Fluffy Lumbers and Coasting
Saturday, September 11
Better Than: Your usual house party.
Dead Herring is a first floor loft apartment located next to the Williamsburg bridge on-ramp. It’s an odd experience–if not completely un-surprising one (this is Brooklyn)–to see a show there, because the bands play in front of a window looking out onto the street and the bridge. Every few minutes a J-train goes rushing by, inching up or down not far from where you stand.
Saturday’s Dead Herring show was a release party for Fluffy Lumbers and Coasting, two bands with new 7″ releases on Group Tightener. Both groups are part of a scrappy yet dedicated scene, and indeed, everyone who played in the two bands is in someone else’s band, too. Fiona Campbell drums in Coasting and Vivian Girls, Madison Farmer plays guitar in Coasting, Dream Diary, and her new project with Alex Craig from Big Troubles and Fluffy Lumbers, Soundgirl. Sam Franklin from Fluffy Lumbers is also in Ducktails, Big Troubles, and Alex Bleeker and the Freaks. Fluffy Lumbers’ LucaLuka Usmiani also performs as No Demons Here and plays bass in Ducktails and Big Troubles. (He may win this round.) The scene, to put it mildly, is a family affair.
Coasting is a two-piece, female-led, haze-influenced punk band. Their songs are short and tight, built on riffs which often turn into instrumental jams. They don’t need lyrics to get their point across, and some songs don’t have any. On Saturday, the band worked its way through about 20 minutes of material, stopping in between their lively tunes to give shout outs–to Group Tightener, Dead Herring, and the crowd.
Up next, Fluffy Lumbers. Lead singer and songwriter Sam Franklin plays a lot of shows as a one-man band, often choosing to loop loud and distorted guitar tracks–a sound that usually descends over the crowd like a heavy, wet blanket. But when Franklin plays with a full band, as he did tonight, Fluffy Lumbers morphs into a pop monster—still loud and defiant, but with more of an emphasis on melody and listenability. The crowd was certainly into it- an enthusiastic mosh pit broke out during the set, forcing Usmiani into the crowd to hold them back. Franklin plowed ahead, singing forlornly into the microphone in the midst of an ecstatic scene. His vocals are so layered in reverb that you can’t really make out what he’s saying, but it sounds melancholy.
Dead Herring is one of the few underground loft locations where showgoers can’t smoke cigarettes inside. After each band the hot and sweaty crowd emptied out into the street, making the room feel a little like a home again. There are couches, an island in the kitchen, even plants, though how they survive in a DIY show space is anyone’s guess.
This is Brooklyn–anything is possible, right?
The Scene: Young Brooklyn hipsters with enthusiasm to spare and energy to burn.
Overheard: Dude: “Kathy, I love you.”
Kathy: “Is that just your line to get me to buy you a beer?”
Notebook Dump: The DJ chose to play hip-hop in between sets–50 Cent in particular. This reporter was dancing.