LIVE! with Gustavo Rivera
Gustavo wrote a bunch of show reviews for Nuts! #14 and they’re great, but there wasn’t enough space to print them all! These didn’t fit:
On April 5th I went to Lulu’s for a late show; first band Marvin Berry started after 10, and I can see why they have a following, a motivating party band they are, even have a song in which they count down the pints of beers they have left to drink. Joe Porter dances around and jumps into the crowd and gets his people moving. There was some dude with dreads who seemed to be bullying the dance floor, and my experience with dudes with dreads bullying dance floors is I grab them and pin them down to the ground till they still, so then, I’m glad I was feeling moody and antisocial and just observing the show from the balcony. Then Cancers played, and it was noisy-pop stuff, shoegazy, and I can see them being hot for a minute. I missed Shellshag, because up on that balcony I began to feel hate for all those around me and left.
On April 17th Flykills played at Lulu’s, so I had to be there. We opened up the night, and I don’t want to speculate much on our performance but I will mention what my friend told me after our set: “Dude, once you guys started playing, a whole bunch of people drinking wine in the balcony immediately left the bar.” Gym Shorts, from Providence, Rhode Island, played a tight slightly grunge-influenced punk rock set with a shredding guitarist; most songs mid-tempo, with a few fast-paced killers. The singer-guitarist of Black Panties from Kansans City, Missouri, wore a bondage mask, while some dude from his crew stood by him holding the mic up to his face so he could sing, and then that dude walked around taking people’s drinks. They were a really fun band to catch. Spirit of Danger is another local band, and they have a goth-influenced sound to their punk. By their set most people were drunk, so various members of the other bands that played started to pogo, including myself for like half a song. Their frontman was fun to watch running from side to side on the floor in front of the stage. Also they ended their set with a Dicks cover, which is always a plus one with me, especially songs from Kill from the Heart, which I listen to, probably way too much.
On May 1st I went to Lulu’s after work to meet up with Chris, the guitarist of Flykills. I was tired as fuck so I sat down in the corner of the bar and drank beer and whisky shot combo after another and ate two pizzas and hung out with those who were around me. The punk bands sounded like punk bands from where I was and it was enjoyable to listen to. The only band that I know of who was playing was Survival, which are local, and played last and they have a gothy-joy-divisiony-post-punky sound to them. They have eerie effects and I thought a lot about computers while listening to them.
Some day during what I believe was the first weekend of May I went to a house in Bedstuy really close to where Flykills practices to see some bands. I had started the afternoon off at the Bedford house with Kevers, and we were drinking and the plan was to go to the practice space and set up a room as closely as possible to the way it had been set up when we first started recording vocals (after going through the first half of the songs, my voice was blown-out, so I decided to stop). That day, we were to record the songs I hadn’t been able to finish. When we got to the space, the guy who rents out the practice spaces to bands was around doing work. This was a problem, because when we had started recording the vocals the first time, we had set up all the equipment in some kitchen which was not actually supposed to be accessible to us. It was late as hell then, so no one was there; but with the spacelord around, obviously we couldn’t set up. The show we ended up going to kill time had originally been supposed to be somewhere else, with a BBQ, but for some reason unknown to me had been moved really close by. So Kevers and I decided to go hang out until time passed by and we could set up where we had first recorded vocals. I entered the house and Shell was doing an acoustic solo-thing and someone was holding up Shell’s Iphone because he was skyping with Shag at the same time, and someone was passing around a blunt and there were some young kids coming in and out. This was fun and quite beautiful a scene, seeing Shell and Shag interact amongst all of us via technology. It was still day light then. Eventually Gozer played, and the sun had come down by then. There had been an in-between-wait-period because a cop was parked across the street for some reason. It turned out the house belonged to some really friendly Brazilian bros who knew how to party, one of them taking the opportunity of no band playing to put on some hip hop and start dancing with his young girla all sensually. Gozer has a new drummer and their sound seems more consistent than last time I saw them at the last Willoughby house show. Marco moves into the crowd and gives good presence. Finally, Lilith Velktor played and they were tight, good songs, good energy, Mondo yowls, they make great noise. By the time they finished, Joey and Chris had arrived and we went to record.
On May 8th I went to Brass Bar, this spot on Flushing, and was able to catch Nandas before they started playing, which was surprising because I was coming over from work in Jackson Heights, and Anahit was a little bit sick, but they played a good dirty punk rock set. I think it was my first time seeing them. Black Planet was great, the sounds they were pulling were amazing, a lot of pedal work, and the duo singing sounded great. The show spot was cool, a basement inside a bar, upstairs it was empty and there was some student jazz band and they were boring as fuck; beer was expensive and someone had said that it was BYOB, but that wasn’t true and I had left my tall boy on a table while I went up to piss, and then when I returned down it was being taken away by one of the guys from the bar, him saying, “You can’t have these here,” and I just stayed quiet and accepted that. Flykills played too, but fuck us.
Maybe a week later, I think my mother was visiting me from Puerto Rico then, and I had been with her most of the week, so I left her, it was raining, to go to the Brass Bar, where Matty had booked a show. I had actually received a text from Scott about the show being moved, but I was drinking and just assumed it was a mass-text-promo thing, and responded that I’d be heading over soon without reading its details. So I took a long-ass trip to make it to the wrong bar; it was raining. I then read the text and saw the show was at Lulu’s, and I had to head back, take a bus to get on the L to then transfer to the G and walk to Lulu’s, and I did all that; it was raining a fucking lot. I arrived and Exposeur was playing. They have a really grungy-riff-heavy sound to them. It’s cool getting to see Matty play something different than the punk I’ve seen him play with me and in other bands of his I’ve seen. Paul shreds on the guitar and JD is a thoughtful drummer. Then I saw Magnets, which was cool, especially two hippy-ass ladies who were on molly harassing Denise; they were jumping around being annoying as fuck. I think CCTV cancelled, which was a bummer because they’re great, reminds me a lot of the new wave stuff from Spain in the 80s.