Sunday, May 6, 2012

BAM's Crossing Brooklyn Ferry 2012 Closing Night May 5

We were lucky enough to be going back to BAM for the third and final night of Crossing Brooklyn Ferry on Saturday, May 5. As I was picking up our tickets, a woman at the next box office window was spelling out the last name D-E-S-S-N-E-R. Seconds later, Aaron Desssner clamly walked through the lobby with an aborable baby in a carrier on his chest.  And then, going up to the BAMcafé, I quickly spotted Bryce Dessner in the crowd.

It was clearly their production, from start to finish.  How rewarding it must be to have the whole thing go so well, as staff and participants alike seemed more a tuned to how things would proceed upon my return after opening night. The BAMcafé was busy at an early hour on Saturday, with a performance by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.  (It reminded me of how George Balanchine took to casting children in his beloved ballet The Nutcracker simply to sell seats.)  But this being a project of Bryce Dessner, it all made sense.  He even joined the group on guitar as they presented his lyrical choral composition, "To the Sea."  

Me & Matt Iwanusa of Caveman
Things quickly heated up with Caveman scheduled for the opening slot over in Opera House.  I missed seeing this band during last fall's CMJ festival, but didn't fret over it after reading a not so flattering review about a lackluster performance style.  I loved last year's debut release Coco Beware, playing it many times all the way through (what a concept!)  But they really brought it to the big stage with a nice mix of songs.  Sometimes bands can look awkward or a bit lost on such a grand stage, but the guys sounded great and looked like they were having fun which is always such a plus.  Although I was seated near the stage, I ran down to the pit for their final tune "Old Friend" to dance along.  In fact, it became my favorite set of the festival -- even with such stellar headliners such as The Walkmen and Beirut, I just personally like Caveman's brand of indie music better. 

Next up was My Brightest Diamond with yMusic in tow, followed by Atlas Sound and the headliners Beirut in what seemed very quick succession. While Beirut ended on a mellow note with an encore featuring singer/songwriter Zach Condon alone on acoustic guitar, the party continued in the BAMcafé with a dj set by Pat Mahoney and Nancy Whang of DFA (and formerly LCD Soundsystem).  On the way up the escalator, we spotted singer Matt Iwanusa of Caveman talking his way into the line.  It seems he and his buddies had just gone to use a bathroom and when they returned there was a long line.  Once upstairs, we joked how we were going to say they were with us if the deal didn't go through.  Matt was openly generous to us as fans and thanked me for telling how much I liked his band's set, new and old songs alike.  

Later as we were leaving after a stint on the dance floor, I was interested to see if we had missed the "super moon" spectacular.  A small group of guys outside on the side of the entrance caught my attention instead, especially the stylin' plaid jacket I recognized as the one worn by Caveman's guitarist Jimmy Carbonetti (turns out a friend of his designs such things).  He was hanging with two other members of the band and as we've started a serious of photos of Paul with fellow bass players, we went over to introduce ourselves.  As the guys chatted guitars (Carbonneiti has his own shop on Orchard Street called Cobra Guitars), I looked up at the sky.  It turned out that clouds had obscured the vision so we hadn't missed a thing. Full write up of the night on PopMatters here.
Paul with (left to right)  Jimmy Carbonetti,  Stephan Marolachalus,  & bass player Jeff Berrall

Caveman "A Country's King of Dreams" @ Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, BAM 5/5/12

 Atlas Sound "Te Amo" @ Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, BAM 5/5/12

 Beirut "Elephant Gun" @ Crossing Brooklyn Ferry BAM 5/5/12

Beirut set list