Up-and-coming Brooklyn band destroys crowd at Stuff Hipsters Hate party
That’s it. I’m just going to go ahead and do it: I call conspiracy.
I am absolutely convinced that there is some secret warehouse somewhere in Brooklyn in which local bands congregate. There they learn to play that one, chiming guitar progression (you know the one—I think The Pains of Being Pure at Heart first busted it out in “Higher Than the Stars”). Then, after practicing how to grow appropriately floppy hair, they congregate around a seashell, which, as in “The Little Mermaid,” contains one slightly whiney voice that they all use in turns. Then, finally, they sign a contract, likely in plasma, that ensures that they will never play in front of a crowd that would stoop to dancing during a show. Thankfully, it seems, Not Blood Paint was not in on said conspiracy.
Last night, my blog Stuff Hipsters Hate celebrated its one-year anniversary at The Woods in Williamsburg, and we asked Not Blood Paint to kick off the evening with a set. The crowd wasn’t that thick when 9 p.m.—the designated start time—rolled around. Folks were set on being appropriately Brooklyn-late, and there were tacos to be eaten out of the patio.
I didn’t even see the band take the stage, so it seemed as though they appeared, gargoyle-like, on the raised platform in the back of the bar—completely and utterly covered in gold paint, glistening branches bursting from their backs, their faces stony and set. “Does anyone have the time?” they mysteriously intoned. The sparse crowd laughed nervously before someone offered up “Nine oh eight.” “Thank you,” they said, and launched immediately into an operatic performance of one of their jams, “Tommy,” which may or may not be about a girl… a guy… a freakish roommate of yore.
Not Blood Paint sounds like Man Man mixed with Queen mixed with a whole bunch of paint-huffing theatre camp kids. You know how we were talking about that BK band conspiracy before? Well, here’s how they differ from that mess of mediocrity. First of all, they bust out with fucking multi-part harmonies. Who does that in Brooklyn? No one. Most dudes in the hood have not yet been visited by the Voice Change Fairy, or so it would seem.
Secondly, their songs are bizarre—yeah, there are love songs in there, but they’re hardly of the “Hey lady, let’s frolic in the surf and then discover what our changing bodies are for” variety —like, you probably wouldn’t include them on a mixtape for that chick you’re trying to sleep with (unless she’s awesome).
No, they’re more along the lines of “Watch Your Mouth,” in which band members Joe Stratton and George Frye argue, “The Boy is Mine”-style, over the same girl. How can you not be into a jam that begins with a dude stealing another dude’s girlfriend at the laundromat? (“How do you wash your pantyhose?” would so be my pickup line if I were a guy).
Finally, and most importantly, these guys put on a show. That’s right—they don’t stand woodenly on stage, decked out in appropriately tight jeans and appropriately plaid shirts (Did I mention all the BK bands share communal closet as well?). If you didn’t catch this before, the dudes were fucking covered in gold paint and togas for our show. And this isn’t a one-time deal, either. Every time Not Blood Paint plays, they come out with a different theme: blood-soaked garments, camouflage, leafy trees, etc. They actually visited the venue beforehand so as to get inspired for this performance, which was decidedly Dark Crystal-like in nature.
And you know I said the crowd was sparse when they first took the stage? Well, by the time they segued into “Army,” a cadence-heavy jam about not being cut out for the military, the room was packed. The denizens of the taco truck had wandered inside and lined up against the walls, and friends were shouting in my ear about how “Fucking awesome” the band was. Then, rather miraculously, a cadre of folks near the front of the stage started to, wonder of wonders, dance. Yeah, they’re totally not getting into that secret BK band club now.
Brenna Ehrlich is the News Editor of Mashable.