Friday, October 29, 2010

How I Spent My CMJ

When I see a band multiple times over a weekend it gives me the opportunity to find cracks in the fa├žade. Do they go through the motions? Do they get angry at a lack of crowd participation? Do they tire out easily? Do they act like entitled jerks just because they play music? Tiny Victories, who played last Thursday, Friday and Saturday, didn’t crack at all. At a packed upstairs room at Pianos, a sparsely populated Matchless show and a beautiful late-fall night outdoors at Brooklyn Fireproof, Greg Walters (synthesizer) and Cason Kelly (drums) played energized sets of their anthemic synth-pop. And they were polite.

I’ve got punk roots and I’m still not completely sold on the synthesizer revolution sweeping the Indieverse but the essential life giving properties of Kelly’s live drumming gives a depth to Tiny Victories’ sound that separates them from other synthesizer heavy acts. It also helps keep them loud. They're loud enough, for example, to be heard crystal clear despite being confined to Matchless’ smoking cage and loud enough to get a stamp of disapproval in the form of a wet paper towel thrown down by one of Brooklyn Fireproof's neighbors.

There’s a touch of LCD Soundsystem in Tiny Victories' DNA. It’s easy to pick up in the swirl of melancholy and optimism Walters mixes in the synthesizer. Walters lyrics aren’t as funny as James Murphy’s but he’s got the potential to be based on some of the one-liners he casually tossed off (“If you’re looking for merch or CDs or anything…talk to another band because we don’t have any,” being my favorite).

Get Lost Mr Bones by Tiny Victories

If I had any doubt that this was a band that could keep their energy up it was dispelled when Kelly took advantage of Brooklyn Fireproof's spacious backyard to do a victory lap during Sunday night's set-closer "Get Lost Mr. Bones". It was the kind of joyous improvisational act I rarely see at shows, but maybe I just don't get out enough.

Full disclosure: Cason Kelly and Tiny Victories' manager David Teller are friends. Blogger's honor the above was not editorially compromised.