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New York Cool - Music


Radio Department and
Asobi Seksu
South Street Seaport
July 15, 2011

Written and Photographed By:Geoff Leung




Opposite Photo:
Yuki Chikudate of Asobi Seksu

Asobi Seksu opened the evening with their novel brand of cacophony. Where the contrasting aural styles were made more surprising by the group's on-stage uniformity. Yuki Chikudate's vocal floated femininely while distorted guitars and drums shook speakers. The juxtaposition of Chikudate's voice with shoegazey instrumentals doesn't appear so contradictory when heard between head bangs and hair flips.

Asobi Seksu

Asobi Seksu

Supporting their latest album, Flourescence, Asobi Seksu played a varied set of old and new songs to a loyal crowd. Chikudate's energy guided fans through the set, a skill of personality that is often neglected. Her comfort and poise on stage was good for the band especially in this sunlit venue. The energy of the new songs didn't match the effortless power of "Thursday," but that didn't stop the crowd from falling for Chikudate.

Radio Department

By the time Sweden's Radio Department came on the sun had gone down and finally the mood of what was heard matched the scene on the pier. An interesting pairing of bands because while both bands should qualify as shoegaze and dream pop, each band gets there in a very different way. Though on stage lead-singer Johan Duncanson was almost the opposite of Yuki Chikudate, his presence totally worked for Radio Department. The speaking in between songs was more sparse than sips from a beer bottle, either because the group was shy of the mostly-Asobi-Seksu crowd or because they didn't speak much English.

Johan Duncanson of Radio Department

If the photos don't make it clear, the variation on stage was minimal. Each member played their part and they interacted with each other only through looks and nods, pointing with their eyes at what should happen next. But what was lacking in performance was made up for in a seamless set of summer evening music. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that a band so aptly named has so many radio-ready singles.








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