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New York Cool - Music

Versus and Superchunk
South Street Seaport
American Express River to River Festival
July 17, 2009

Written by Joshua Williams
Photographed by Amy Davidson

Opposite Photo:
Mac Mccaughan of Superchunk


It’s Friday, so we must be at the seaport again. Thank goodness for river to river. With the state of my budget these days, free shows are about the only one’s I can afford. Up this week was Superchunk supported by Versus.

Richard Baluyuto of Versus

Versus is in the process of recording a new album, and it looks like two of the Baluyut brothers are on board for the outing. There also seems to be a keyboardist/violinist/second guitarist on board as well. Their set started out with a strong power chord laden rocker and it settled into more indie pop as the numbers progressed. They are good when it comes to arrangements and harmonies. My only complaint is that the tempo seems to remain the same. Nestled comfortably at 120 bpms, I began to lose interest after the fourth song.

Mac Mccaughan and Drummer Jon Wurster of Superchunk

Next up was Superchunk, who amazingly has been round for twenty years. Although you would not have been able to tell with the energetic show they put on. Who knows, they may single-handedly revive the pogo as a legitimate dance form. It was good to see them since we were not able to catch them in Coachella. And I must say, this was the best set of the summer so far. Their set was a good mix of punk energy and pop sensibility. The set list reached way back to their first single, “slack motherfucker”, and the crowd seemed to appreciate it. It’s good to know that a band can survive DIY for twenty years. It’s good to know the seaport will give them a stage.

Mac Mccaughan of Superchunk

Hopefully, River to River will keep up the good work this summer. Even though there have been a few misses this summer (Bachelorette), they don’t play it safe in their bookings, and that is to be appreciated.

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