By Maria Gotay
I headed over to one of Bushwick’s newest venues called Big Snow to check out one of my recent obsessions, Woodsman, who played with Images and Alan Watts on Friday, 2 weeks ago. The three local bands were harmonious on the same bill- all shared elements of drone, psychadelia, and scattered percussion. It was great to finally see Big Snow- a venue that’s been raved about recently- in its Friday night glory. The crowd was subdued- a mixture of beer-drinking wallflowers, enthusiastic musicians and listeners who wore their coats inside, ladies with cat-eye makeup, and those three stoned guys who never left the couch made for an intimate crowd setting.
Besides the surprisingly great (and only slightly deafening) sound quality in the front room, the best thing about this venue are the coated brick walls- crawling with an array of paintings. Upstairs and in the basement, there are a handful of different artists working together to give the walls new life. More images of those murals below.
The show started out with Alan Watts, a Brooklyn trio who name drop the Zen Theorizer, and play loud and loopy psychedelic garage songs . While facing away from the audience for most of their set (stylistic choice, or were the visualizers too much?), they were well received for their brief but passionate set. Though there’s not much to be gleamed about them online, my friend Jenn over at altered zones wrote about them here and described their sound as “channel[ing] alien airwaves through a microwave oven attached to a bus.” Listen to the mp3 below and hear that radiation through your headphones.
Images, with the most terribly vague but somehow apt name, was a a treasure upon first listen. One man, crooning with eyes closed into filtered mic, with lots of loops pedals and a lovely acoustic guitar, makes reverb and surf pop come together in a uplfting way. 60s influenced, drone interpreted, ambient like waves crashing upon a shore… all in all very pretty. Look out for this guy, I think he’s Panda Bear’s cousin or something… and check his bandcamp here, his album S/T is up for free download.
I previously reviewed Woodsman as one of the best bands I saw at CMJ, and was aurally rewarded seeing them again, in a much less stressful showcase. They played in their element, pacing their psychedelic delves for just the right instances and taking their time arriving at climactic jam points. These dudes bring a mystical sound to their garage ambience- blending animal-collective-feels-era experimental vocal tinges and majestic guitars atop layered ambient drone jams, their sound hit the right levels in Big Snow’s intimate front room. I walked away with a vinyl and have been spinning it ever since.