Northside Festival: Williamsburg, Brooklyn 7/24-7/27/10

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.

Newton Barge Park- The MetroPCS Stage June 27

Brooklyn’s Les Savy Fav play an in-your-face, aggressive hybrid of post-hardcore meets post-punk. Frontman Tim Harrington is never at a loss for crazy stage antics (like spitting water all over himself and the crowd, sticking his mic down his pants, and shaking his romp at photogs) and absurd costumes. They played numerous crowd favorites off past records Let’s Stay Friends and Go Forth. Their sixth full-length album, Root for Ruin, comes out this Fall on Frenchkiss Records.

Active Child @ Music Hall of Williamsburg June 27
The church met the dance floor as Active Child’s soaring falsettos, tender harp-plucking and thumping beat machine made for an interestingly enjoyable set. The LA-based musician, Pat Grossi, recently put out an EP titled Curtis Lane, further showing the beauty and power in such experimentation and creativity.

Wave Pictures @ Public Assembly (Front Room) June 27
The quirky trio of indie-rockers flew all the way from the UK to play Northside Festival. They wooed the crowd with their anecdotal tales, and towards the end, even invited some friends to come sing on stage with them. The band’s released countless albums since the late ’90s, many of which were through the label Moshi Moshi.


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