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New York Cool - Music

Highline Ballroom
November 7, 2008

Written by and
Photographed by
Misha Jenkins

Opposite Photo: Gavin Hayes

The energy around the Highline Ballroom last Friday night was ripe with youth, booze and vigor. Only that combination can deliver when you can no longer smoke cigarettes inside and so many idle hands are looking eagerly for a substitute.

Gavin Hayes (R)

What they found was Gavin Hayes, the lead singer of the alternative art rock band, Dredg. He is as enthusiastic about typing random notes on his old non-electric typewriter and tossing them to his screaming careening fans in the front row for souvenirs, as he is about making funny faces while he sings. His crooning mid- range vocals gather both the best of current alternative rock and the worst of Soundgarden, while not stepping on either’s toes or coattails, nor leading them towards any new heights. The driving drums of Dino Campenella and furious attack with which he goes after said drums are reminiscent of a Black Flag pummeling. They are also what holds the scene together, not that there is much fear of it exploding.


The catchy songs are good for angst-ing youths who want to sing along to lyrics that are just obscure enough to relate to and simple enough to memorize between beers. The guitar is heavy and methodic enough to complement this 4 member line up. However, it's not going to create any new genres or be remembered past the tomorrow-hangovers of tonight's crowd. As much as this music felt like a college campus 10 years ago, the best thing is perhaps to stay on campus until it grows up, grows balls or applies for grad-school.




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