Friday, May 19, 2017

Charly Bliss Played Baby's All Right with Yucky Duster and True Dreams, 5/18/17

Charly Bliss

A Million Miles of Fun

On, maybe, Tuesday, I remembered that I'd bought a ticket to Charly Bliss's Guppy release show at Baby's All Right. I love that album, and I got super-excited over the idea of finally -- finally -- seeing Charly Bliss play live.

I'm like that guy in the Onion article, though: "Man Spends Whole Day Dreading Fun Activity He Signed Up For." As the show got closer and closer, my desire to drive up to Brooklyn and fight for a spot at a sold-out show started to waver. I shared this thought with a very wise man, and he told me, "It is better to regret something you have done than to regret something you haven't done." Fair enough. I headed out.

Google Maps went wild, fluctuating between taking me through Staten Island and Manhattan. Finally, it sent me through the Holland Tunnel. An hour and forty minutes of driving plus fifteen minutes to find parking, and I walked into Baby's All Right just as True Dreams of Ridgewood, Queens were starting up their set.

Angela Carlucci (guitar) and Hannah Nichols (drums) charmed the early crowd with a set of seemingly sweet, but sometimes biting pop / anti-folk. They even worked in a little choreography.

True Dreams

Brooklyn four-piece, Yucky Duster (Madeline Babuka Black, Zack O'Brien, Maggie Gaster, Luca Balser), were next. The band released the excellent Duster's Lament EP early this year. It's a mix of smart, funny lyrics and off-kilter pop hooks; and songs like "Thaw" and "Elementary School Dropout" were highlights of the set. I'd seen Yucky Duster back at the Lost Boy ? all-singing-drummer Goose Wazoo release show, and the band's presence on this bill was a major factor in getting me into the CoolVan.

Yucky Duster

After many near misses at Northside Festival and South By Southwest and just in general, it was finally time for me to catch Charly Bliss live. From the opening strains of Guppy's "Percolator," singer / guitarist Eva Hendricks was a whirlwind. Guitarist Spencer Fox, drummer Sam Hendricks, and bassist Dan Shure may be slightly less manic; but the entire band exude an energy that fits the nature of their high-strung pop.

Eva Hendricks of Charly Bliss
Charly Bliss

They rattled off other songs from Guppy like "Westermarck," "Ruby," "Scare U," "Black Hole," "Gatorade," "DQ," and main set-closer "Glitter." They also included early song "Urge to Purge," the first-ever Charly Bliss love song, and a cover of Len's "Steal My Sunshine."

Charly Bliss

The phrase I'd use to describe the whole evening is "just fun." Three bands with really good songs and great energy. A supportive crowd. And, even though the space was sold out, it never felt overly packed or uncomfortable. Charly Bliss were happy to be celebrating at home after being on tour for a month, and you could see it in their performance. Now, it's on to bigger venues for them as they ride the wave of a great record; but I'm glad I got to catch them in a small space. Finally.

I also used the night to try out some new little techniques with my camera and lenses that I won't bore you with, but that does mean that I took way more pictures than I probably would have normally. So I spent the day with a little bit of editing burnout following my efforts to whittle things down. As always, you can check out the squished-down social media versions at the Facebook page or the full rez ones in the Flickr galleries.

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