Northside Festival/Brooklyn, New York

Eagulls Northside FestI’m still bummed about missing the New York debut of Dan Boeckner’s (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Divine Fits) new band, Operators, at Baby’s All Right. Each of his bands has had a dramatic effect on me and constant rotation on my iPod for years; as such, only a bad batch of tacos could keep me away. I went overtime on Saturday to make out for a day of missed action: I started at the free “Space Ninety 8” (that’s really how it’s stylized, guys) stage where I caught the end of a Neighbors set (fun if insubstantial synth-pop.) I was waiting for post-punkers Eagulls, out of place playing in the middle of the day on a corporately sponsored stage to a crowd of mostly street stragglers. I was one of about five people watching who knew their songs, but they did not disappoint. Looking exquisitely bored, they tore through an explosive short set and looked punk as hell.

I also managed to quickly and awkwardly profess my love for Parquet Courts’ guitarist Austin Brown who happened to be one of the other dudes in the crowd who knew who these guys were. I then hurried over to McCarren Park to catch the tail end of Thee Oh Sees’ killer set. Now a trim three-piece, the band tore through their pop/krautrock mega jams while a crowd of mostly wily teens moshed their little brains out. Front man John Dwyer is one of the straight up coolest dudes live and I highly recommend seeing them no matter who happens to be backing him up. Sunday found me a lot of boredom; I caught a bunch of sets but not a lot stuck. However, I did see ARMS at Spike Hill (full disclosure: friends of mine, but it happened after I was a fan so it doesn’t count), who were debuting some new tunes from their upcoming record. While they weren’t as immediate as some of their older jams, I’m still safely in the pocket for whatever they come up with.

– Layne Montgomery

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