GZA @ Music Hall of WB

Of course GZA at the Music Hall of Williamsburg to kick-off Northside Festival was amazing. Watching a crowd of white dudes with receding hairlines making Wu signs to the Tony Bennett of Hip Hop was also entertaining. Wu is magical, but if I could time machine back to 1995, listening to Liquid Swords in the baked out backseat of my 13 year old friend’s 19 year old boyfriend’s Mazda in Ridgewood, I wouldn’t. Those days are over.

I want to hear the grimy new stuff. There will be a lot of big shows in big venues this weekend, but if you want to understand why the Brooklyn music scene is relevant, then you need to check out DIY venues and see great bands before they blow up.

A Peek Inside Muchmore

Muchmore (2 Havemeyer @ No. 9th St) was our last stop on what seemed like a fail after the GZA. We bounced from less than thrilling performances at Cameo then 295 Kent after the Glasslands’ doorman, Fernando, was a straight-up dick.

We headed to this new spot that is the first floor apartment of a house on Havemeyer. If you can’t find it, just open your ears; there is no sound proofing and if you are too cheap to fork over $5, you can listen through the open windows.

There is great artwork on the walls, plenty of comfy couches to lounge on, a bar stocked with delicious cold beer on tap, and Drew, the venue’s friendly owner had a laid back attitude that set an upbeat tone for the crowd. People were there to listen to music and it wasn’t a scene. The last two bands we heard were outstanding.

Ancient Sky © Jon Pywell

I thought that the acoustics weren’t great in the space until Ancient Sky, the Brooklyn droney psych rock band murdered it. I downloaded their album onto my phone midway through the first song.

Afterwards, She Keeps Bees, a blues rock band that originated in Brooklyn, made up of singer/guitarist Jessica Larabee and drummer Andy LaPlant, put on a great show. Larabee’s vocals were incredibly strong and soulful, and when she wasn’t singing she was hilarious. As I listened I thought of Patti Smith, the Black Keys and the White Stripes.

I am tempted to make my Northside weekend a Muchmore weekend but I found out my favorite band Gunfight! is playing tonight at Big Snow Buffalo Lodge (89 Varet St) along with Spanish Prisoners, Starlight Girls, Backwords and The Denzels.

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