Thursday, September 18, 2014

ZeroFest Show Profile #3: Sat., Oct. 4 @ Shea Stadium

Each Thursday in September, Square Zeros will profile one night of ZeroFest, our four-day, twenty-band festival running from October 2–5 at four Brooklyn venues.

So So Glos at Shea Stadium. Photo credit: Maverick Inman

The venue:
Are you really going to make us tell you about Shea Stadium? How about this: since its founding five years ago, Shea Stadium has become one of a very small handful of DIY spaces by which the Brooklyn music scene is judged, and to a lot of people (and for a lot of reasons), it's the gold standard. If you haven't been there, you've been asleep. Located at 20 Meadow Street (between Varick and Stewart Aves., just south of the intersection of Grand Street and Metropolitan Ave., Shea owns a unique place in the music community due to its emphasis on all-ages shows and its dedication to making those shows even more accessible by recording every show held in the space and streaming them online. Beyond that, it's just a great place to play and hang out — well-laid out with excellent sound, and located in a largely industrial area where you won't get complaints for rocking out late.

The bands:

We're going to kick off the third night of ZeroFest shaking it to openers The Meaning of Life (Marta DeLeon, SZ #8). Though the terms shoegaze and dream pop get used a lot to describe The Meaning of Life, for us it's the fun, danceable rhythms and sultry vocals that Marta and her team combine that separate them from the pack.

They are dreamy, though. Let's be real here. You're going to want to check them out.

Next up, we've got self-proclaimed Philadelphia fuzz punks Mumblr. Don't let the designation fool you: though they're acolytes of the
loud-soft-loud dynamic, there's a lot of infectious melody and jangle in their songs.

Mumblr. Photo credit:

Careening but tight — unique but familiar. These guys'll keep you guessing. Check them out below, coming in hot.

Space-psych shredders The Space Merchants (Aileen Brophy, SZ #5) touch down third. Let me ask you: how many times have you bought a great psych record, and you listen to it, and it's big and beautiful and heavy and layered, but the experience is bittersweet, because you know there's no way in hell that band's gonna be able to recreate that live when you go to their show? Perhaps The Space Merchants' crowning achievement is their ability to write and record immaculate songs with just the sort of restraint that allows them to show up and knock those songs out of the park every damn time.

Batting cleanup, we've got slackgaze pioneers Chimes (Win Scarlett, SZ #18). This trio has been cranking out fuzzy, really beautiful rock and roll for some time, which is great. Not content to sit still, they've been experimenting — getting a little meaner, a little gnarlier, baring some teeth, which is also great. Their early tunes, which tend more toward shoegaze, have since taken on some serious edge.

Win sent us a few new demos in advance of ZeroFest, and well, this isn't a review site — and even if it was, their single isn't out yet — but you're going to want to hear these songs.

Headlining night three of ZeroFest are Brooklyn garage pop darlings Crazy Pills (Amanda B., SZ #9 and Jim Wood, SZ #19). We've interviewed two of the three members, and you know what? We're gonna get Eddie soon, too. And you know why? Because Crazy Pills are tight as hell on wax, commanding on stage, and among the nicest, funniest, and — conveniently for us — entertaining and musically articulate people around. And goddammit, that's gotta count for something.

What do they sound like? Like you getting your ass down to Shea Stadium on Saturday, October 4. ...And you know, like The Pretenders, it's rad, come see the show.

The rundown:
Saturday, October 4th at Shea Stadium, 20 Meadow Street
The Meaning of LifeMumblrThe Space MerchantsChimesCrazy Pills
8pm—12:30am, all-ages, $8

And stay tuned next Thursday, when we'll profile the fourth and final night of ZeroFest at everybody's favorite dive bar/skeeball alley/burrito joint/drag show/all-but-DIY event space Don Pedro. Thanks, guys.

— DJH + JM

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