Thursday, July 23, 2009
Sean Bones & Kuroma @ Glasslands 7/22/09
On Wednesday night, I went over to Williamsburg, Brooklyn to check out Sean Bones' record release party for his new album "Rings". I've been wanting to check Sean's set out for a while now and I have some friends that work in Kuroma's camp so I was pretty excited to attend this event.
I've read quite a bit about Glasslands in the past but this was my first trip to the venue. You really have to know where you're going because you'd pretty much walk right by the place if there weren't a few people gathered outside. Glasslands is located all the way by the water and doesn't have much signage, if any at all. I do love checking out various spaces and it was pretty cool to be able to walk in, get a stamp and just roam around the room (a nice change from hard tickets, scanners, ushers, security, etc.).
The venue is pretty small with a bar immediately to the right when you walk in and then steps down to the main floor with a small stage just a few feet off the ground. You can get as close as you want but there are very few bad seats in the house. There's a balcony upstairs that faces the stage but I didn't make it up there. The whole room just has an intimate feel, like you're hanging out at a bar with a bunch of friends and there happens to be a stage wedged in the corner.
After saying hello to a couple people, I grabbed a beer and settled in the far corner of the club to watch Kuroma's set. This was my first time checking them out so I got a good spot up close. If you haven't heard of them yet, the lead singer Hank Sullivant is an former member of The Whigs and also played in MGMT's touring band. I'm not sure if there are sometimes more members on stage, but this night was only Hank backed by another guy using some sort of sampler/computer with backing beats that Hank sang over.
Hank is an energetic performer, he was dancing around, swinging his arms, etc..... really getting into it on stage. They played a pretty short set but the highlight for me was the first song, which I believe is called "Alexander Martin". You can listen to that track and others on their site HERE. The version on the site isn't as good as it is live (there was a heavy bass beat that I really liked) but you get the idea. The crowd was receptive and I look forward to seeing them again when they can play more of their material.
In between sets, I saw Sean standing down by the merchandise stand speaking with some people. I waited until he was finished and went up and introduced myself and just said how much I enjoyed the album. I told him how I've been trying to get his stuff out to anyone who will listen and how I've been playing "Easy Street" for a lot people. He was a cool guy, really personable so it was nice to just say congrats on the album and I went on my way.
Sean took the stage shortly after that with what he called the "Sean Bones Big Band". He was joined by bass, drums, percussion, keyboard, sax, trumpet and two backing singers...... a full crew for the tiny stage. The band played about 7 or 8 songs I'd guess off the new album "Rings" and it seemed like the crowd really dug the tunes. I thought the inclusion of all the various instruments really added to the songs in a live setting. I had listened to the whole album last week during the free online preview but I was only familiar by name with "Easy Street" and "Sugar In My Spoon" (videos below). The song that really stood out to me during the performance was one called "Instigator" that the band played mid-set, great song and really highlighted the horns. I really enjoyed the whole night, strong performance, cool space, good crowd, it was a lot of fun.
I picked up the cd at the show and I've been listening to it all day, "Rings" is a really solid album from start to finish. It ends with a cool song called "Turn Them" with guest vocals by Norah Jones. This is one of the better albums I've heard this year, definitely go pick it up. Sean's site is HERE, you can find out more info, listen to tracks, see tour dates, etc.
Two videos from the show (sorry they're so dark, there wasn't much lighting but enjoy the audio):
SUGAR IN MY SPOON