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New York Cool - Music

All Points West
August 1, 2009

Written by Joshua Williams
Photographed by Amy Davidson

Opposite Photo: Ice T

It was a disappointing weekend. In that we disappointed our audience and were unable to bring a more in depth coverage. Due to elements outside our control, we were only able to cover Saturday. The reasons were technological, medical, and at the heart of it all, Mother Nature is a bitch sometimes.

However, we were able to trudge through the mud on Saturday, and we did reap its rewards. There was old favorites plus acts I have always wanted to see but have never had the opportunity. Throw in an arepa and frozen lemonade and you’ve found yourself a fine day. My only complaint with the location, other than the mud, is I wished the grounds were set up to maximize the view. The statute of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Manhattan skyline is right there. But, for whatever reason, the layout of the grounds made it another nondescript festival.


Conrad Keely
And You Will Know Us
By The Trail of Dead

Aaron Ford
And You Will Know Us
By The Trail of Dead


The first band we checked out was …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead. We were glad to have the opportunity to shoot this band considering our last attempt ended in a rain out. Employing keys, three guitars, and at times two drum kits simultaneously, they delivered their distinctive mix of punk rock fury, tortured artist lyrical style and experimental art sensibilities. The set ran through the discography, beginning with newer offerings and ending with old favorites.

Kool Keith

Ice T

Afterwards, another old favorite took the stage, the long underappreciated Kool Keith. Showing up with Ice-T as “the worlds most expensive hype man”, and wearing a ridiculous costume most likely made from materials found at the 99 cent store, Keith delivered a nonstop set. The songs stretched back to his Ultramagnetic MC days, through the Dr. Octagon phase, and Kool Keith tracks from both the Black Elvis and Sex Styles albums. I though the so- called inventor of “porno core” would offer a more outrageous stage show. Instead it was pretty bare bones and raw…and fully satisfying.

Annie Clark
St. Vincent

Next up was St Vincent. This is the solo offering of Annie Clark, formerly the guitarist of a Polyphonic Spree album as well as some work with experimental guitar composer Glenn Branca. Ms. Clark takes that and builds upon it, reveling complex song structures somehow wrapped in a pop form, and the deliverance sometimes subtle, and at other times frentic.

Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello

Yuri Lemeshev of Gogol Bordello

After a little break, it was over to the main stage for Gogol Bordello. We have covered this band before, and it seems they all their previous shows were mere rehearsals for the main stage. They belonged on the main stage, and they owned it. All the songs were there, from “not a crime” to “start wearing purple”. Bordello makes you want to run away and join a Gypsy tribe.


Maynard James Keenan of Tool

Then it was time for the final act, Tool. I actually found this to be the most disappointing act of the evening. This is unfortunate, because I do like some a lot of their work. But for one, the set was so dark, trying to see what was going on was near impossible, two, the mix was running too hot so the sound wasn’t all that great (arguably, not the bands fault), and it seemed they were just running through the set in order to get through it, collect the check and hit the road. I was hoping for more. Maybe I over anticipated.

It was a good day in an otherwise unlucky weekend. Something I overheard sums it up best, “it was awesome and sucked at the same time”. Hopefully the fates will act a little more kindly next year.

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