In what turned out to be a bit of a band bill collision, Wild Yaks and Habibi took the stage at 285 Kent with Unstoppable Death Machines and Violent Bullshit. Alternating between spazzing hardcore and garage pop, the audience could be delineated by who drew them to the show as they alternated standing near the stage or sulking in the back. Considering the below-zero temperatures outside, the fact that that space filled up at all was impressive.
There was an early trend of covers, with both Violent Bullshit and Habibi closing their sets with them (Bikini Kill and The Ramones respectively). Unstoppable stumbled into a cover of Japanther as they started playing along to it over the house music as they were setting up. Their set was fiery, and the fact that they were fresh off an intense West Coast tour was evident. The only hiccup was that the drummer was going through drum sticks so quickly that he had to ask to borrow some to continue their set at one point.
Wild Yaks seemed to have the largest share of the crowd. Halfway into their set the lead singer led the crowd in an a cappella sing-a-long, and throughout the rest of their set there was a good portion of fans continuing to sing along. Near the end, lead singer Rob Bryn made a confession: "We planned to change the band's name in 2013. We're now called 'Golden Sphere of Light.' You can't win them all, trust me." So look for a new release from the newly-minted "Wild Golden Sphere of Yak Light" coming soon.
• Wild Yaks - Million Years
New York has been absolutely freezing this week. Like, Fargo cold. This past Friday I rode my bike out to 285 Kent and, along with half of Williamsburg, braved the bitter icy deathscape to witness Danish punk rock boy band Iceage.
The Danes may not have intentionally brought the snow with them, but they did bring a great lineup in support. Deformity took the stage first and plowed through a set with such intensity I half-expected the skinny lead singer's lower jaw to come unhinged. Raspberry Bulbs followed with a slower, more raw set, the band's stern demeanor matching their heavy-metal-rainbow wardrobe: All black. Nomad was up next, and the sidelines of the stage quickly filled up with their friends and fans. Their sonic assault, with one song tumbling into the next, quickly had a portion of the crowd moshing and thrashing around.
I didn't realize there was a way to cheat at moshing, until I saw one kid flying around the pit with a large motorcycle helmet on his head. Surprisingly, Nomad was able to one-up Deformity for how quickly they could churn through a set.
Iceage was up next, and before they were halfway set up the faces in the crowd had almost completely changed, as it swelled and crushed to the front. While Nomad would look right at home on St. Marks in the early nineties, Iceage could be mistaken for a group of male models on a fashion shoot, lead by Leonardo DiCaprio. With high-waisted pants and tucked in shirts, any Urban Outfitters catalog stylists in the crowd must have been salivating. Immediately into the first seconds of their first song it was obvious something was amiss. The singer Elias was so wasted he kept reaching for the mic stand to steady himself, and missing.
He continued to spend most of the show swerving unsteadily around the stage and teetering on the edge of falling into the crowd. Eventually he did. Even when he received a direct hit from a firework shot from the crowd, he barely noticed. At one point a guy from the side of the stage rushed the singer and tackled him into the crowd, where they preceded to make out (possibly the highlight of their set). I have to admit, I hadn't seen Iceage before. Maybe they're always like this?
Bonus fun fact from 285KENT: The guy who tackled Elias to the ground is named "Gasface."
• Sannhet - Absecon Isle
I have had the good fortune to be invited to be one of the three judges in Chrome Bags new "Streets of Chrome" street photography contest. I'm in excellent company as well, sharing the honor with Ricky Powell and Ken Goto. Submissions are open now until Feb. 14th, one winner will receive a Fujifilm X-Pro1 camera with a 35mm F/1.4 lens, and a Chrome Niko Camera Backpack (even I'm jealous of such a sweet prize package).
I asked Chrome if we could offer a separate contest to just Sucka Pants readers, and they generously agreed. The winner will get their choice of any Niko series camera bag from Chrome. To enter the contest submit your best photo (one photo only) to sucka [at] suckapants [dot] com. Make sure to put "Chrome contest" in the subject line so it doesn't get lost in the 100+ band promotional emails I get daily. I'll run the contest until Feb. 14th, so send something in before then. You can't win if you can't stop being lazy.
For Offiical Release:
San Francisco, California | 01.22.13
Chrome Industries launches the Streets of Chrome – A photo contest to find the world’s next great street photographer in conjunction with the drop of its new camera bags.
THE CONTEST: To celebrate the launch of its Niko Camera Bag line, Chrome is calling for entries from street photographers everywhere for its Streets of Chrome photo contest, which runs January 22–February 14, 2013. Finalists will be chosen by Chrome’s panel of expert judges, and the winner will be determined by open voting on www.streetsofchrome.com February 7TH-14TH. Photo submissions will be judged based on creativity, originality, and ability to capture the essence of the streets.
THE JUDGES: Legendary street photographers Rickey Powell, Tod Seelie and Ken Goto.
THE GRAND PRIZE: A Fujifilm X-Pro1 compact-system camera, a Fujifilm X-Pro1 35mm F/1.4 lens, and a Chrome Niko Camera Backpack (see below). Total value: $2,000+.
streetsofchrome.com | #streetsofchrome
CHROME LAUNCHES NEW NIKO CAMERA BACKPACK AS PART OF PHOTO LINE: Designed for street photographers and action videographers who need a covert utility bag, the Niko Camera Pack features a weatherproof 1,000-denier-nylon shell, a military-grade tarpaulin liner, a fully customizable interior for lenses and flashes, multiple pockets for cable and gear storage, and fast, easy swing-around access. Stash your phone, fuel, and an extra layer in the top-loader and securely slide up to a 15” laptop in the padded sleeve. Outside, you’ll find a U-lock holster and Velcro straps for lashing a tripod, skateboard, or cardboard tubes for your photo prints. And, like all Chrome bags, it’s guaranteed for life.
• The Goonz - Human Empires