Second new-ish venue of the week: 92YTribeca. (Have you read about the other venue? It’s called the Jackson). Not exactly new, this branch of the actual 92nd Street YMCA has been around for a while, but it’s nonetheless new to the DIY circuit.
The space seemed a little swanky for bands I’d normally be seeing at Death by Audio with a High Life in hand (as opposed to whatever people were getting from the stylish and well-stocked bar) but Todd P, looking to the new generations of concert goers (that all ages-only thing isn’t just for show), explained that here was a spot that even the NYC teens with especially over-protective parents would likely be allowed out to. As opposed to some basement in Bushwick in the middle of the night. I admit I can see his point. And the space was well outfitted with broad stage, projections, mood lighting, tables around the periphery. As long as I can see great bands from out-of-town who don’t visit nearly enough (Hawnay Troof and Teengirl Fantasy, in this case), I’m happy.
I’ve written extensively about those bands elsewhere, but the re-cap: Hawnay Troof is the rap project of Vice Cooler from noise legends xBxRx and the guy really knows how to work a crowd. Costume changes, leaps down into the audience, breathlessly-recounted nightmare tour stories, and generally getting everyone shouting along with seconds-ago-unfamiliar choruses, fists pumping, etc. Cooler also produces all his own beats,striking a perfect balance between punchy percussion, weird little glitch moments, and huge, irresistible hooks.
Oberlin lo-fi dance duo Teengirl Fantasy, on the other hand, present a relatively restrained stage presence, focused behind the boards and synths and spilling wires to finesse their pop-collaged anthems from the circuitry. Things never quite hit critical mass for a lot of dancing to break out, but I attribute that more to the space; the show was sold out and at capacity, but still with unfamiliar quantities of elbow room, and a generally more conservative atmosphere. Regardless people should have been dancing like crazy too this stuff: early-90s trance hooks, bits of garbled, truncated hip-hop, thumping beats, all swirling and building as a cohesive whole much more than the sum of the independent elements.