The line outside Mezzaninelast night may have been ridiculously long (the hidden cost of “free” admission), and the venue may have reeked of body odor (or cheap weed?), but both were worth the entertaining, irreverent kick off to a week of Noise Pop fun. We were immediately heartened that we all got in, even though I was the only one who’d registered online, and that the DJ was playing catchy, pseudo-indie (since what does “indie” mean anymore, anyway?) classics like the Ramones and Violent Femmes between sets.
And though there was plenty of hipster eye candy, the place was noticeably devoid of the pretentiousness one might expect from an event headed by uber-underground-cult-favorites Tapes n Tapes. No, we were all equally, geekily excited by the Extra Action Marching Band (your high school half-time show meets Rocky Horror Picture Show, complete with tattooed tuba players and provocative pom pom girls … and boys), comedian David Cross (managing to simultaneously deliver and skewer sponsor Doc Martens’ marketing message – “Change the world, starting by buying these shoes…”), and one man freakshow – and talented vocalist and performer - Har Mar Superstar (whose mantra “I’m fucking awesome” is so ironic, it’s actually true).
The highlight of the night, though, was Tapes ‘N’ Tapes, all humble and sweet and soft-bodied and dorky, just like a proper indie band should be. The sound up front was a bit too loud and distorted for my taste (I hear the music sounded perfect from the bathroom), but the band’s energy mostly made up for it -- and Cowbell was perfect: raw and lilting, just like I like it.
Mmmmm….poppy goodness at its noisiest. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week serves up.
P.S. More photos to come...
(By Molly Freedenberg)