1. One of the side perks of this weekend's Northside Festival was that it got a bunch of up-and-comers in to some of Brooklyn's best and most underutilized venues. The Greenpoint venue Europa has a great, grimy vibe to it, but it rarely gets anything more than generic death metal bands and generic europop nights. But on Thursday, the opening night of the festival, the electronic Philadelphia act Cold Cave played, and their cold, forbidding synthesizer-laden tune and all-black-everything apparel were a perfect match for the club's charmingly rundown, Gothic decor. Now that it's been pointed out that this great venue exists, can we have more shows here?
2. Warsaw is another great Brooklyn venue that seriously needs to get its head in the game. A few years ago it was regularly getting big names like Wilco, Liars and Regina Spektor, but the spigot largely dried up around 2010. Let's hope that changes after this festival, as it has a big stage, great sound and pierogies. However, should the venue start getting more acts I suspect the California hardcore band and avowed not-sellers-of-beer Ceremony might not get asked back. A vicious, cathartic band even within their own genre, Ceremony have more nuance and variety of tone than their peers, but they can still burn it down with the best of them, and after 40 minutes or so of visibly annoyed security guards dealing with crowd surfing and audience fighting, the show got stopped early. That singer Ross Farrar wrapped himself in an American flag, which he then threw in to the audience (who immediately tore it to shreds) perhaps didn't endear him to the venue owners, but that's just a hunch.
3. At the end of a set that emphasized both his fury (the Apocalyptic stomp of "You Need Satan More Than He Needs You" caused such a rabid sing-a-long I thought a few fans in the front row might pass out) and his humor ("you were right to 'woo' that intro. Just wait until you hear the song" and "remember that the drummer is the designated time keeper, not a drunk volunteer from the audience") Future Of The Left singer Andrew Falkous ended his set by leading the band in to a noisy-jam…and then slowly started deconstructing drummer Jack Egglestone's kit, taking it away piece by piece with a smiling nonchalance that suggested there was nothing odd about doing this while in the middle of a song. To Egglestone's credit, he kept playing along with both the song and the bit without missing a beat in either, and seemed more amused than annoyed.
4. Daytona internet sensation Kitty Pryde rapped about the Buffy The Vampire character Willow, snagged lyrics from Kanye West and Nicki Minaj, shouted out "New York Times" music critic Jon Caramanica and rap blogger Andrew Noz, made her brother join her own stage and then made fun of him, noted that she couldn't say "the c word" in front of her parents, told us the sad story of the boy she wrote her viral hit "Okay Cupid" about (dude wanted her to shout of his band once the song got huge. And he's getting married!) and generally proved that she's got a demure, narcoleptic flow and smart references for days. She's not a joke, but she gets it. And let's give some love to opener Deniro Farrar, a tattoed fellow who rapped about shooting people for most of his set until he finally realized where he was and who he was opening for and started rapping over a Grimes sample. It was his first New York show and his birthday, so you can't get mad at him for doing whatever it took to get the crowd on his side.
5. Of Montreal are known for the medication's off psychedelic dramas, and they were in fine form on Friday night, adding serious weight (and often a few jammy interludes) to songs from their recent Paralytic Stalks and throwing in a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" just because. Of Montreal are also known for taking a cadre of costumed back-up dancers with them on-stage. This time, two-gentlemen dressed in skin-tight white bodysuits and angel wings (as if the Greendale Human Being went to heaven) started crowd-surfing. One ate it. The other went all the way to the end of the crowd and then back onstage right as a song ended. The crowd (or at least the people around me) roared in approval. It's the little things.