Monday, January 12, 2004

Rock Shows of Note LXXX

Saturday night, I braved the ill winds and bitter chill of Brooklyn to meet up with Deb, Boots, Mary, and Carl at the Magnetic Field on the edge of Cobble Hill. We were there to see our friends Eric, Frank, Colin, and Jenny in Shumai, but I was also there to check out the Brooklyn-based Strip Minors -- and I wasn't disappointed. I was, however, cold.

The Magnetic Field describes itself as a "rock & roll cocktail lounge," and beyond a small stage area in front, it's almost all lounge. They feature DJs almost every weekend, including the guy who runs March Records. And Matt, the sound guy, used to work at the Diesel in Somerville. Small, small world. Small world even smaller, the bathrooms were painted by Brooklyn-based tatooist and comic book maker Adam Suerte, whose work I've reviewed previously. And, history geek fed, the bar is but blocks away from the site that gave Cobble Hill its name. Near the corner of Court Street and Atlantic Avenue was Ponkiesbergh, or Cobble's Hill, a circa-1766 rise that was supposedly haunted. Later on, Fort Cobble Hill found its home there.

Oh, yes, the show. Shumai performed a laid-back and friendly set of their twee pop with occasional boy-girl harmonies. I wish Eric would sing more, but Colin's got a great voice, and I suppose I shouldn't complain. Well worth checking out, if a little on the low energy side. And the Strip Minors? Fun in the Soltero sense, the band blended plaintive vocals, off-kilter harmonies, a great sense of humor, keyboards, and a trombone to good effect. Fun live, and a good pick me up after Shumai's subtle shoe gazing.

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