Live Review

Dance Magic Dance, The Cake Shop, New York City

DMD bring the garage band ruckus of kids fresh out of Detroit.

The Cake Shop is a quintessential Lower East Side venue. To reach the music one must take the narrow stairs to the basement. The concert space consists of exposed brick walls, a stage six inches of the ground, an acceptable PA, DJ booth, and a bar manned by a bald, bespecled man with tattooed arms that may or may not give you a free drink later in the evening if you’re a cute girl (full disclosure: I am not a cute girl and my drinks were paid for in full).

This evening the space becomes a momentary home for Dance Magic Dance, a traveling show and dance party put on by some lovely ladies from London. Though they are from across the pond, DMD bring the garage band ruckus of kids fresh out of Detroit.

Candy Hearts, the first band of the evening, bring it like a bratty fourteen year old girl who’s stumbled into her older sibling’s late eighties punk collection. Their lead singer intermittently whines and snarls over their specific brand of two guitars, one bass, and a drummer rock and roll. It would be remiss to leave three details that seem integral to their performance: The guitarist is wearing a Descendants shirt, their bassist’s voice (male) is indistinguishable from their lead singer’s (female) which creates odd harmonies, and their drummer is drumstick thin and obviously enjoys the hell out of her job.

The second band of the evening, Sweet Bulbs, has a sound similar to Times New Viking. They play loud and they’re melodic, but often their melody is subsumed by their love of distortion. But whereas Beth Murphy glowers through the majority of TNV’s live shows, the lead singer can’t seem to keep a smile from her face.

The only band not from New York City or New Jersey, Boston based Girlfriends step away from some of the more obvious influences of the evening, and politely give a nod to the B-52s. Although distortion is also a part of their act, the guitar lines owe more to Ricky Wilson’s than any punk band. Girlfriends seem to favor the songwriting styles of new wave acts while keeping their overall tonality firmly rooted in the punk of their peers.

It seemed like a good deal of folks at Cake Shop were there for Slow Animal. A band comprised of three guys that look like they have spent equal time listening to jam bands and mid-nineties pop punk, Slow Animal embody the increasing cannibalism of the Internet music machine. Their sound owes much more to Wavves than any other act. This is a strange phenomenon as no band riding the cresting the world of Internet hype is more a distillation of west coast influences than Nathan Williams. However, this makes Slow Animal a shoe-in for those with a taste for the chill-wave moniker.

Sisters, the final band of the evening, are guitarist Aaron Pfannebecker and Matt Conboy, keyboardist and drummer. Of the bands that evening they appear to be the only group that may have heard of Husker Du and worked a little of that Minnesota magic into their Brooklyn sound. Sisters maintain the most comprehensive use of feedback and drum fills of any band this evening. They keep their melodies recognizable and let the drums carry each song furiously ahead. Pfannebecker and Conboy are the most adventurous with their sound, dropping the walls of distortion at appropriate moments to let the bridge of certain songs get the air they deserved. Keep an eye on these guys.

Photo Credit: Hannah Hancock Rubinsky

Tags: Features

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Stay Updated!

Get the best of DIY to your inbox each week.

Latest Issue

April 2024

With Bob Vylan, St Vincent, girl in red, Lizzy McAlpine and more.

Read Now Buy Now Subscribe to DIY