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New York Cool - Music

Deer Tick and Talk Normal
The Knitting Factory
New Year's Eve 2008

Written by Joshua Williams and Photographed by Amy Davidson

Opposite Photo:
John McCauley of Deer Tick


Hey, 2008. Don’t let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya! I don’t think many of us will miss the last year. And of course, the last day of the year was as effed up as the previous 364. But it turned out well. After overcoming a substantial obstacle (at least we got notice, I guess), a change of plans found us at the Knitting Factory.

I’m kind of glad we went. You see, the Knitting Factory, like many other spaces in the last few years, has to leave to find cheaper digs. In case you haven’t noticed, Manhattan has turned its back on most artists and well, has become a cultural wasteland. All so real estate developers can make money selling luxury condos to the rich. Nothing new there, it’s the same old story we’ve heard a million times. Knitting Factory is moving and Manhattan has lost another space to hear bands outside the mainstream.

The place was as packed as I’ve ever seen it. We ended up in the taproom because getting into the main room was a laughable idea, and I particularly enjoy the taproom. I’d rather see the lesser known than the hot new thing in general anyway.

Talk Normal

We got to catch two acts. The first was a two piece band called Talk Normal. It was heavily influenced by the no wave scene, although not completely devoid of the use of key signatures or melody. The drummer was amazing, pounding out furious beats while the other member of the group switched between six and four string instruments and made ample use of her pedal set up. She made excellent use of a looping pedal, and created swells of sound punctuated by the group’s minimalist lyrics.

Deer Tick

The next act we saw was Deer Tick. I had written a favorable review of their show at Southpaw not too long ago, and not much has changed. I imagine a new set of songs will soon be recorded and released, and we will see more of them in the coming year or two. Founder/Frontman John McCauley still comes across with ample charisma and a distinctive voice. The rest of the band plays like seasoned vets and seem to really enjoy themselves.

John McCauley of Deer Tick

So we ended the year at a random show due to random acts that derailed our plans. Maybe it was meant to be. We got to say good by to the Leonard St Knit, check out a cool experimental/no wave two- piece, and see an old reliable. As far as 2008 had gone, it could have been much worse. I left thinking it’ll only get better.

Deer Tick


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