In which Bwog music critic Bryan Mochizuki programs your Friday, Sunday, and Monday nights.
There are at least two really great shows in the city this weekend and two equally shiver-inducing MP3’s to share today, but first…THE OSCARS ARE THIS SUNDAY. Among the reasons to be excited: this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Ennio Morricone, the composer on A Fistful Of Dollars, Once Upon A Time In The West, and 504 other films/shows. Bank on this as THE highlight reel of the evening: the final showdown in West, the first time you hear the classic “do-ee-oo-ee-oo” theme in Good/Bad/Ugly, any scene from Bulworth, you get the picture. For the show, Celine Dion’s singing. Not mad, although I’d have preferred Warren Beatty. Anywho, on Sunday check in for that liveblog action that you’ve been missing from your life. But enough talk…
Vietnam’s a rock band from Brooklyn. Make or break, right? Like either “oh Jesus give that Brooklyn here!” or “play Clap Your Hands again. I dare you.” The thing is: a. they’re originally from Austin, which makes sense considering the healthy dose of twang that pops up in their riffs. And b. there aren’t many Brooklyn bands that give people this much nostalgia for electric Dylan and Loaded-era Velvet Underground. These dudes hit those nails on their respective heads, but only enough to tease you into keep listening. It’s like if Marisa Miller were to do a classic Farrah Fawcett pose – yeah, she’s jacking a bit, but it also shows that she can play on that level. “Apocalypse” is the most dynamic song on their debut album, which came out in January. They’ll be playing it tonight at Southpaw in Brooklyn. Get tickets here.
Lia Kessel graduated from Tisch a few years ago and has since been gigging around the city. Last winter I heard her at Piano’s, playing a piano, backed by her erstwhile group The Marina. The whole point was to write about mermaids/fish/aquatic things, hence the name. This song, which came out of those sessions, is a testament to both her singer/songwriter talents and her ability to avoid schtick (a challenge with the whole nautical theme). Kessel pressed up some EPs on her own, but this song never got a commercial release—which is a shame, because it could bring the house down at Starbucks, and I mean that in the best way possible. For the post-Cat Power piano set, Kessel is Kevin Durant, or something near that; unsigned and super promising. Catch her for free at Rockwood Music Hall down on the L.E.S. this Monday, playing under her new “Wild Cries” moniker.