Defend Your Ballot: Eric Sundermann, Pazz and Jop 2012 Contributor

Pazz and Jop
You can't really know where you're headed unless you know where you've been. For that reason, we're taking a look back at Pazz & Jop 2012 to drill down into the ballots of contributors and voters who participated. Maybe amongst the rubble we'll find clues about lies ahead for music lovers in 2013. Here, Village Voice Editorial Arts Assistant Eric Sundermann defends his ballot.

See Also:
- Frank Ocean's Sea Change

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Woods - Music Hall of Williamsburg - 11/3/2012

Categories: Live, Woods


In "Is It Honest?," the fourth track of the most recent record from Woods, Bend Beyond, lead singer Jeremy Earl uses his haunting falsetto to ask an aggressive, straightforward question about things in our lives -- relationships, friendships, opinions, etc. -- that might seem healthy and positive on the surface: "As nice as this is, is it honest?" These dark lyrics float over a charmingly whistle-friendly melody driven by jangling guitars and vivacious drums, and through this juxtaposition, the song creates a disorienting listening experience. You want to feel good. You want to sing-a-long. You want to be happy. But when pausing to think about the lyrics' underlying themes of emptiness and frustration, that joy fizzles out, and the song's brightness reveals itself as gloom. This is Woods' signature sound, and on Saturday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg, the band returned to Brooklyn and put this weirdness on display in pristine form.

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

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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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Monkey Town: Still Not Quite Dead! "Woods Family Creeps," a One-Time Only Extended Jam Band from Woods, Plays There Next Week

Seems like landlord issues will in fact sink the daffy Williamsburg venue Monkey Town, which announced back in December that it'd be closing on January 24, a date that's rapidly closing in. Looks like they have their closing night party set and everything. But in the meantime, the venue's still very much active--nyctaper points out a January 18th (i.e., next Monday) show from Woods Family Creeps, a sprawling, improvised version of the Woods we've come to know and very much like. "Expect extended jams, howling guitar leads, atmospheric cassette interference, and a smattering of traditional Woods songs at this one-time only event," reads the copy. They're playing two sets. Needless to say, go before you can't.

Woods Do Daytrotter

Categories: Featured, Woods

Daytrotter's currently got a session up with Brooklyn's Woods gang on which the band plays an EP's worth of unreleased material: three new dripping wet Neil Young leg-stretchers and one Songs of Shame standby, "Where and What Are You?" Dunno if we're still killing Brooklyn lo-fi or what but allow us to request that should that reckoning come, these guys be spared. [Daytrotter]

The Vivian Girls/Woods Project the Babies Have A Couple New Songs For You to Get Senselessly Engraged By


This past fourth of July saw the live debut of the Babies, a new band featuring Woods bassist Kevin Morby, Vivian Girls guitarist Cassie Ramone, and Bossy's Justin Sullivan on drums. Their abbreviated set at a Market Hotel afterparty was duly YouTubed and scrutinized for clues, despite the mildly inconvenient fact that the video was completely unintelligible. People still somehow hated it. Anyway, it turns out the song--if you could've called it that--that made the rounds was "All Things Come to Pass," one of two tracks the Babies have posted to a newly minted MySpace page. So far? We're riding for the other track, a pleasantly Plan-It-Xed and junked out pop song called "Meet Me In the City," mostly because of the backing vocals. A long time ago, Sullivan used to do this kind of thing with any number of now defunct Boston bands; glad to see he's back. Lest the sharks descend, now seems as good a time to remind our fair city of the strip club rule-- check the A/V equipment and/or scathing critiques at the door until the band has played at least two shows. We can do this.

G. Lucas Crane From Woods: "I basically dare you to date me."


Brooklyn lo-fi noise punk: unlikely well of local magazine bachelor profiles! First came New York's "totally weird" profile of Dustin Payseur, of Beach Fossils, who spoke about the Brooklyn warehouse scene and Urban Outfitters by way of providing an example of your typical, strugglin' New York artist. Bushwick, stand up. And now comes Time Out New York into the fray with its "Date These Music Lovers" feature, in which Woods/Nonhorse mastermind G. Lucas Crane offers himself up as willing bachelor, here to let you know that your future with him will involve "spearing wild pigeons, collecting rain for drinking water and playing leather drums on abandoned rooftops." Also, by way of introducing himself:

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Woods Will Help You With Your Crossword Puzzle If You Let Them

Our favorites of the Brooklyn/Woodsist class of 2009, Woods, have another video out, for Songs of Shame's quavering little lullaby of an outro, "Where and What You Are," which is a very long name for such a short song. Where last month's visuals for "To Clean" were a bit epileptic, the concept here is quite breezy indeed: a hand sketches a kind of fish-frog amalgam overtop someone's mostly completed crossword puzzle and...over. The whole thing is as quirky and minor and vaguely brunchy as the song itself. [via the Pitchfork Video Emporium]

Live: Wavves Totally Avoid Meltdowns, Further Injuries at Bowery Ballroom

Totally inaccurate depiction of this show, thankfully/alas

Bowery Ballroom
Wednesday, July 15

I feel bad for feeling slightly disappointed that nothing remotely disastrous happened here. Nathan Williams bounded onstage, his freshly broken wrist gingerly wrapped but still capable of moderate shredding, and sang a bunch of washed-out, distorted-to-the-point-of-atonal-incoherence surf-pop songs while his drummer pal bashed around behind him. Absolute competence. Nothing to fall in love with, nothing to sneer at, nothing to apologize for.


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Vivian Girls Side Project Babies Already Enraging People

At the Saturday night Market Hotel afterparty to the two day Woodist/Captured Tracks Festival, Babies--a new band featuring members of Vivian Girls and Woods--played a set, to the delight of the one guy standing in front of the YouTube cameraman and the utter distain of the BV comments section, where an outpouring of scorn ("embarrassing," "awful," etc.) was met, belatedly, with a rally of "I like it," which is nice and all, except the video is completely inaudible and how anyone can have an opinion on two minutes and sixteen seconds of jangling chaos is beyond us. Let's propose a rule: in the same way they make you hand in your cellphone before you go into the stripclub, let's have everyone just check the A/V equipment at the door until the band has played at least two shows. Maybe even 10! We'll work that out later. Or, alternately, we just all agree to fall back until there's something to listen to. (Our opinion: seems OK! But who knows.)

Babies = Vivian Girls+Woods+Bossy (live Market Hotel video) [Brooklyn Vegan]