Woodsist Records Showcase – Music Hall of Williamsburg – June 25, 2010

June 28th, 2010

There were no opening bands on Friday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg, just an amazing self-contained festival on one stage. Woodsist Records packed the bill, and no one was going to miss any of these acts. The balcony tables were secured long before Moon Duo took the stage to deliver their screaming fuzz-guitar and organ jams. It was something of a milestone, bringing these acts together. From the West Coast, San Francisco-based Moon Duo, Sic Alps and the Fresh and Onlys bonded with Brooklyn’s own Woods’ and Real Estate’s sunny vibes. Hearing them all together like this, there’s no doubt they’re all rooted in those ’60s mind-altering sounds, relying heavily on effects and abstract melody.

Sic Alps, which just recently opened for Pavement and Sonic Youth, brought heavy guitar experimentation to the table, drawing out their hazy blues into laid-back explorations in scuzzy feedback. Whatever song structure they originally had was abandoned, and they repeatedly broke them down with ear-splitting volume. Up next, the Fresh and Onlys took a traditional garage-pop approach to the swirl of effects, favoring a catchy melody over an extended jam. Tim Cohen, a friendly flannel frontman, cracked jokes and led the four-piece in tracks off their self-titled release, which leans toward a dense, smooth harmony-laden good time.

Woods played with their trademark blend of high falsetto and the mysterious technical wizardry of G. Lucas Crane. They were taking obvious pleasure in teasing out the tracks into oblivion and reeling them back again long into the night. Finally, Real Estate, with themes of nostalgia for the Jersey Shore, was completely at home onstage before a packed audience. Matt Mondanile and Martin Courtney on guitar, playing off each other’s surf-inspired melodies, was the key to Real Estate’s lighthearted summer jams, with rivers and beaches making their way into the lyrics if you weren’t already staring into the sun. The band left the satisfied crowd to walk out into the humid night, with a comfortable dream-pop soundtrack for those slow 8 mm films of the boardwalk, the jerky home movies of friends running into the surf under the blinking lights of a run-down casino. —Jason Dean