A night out with the acid wash crowd

Photos and words in the wake of Saturday night’s show at Drones Club.

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Jerry Paper. Photos by Kate Mada
All the kids want these days is a cassette tape and acid wash jeans, New Balance shoes and one of those round ballcaps you used to see on seniors at Tim Hortons.

The last time I found myself at the Drones Club, it was called the Silver Door. But it doesn’t matter what the name is. The reason I came back was to give Homeshake some love. They were part of the celebration for the launch of a double LP compilation on local label Plastic Factory. Four bands were on the bill that night, including an act from New York. The event said 10 p.m., so naturally nothing happened until 11:30 p.m.

I’m going to be honest: standing in the midst of the Drones Club kind of felt like standing in the blouse section at the Salvation Army. But in the words of Piter Sugar, “Haters hating all the time.”

The set began when someone’s laptop started making farting noises: Jean Boy with Brad and Butter, in a set called Real Life. Yes, it was pretty real. With a monolith-sized synthesizer (I believe it was a Korg but the K had been torn off), the boys would lay down a beat, and then stand back and look at it like old men observing a dog fight. But they had everyone doing the pigeon head bob, so that was cool.

I was a little uncertain when Real Life began their set, but they got into a good groove, throwing down some galactic jams, adding in a maraca for good measure. I love me some auxiliary percussion. Afterwards, one enthusiastic man screamed, “That was fuckin’ SOLID,” pumping his fist in the air.

Up next was a band called Play Guitar and the crowd went mental, singing along. The event had written them up as being “back from the grave,” and the audience was clearly grateful for the revival. By this point, I was a good two Pabst in, and was Charlie Brown dancing with the best of them. With members switching up their instruments for almost every song, they proved their versatility as well as an ability to make straight-up good music. High energy, and a girl on bass and guitar…what can I say? I’m sexist. I love a female musician.

Then it was Jerry Paper, aka Brooklyn’s Lucas W. Nathan, and his set was pretty memorable for a few reasons: He wore a purple kimono, which I coveted, and the power went out. It’s a testament to where we’re at musically in 2014 that when the music dies, the electricity does too. But good for Jerry Paper. Someone flipped a switch and we were back in the throes of Paper’s synthetic keyboard world.

I kind of felt like I was at an event Vice magazine would cream themselves to be a part of.

And then: Homeshake. It was pretty refreshing to cut through the softened lo-fi of their recordings and actually hear the dynamic of the guitar and bass live — it was a lot cleaner than their production gives them credit for, even though I actually enjoy that lying-in-your-bed style, where the music sounds like it’s muffled by a Star Wars blanket and a cough syrup hangover. But the live performance was really something special, in its clarity. Some man made the gaffe of shouting a request for “Moon Woman” and was pointedly ignored.

I will say this, though: Watching Homeshake live was kind of like being a kid who goes to Disney World and discovers there’s a fuckin’ man inside the mouse costume. The magic was still there, but there was this weird air of self-importance running through the atmosphere, this pompousness. The lengths that humans will go to in order to act like they don’t give a shit… The night got me all philosophical.

I could see how someone could call music like Homeshake’s “avant garde,” but nothing truly original exists anymore. All you can hope to do is contribute something valid to the conversation.

I don’t really go in for these mom jeans scenes myself. But Homeshake, I dig your music a lot. If only we could all be as cool as you. ■
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