I have an awful habit of blankly staring at people. I do it while I walk, and I also do it while I'm in the car. It turns out that a park bench in Brooklyn is a fantastic place to sit around and people watch. I remember in one of my high school history classes, we would take tests and there was always an essay question that asked to describe the melting pot aspect of America at some particular time. I don't how I answered those questions back then, and its really beside the point these days but thats more or less how I felt about the city while sitting on the bench. There were people on the basketball courts, and there were people on the monkey bars in the playground. Some rode by on bicycles while others sauntered by slowly giving an inquisitive eye to the goofy looking white kid sitting on a bench with a pad and paper. Eventually, I left the park and started walking again. I made a left at Tompkins, and then a right on Vernon and was well on my way for Day 2.
Walking down Vernon Avenue, the grills were already out and people were congregating in the streets. I heard a lot of reggae music coming from the stereos which I found a little surprising, but then again during the show the Grateful Dead was playing in-between sets. Before I entered the Backyard, I stopped by Mr. Kiwi's and stocked up on PBR and apples so that I could have an All-American lunch.
The landscape within the Broadway Backyard was basically a bunch of rocks with patches of grass sprinkled in. The M train or the J train or some shit like that ran overhead which added a nice clang-clang-clang noise to the sounds outside. The train was pretty much a non-factor because the music was real dope all day which was another way I would differentiate this show from what usually passes for a festival. Normally at a festival, you reach a point in the day when you're kind of tired of shooing away acid salesman and telling other prospective businesspeople that you are positive you don't want any ketamine. And around that time, a band normally comes on and they turn out to be pretty boring. But that's at those hippie festivals because none of that was the case on this day. The Beach Fossils were the first band to play on Saturday afternoon which also made them the first band to be totally hammered by Saturday night. Before, they started their set they asked for more reverb in the microphones. Just about every band that played on Saturday asked for either way more reverb or no reverb at all. As previously reported, all the bands on Saturday were real tight in one way or another. At one point during the day, I saw John Norris who used to be on MTV. It was kind of surreal seeing him there. Not in a amazing way, but more in a "What the Fuck" kind of way. My mind harkened back to a few weeks back, when there was a picture of him with Grizzly Bear on Hipster Runoff and Carles said something to the effect that you could tell Norris wasn't in the band because he was a bro who payed extra money for his clothes to look vintage and worn in. Upon seeing him in person, it is true. He definitely buys clothes that are supposed to look worn. His shorts looked like everyone else's, but on further inspection you could see that they were not actually cut-offs but rather they appeared to look like cut-offs. Ganglians used a keyboard, and Great Excape incorporated a saxophone into their set. The Beets were cool enough to the point where I will refrain from making Doug jokes. Interesting fact about Brilliant Colors: They are a band that consists of three women, and none of them shave their legs or their arm pits. Songs are pretty good, though. When I first arrived in Brooklyn, I was pumped about seeing Woods. That was the band at the top of my list, and they didn't disappoint. The one dude in the band is also responsible for Woodsist which in some capacity was responsible for pulling off this whole shindig. Total gratitude for that. There were jams, but it was never too jammy. They opted for for reverb in their microphones. It all made me very happy both on the inside and the outside. After Woods, was Kurt Vile. He absolutely fucking slayed. Looking around, it seemed like everyone was paying the utmost attention to this set. It was real good, and any attempt to talk about it here would probably make it sound something less than stellar. That being said, I am totally going to see him when they swing into my neck of the woods in August. Vivian Girls played next, and they were cool. There were fireworks going off in the background while they played, and that was cool. They talk a lot in-between songs and at point they pulled people from the crowd onstage to play tambourine, and that was kind of cool. They are also three women who play musical instruments, and that is very cool. The whole time I was watching the Vivian Girls all I could think about was how they would probably be skewered by snotty internet commentators come Monday morning. Hated on by people who probably weren't at the show, but for whatever reason feel compelled to piss on the parade. Thee Oh Sees closed the show down on Saturday, and that ruled. For the sake of full disclosure, I didn't know what I was getting myself into when they took the stage but it didn't really matter once they started. They tore it up to the point where I think I only managed to smoke two cigarettes during their entire set because I was too enthralled with what was going on on stage.
I was kind of tipsy when I left the show, but I managed to make it to the subway without a problem. Navigating the subway, however turned out to be slightly more difficult. As already pointed out, I am not from New York and had never been before and was on a solo mission and was kind of drunk. Long story short, I rode the G train to Hoyt where I got off to catch the A train. I got on the wrong A train, and ended up in Queens. Twenty minutes later, I was able to catch the correct A train. I was the only person on the train at this point, but at the next stop two dudes got on. They were both big, dark dudes with long t-shirts and baggy pants. I told myself that this would not be a good time to blankly stare so I didn't. They were talking kind of loudly, and I ended up looking over in their direction a few times and in doing so I noticed something. The first time I looked over, the one guy had his hand on the other guy's inner thigh. The next time I glanced over to see guy #2 puts his hand on guy #1's face and then lightly brush something away with his thumb. The next couple times I looked over they were alternating turns putting their heads in the other one's lap. And then they made out a little bit. The only reason I am mentioning any of this is because back in the fall my senior seminar research project was on the notion of gay gangsters existing and some scholars say that they don't because of perceived stereotypes. I argued that they certainly do exist, and now seven months later I witnessed a scene that supports my claim. Brooklyn was awesome, and I enjoyed it more than I could have ever imagined. I'm probably going back to see Dino Jr when they play for free up there. The End.