This past week from June 24-June 27, the second annual Northside Festival took over countless Williamsburg, Brooklyn venues, packing them with blooming local indie-rock acts such as Twin Sister and Shark?, as well as more seasoned musicians like Les Savy Fav and Sondre Lerche.
Put together by New York City’s premier arts/events listings guide The L Magazine, all the festivities (which also include exclusive film screenings and art exhibitions) thrive on the power of the independent, DIY communities of Williamsburg — the concert promoters, publicists, bloggers, venue owners, etc. — who make success and support in the non-mainstream art and entertainment world possible.
The L Magazine reached out to these communities, asking them to curate their own shows. Nearly all of 30+ concerts were booked by those people who probably know the independent music scene better than anybody else.
Ear Farm showcase @ Spike Hill
Sean Bones played a loud set of ’60s/’70s-inspired rock tunes, many of which can be found on the group’s Frenchkiss Records (home to Local Natives, Passion Pit) debut Rings. Shark? put their best lo-fi foot forward, dishing the quick and gritty songs that have made them almost neighborhood staples. They’re such a hot commodity in Williamsburg that they’ve been tapped to play numerous times during the Northside Festival.
Mixing some Afro-pop and sweet harmonies, Dinosaur Feathers’ contagious and danceable music easily won over the local crowd that seemed to fill the venue. It also didn’t hurt that the trio were all smiles and engaged with the audience in the form of charming stage banter. While the bassist retuned, the rest of the band offered advice (in response to a woman asking why God hates people, they answered with a laugh, "God doesn’t hate you, he just loves irony”) and funny anecdotes regarding their electronic drum kit which sat inside a suitcase. The band’s front-man Greg Sullo was like a Mexican jumping bean, hopping and popping all over the stage while singing and swinging his guitar. They played an impressive set of songs from their latest album Fantasy Memorial.