The Black Lips Get Wet at Jelly NYC’s Pool Party

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The Black Lips—sweet, southern, and so deliciously nasty—stormed Williamburg today. I was fortunate  to catch them twice this week, so having reveled in their raucous act at Pitchfork last Saturday, it was a treat to watch them tear up Jelly NYC’s Pool Party  today. East Park State made for an admittedly lackluster venue—call it a concrete slab with a side stage—but despite the oppressive heat, the Lips electrified. Sadly, city regulations cut their set shorter than they wanted. (When the Lips exited the stage, the crowd demanded “five more songs!” and bassist Jared Swilley muttered, “sorry ya’ll.”)

Still, the show was impressive. The Georgian flower punks imbued their set with countless “thank ya’lls,” some vintage PSAs (“don’t take acid, ya’ll”), and their gritty brand of blues-infused psychedelia. “Hippie Hippie Hoorah,” with guitarist Cole Alexander’s surly echoing “aaaaahh”, as always, transfixed and seemed to melt into the jangly guitars. Swilley, meanwhile, upped the ante by smashing a small plastic ukelele and tossing the shards into the crowd, then strumming his bass as he walked on a sea of hands that miraculously held him upright. 

The Lips culled most songs from the live disc, Los Valientes Del Mundo Nuevo, and 2007’s breakout, Good Bad Not Evil. 200 Million Thousand, released by Vice this year, hardly got play, but fans didn’t seem to mind. The crowd happily bopped to buoyant sing-alongs like “O Katrina” and “Dirty Hands,” including the powerhouse “Juvenile” and King Khan-inspired “Buried Alive” which put Alexander, drummer Joe Bradley, and guitarist Ian St. Pe on the mic. For “Alive,” Alexander slipped on a hunter green cape that suspiciously looked like a poncho.

The set smacked of Pitchfork’s, but after Health’s aural assault, The Lips’ attention-getting antics were just what the Hipster Handbook ordered. Ending with “Bad Kids,” the band inspired more reckless youths to hop on stage and dance with them, or retreat into the crowd where hipsters were feeling the first trickles of a sunshower threatening to build into more.

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July 27, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.