Last Saturday Matt and I were sitting on the quad, enjoying the less-than-freezing weather and minding our own business when we were approached by PURCHASE!!!'s own Cameron Wisch. Turns out Cameron was playing a show at The Silent Barn in Brooklyn that night. Having never been to Brooklyn myself, and having really enjoyed Cameron's performance the night before, Matt and I decided to tag along.
If you don't know precisely where The Silent Barn is you're bound to miss it, as it has no outside markings or decorations aside from an address number located above its double iron doors. Try to imagine if Whiston's Memorial Hall in the Stood was actually an entire house. We walked into an upstairs featuring a decorated entry way, a closed off room housing the venues one permanent resident, and an open living room/kitchen devoted to shows and band practices. Just like in Whitson's, the corner held a hierarchy of stacked couches and a curious looking living quarters for the resident cat. We carried Cameron's equipment down a thin flight of stairs and into the small basement that would house the evenings show. The basement was also very decorated, complete with original art, rickety wood floors and plenty of shaky seats.
The basement was relatively cold and empty when the first act started up. Grass Canyon sat in the dark with an ironing board full of mixers and pedals and filled the room with a sludgy, industrial, droning beat that slowly morphed and changed as the minutes ticked by. Those who weren't disinterested and looking around at the basement decorations were slowly bobbing their heads or shaking their knees to the trance beat. Next up was D Gookin who played drums along with pre-recorded songs from a laptop. After a very long sound check, (where the sole player in the group, Mike, took turns sampling every drink in the audience) I expected Gookin to share Cameron's experimental, mathy sound but instead he chimed in with a series of catchy, poppy, synth driven songs. Gookin's drumming was impressive when matched with the songs he played, but in a much less virtuosic style that Cameron's. Guy had a bit of a temper too.
Up next was maybe my favorite band of the night, The Joint Chiefs of Math. This two piece turned out to be two of the friendliest guys ever and on top of it they played really amazing music. Their guitarist had a pedal board unlike any I've seen, he played out of both a guitar rig and a bass amp, mixing the two sounds to fill up the lower registers. They mixed elements of mixed meter math with really catchy riffs and simple guitar lines. Definitely check these guys out.
The evening was sort of split into two halves, and the second half commenced after the Joint Chiefs with Antn Hrkwk. Another two piece, one manned an ipod, a mixer, a delay pedal and a theremin (!) while the other worked with a laptop and a projector for background video effects. I honestly have no idea where the music was coming from with this one, but wherever it was, it was really loud. After a walk upstairs to rest my ears, Eric Hnatow had already set up his electronics. We had gotten a bite to eat with Eric before the show and he seemed like a really friendly guy. Eric sang sometimes, jumped around sometimes, wore a sweatshirt covered in blinking christmas lights sometimes, humped his table sometimes but always carried a pretty nice, energetic disposition. By this point I had pretty much had enough electronic music and I was ready for Cameron's set to begin. With his trademark black lights set up, the basement took on a whole new feel, and the art on the wall started to really pop out. The show had thinned out by this time but what was left of the crowd was really impressed by Cameron's playing.
Check out all the photos HERE!!!