin Payseur. Points to anyone who reprises that "Play that Pitchfork song, man!" heckle Neon Indian got last time they played in town.

Underwater Peoples Announce Summer Showcase


If one were to make minute, hairsplitting distinctions between watery, gazey, lo-fi pop labels, we might cop to envying D.C. for having Underwater Peoples, the slightly more melodic, surf-centered sonic counterpart to local labels Woodsist and Captured Tracks.
The overlap is so heavy it's almost impossible to make distinctions--we might attempt to mutter something about the comparative clarity of Family Portrait compared to Woods, or the generous sun-glaze of Ducktails compared to Blank Dogs, or how pleasantly self-contained Real Estate's songs are, but really, all these bands live here anyway, and put out music all sorts of ways. So let's just call it good news: Underwater Peoples are throwing a late summer showcase at the Market Hotel on Saturday, August 22nd, featuring Ducktails, Real Estate, Family Portrait, Beach Fossils, and a whole host of others, for the humble price of $5. You can even buy tickets in advance. Why are they doing this? Because, as UP write over at their site, "as fun as it is to play around on the Internet, its more fun to play around for real." Which is true. [Pitchfork]

The Gregory Brothers/Auto-Tune the News Back in the News, As Avatars of the Internet, or Something

Maybe you didn't make it to the second page of this Times piece, in which out of nowhere the Gregory Brothers--i.e., the dudes from Auto-Tune the News--show up to make a point about New York becoming the internet, and also dying, or killing creatives, or something? No longer, seems the gist, will your big break come from someone as lowly or downtrodden as a newspaper editor or actual human being. Online, writes the Times, "when creative affirmation finally arrives, it takes a very different form than it has in New York. In the offline world, getting a "big break" is a matter of impressing a subjective intelligence...On the Internet, however, it's not one single subjectivity but a popular hive-mind that decides." To wit, you're gonna have to give up on your serious soul band, man:

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Beach Fossils' Dustin Payseur Blasts NY Mag Story as "Totally Weird," Denies Working at Urban Outfitters

Here we have a brief "as told to" interview/profile with Dustin Payseur, a/k/a woodsy Brooklyn pop upstart Beach Fossils, describing his migration here from North Carolina, his brief tenure at Urban Outfitters ("though I'd rather people not know that"), and the label interest he inspired from Woodsist and Captured Tracks right when he was contemplating moving back home. In a familiar NY troupe, it's structured as a (very brief) oral history, the quotes cherry-picked from a much longer conversation. This is the point a somewhat unnerved Dustin himself now seems to be making in the comments:

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