Week in Review: I Dunno, I Don’t Smoke


In the week in which death shrugged off the “summer of” appellation and kept right on killing people, we mourned the Death Set’s Beau Velasco, a good man cut down too early, and Mr. Magic, whose work as a DJ in New York in the 1980s is an enormous wormhole down which we will be happily disappearing this weekend, and Dash, and fuck it, DJ AM too–whose autopsy results finally came in–felled by a hand not his own. Enough with this already, for everyone’s sake.

But like Jay says, we don’t mourn death, we celebrate life. The Jealous Sound came alive again at Southpaw, which was nostalgic but in a great way, while Ornette Coleman stayed alive and moving at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Phoenix and Passion Pit rose once more in Central Park, as did Faust and Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the MHOW, Fever Ray at Webster Hall, Japandroids at the Mercury Lounge, and The Coathangers at the Death By Audio Maze.

Talking to people helps. Fever Ray told us about her penchant for Google image search. Lucinda Williams apparently got paid $250 for her first record. WFMU compatriots Tom Scharpling and Brian Turner helped us sort out the WFMU Fest. And Mayer Hawthorne really did write and perform everything on his new record, swear.

Listening takes your mind off things. Chris Weingarten’s Yes in My Backyard had both an Antipop Consortium coup and a Preacher and the Knife “Ghost House” feature, while anonymous but highly placed sources risked their lives to bring us Das Racist & Spiderfang’s “Pink Polo Shorts.” Plus Animal Collective remixed Phoenix, to the delight of some around here and the chagrin of others, while Nirvana let go the first of an upcoming suite of live recordings, and Bear in Heaven got their own remix, from Philly’s Pink Skull.

And things always spring anew, or at least return: Boy Crisis brought the McCarren Park Pool back, however briefly, while the Annex morphed into the even more loathsome Doghouse Saloon, a birth/death situation offset by the launch of Greenpoint’s brand new 171 Lombardy and the full Bowery Presentsification of Brooklyn Bowl, who nabbed a Gaslight Anthem show for their troubles.

And there’s more, but we’ll let you sort that out down below. We’re off to see a Mountain Goats documentary or something infinitely more glamorous than that, maybe even both. Back on Monday.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 2, 2009

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