by Samuel Hernandez
The festival showcases offer an excuse for badge holders that are waiting around for the headliners to catch some potentially buzzy bands and day drink without looking silly. But most of the fun local bands are playing from 12 pm to 5 pm. Filling stages, sometimes playing to empty audiences even though they deserve the full crowds attention. There are bands who of course won Northside.
Hey Anna the Knitting Factory
The all sister fronted New Jersey band is set to release their debut LP this summer. Their set for Effective Immediately PR was both parts fun rock on the stage, and working out the new material in front of a live audience. The band channels the heavier side of indie rock, but balances it with danceable melodies. They’re just as likely to blow you away with their guitar slinging and bass riffing as they are to get your feet moving and your hips swaying.
Fantastic Plastics at the Knitting Factory
Another band that shared the stage during the Effective Immediately PR showcase. The Fantastic Plastics came out emblazoned with matching uniforms and crazy Back to the Future wigs and played electronic New Wave as their light up glasses danced frantically. Plus they had an electronic theremin that occasionally stole the show by being used in a non-gimmicky way! The band will be performing in a Devo inspired showcase on June 24th, and though it’s almost easy to see them as direct homage, their live performances do so much more than mimic Devo. The band is catchy earworm music with the added attraction of an insane and fascinating stage presence.
Young Ejecta at the Cameo Gallery
Young Ejecta brought sensual pop anthems to the Cameo Gallery space. There’s something evocative about the electronic space given between sometimes breathless vocal proclamations. The dance time was there, not gather in crowds, but find your inner happiness and dance. Young Ejecta’s songs are pop ballads mixed in with the electronic blips and bloops that allow the song to achieve depth.
Heems at the McArren Park
Heems just released a solo album that is equal parts angry and angsty and socially active. Whether the odes to living in New York City, and living in parts of Brooklyn before anyone else started to live there, or the way families members had to pass for American to get a little peace in a post 9/11 world, the new work is old school and rocking. Heems is a powerful performer, bringing his laid back spitting to the powerful subject matter. As good as the new album is, the live show was better and it shows that a clean break from Das Racist got the creative juices flowing.