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December 1, 2008

Crystal Stilts - "Crystal Stilts"

via Escape Sounds
Where can I get that cardigan?

This post is long overdue, but I always become a little blog-lazy around the holidays. I saw Crystal Stilts a couple weeks ago at a "venue" called Less Artists More Condos. Less Artists is one of Todd P's DIY spaces. Emphasis on the DIY for this place.

I wasn't quite sure where exactly 132 W. 3rd St. was, but as my friend and I got closer to the building... we realized that the entrance was sandwiched in between Fat Black Pussycat and Town Tavern, two quality establishments. When we went up the stairs into the "venue," I realized that I was standing in a loft. A loft with bedrooms. Rooms inhabited by people. Apparently, there are McKibben-style "dorms" in West Village. And, shows are held there. Who knew?

Anyway, the place seemed a little small for Crystal Stilts' record release show, especially since they garnered a lot of attention during CMJ. With only an impromptu bar in the kitchen of Less Artists, waiting for the bands to play was pretty exhausting. By the time Crystal Stilts went onstage around midnight, I was ready to plop down onto one of the couches in the living room of the loft. Live, Crystal Stilts' sound was muddier than that on record. I don't know if it was intentional (Pitchfork seems to think so) or if the sound system was responsible, but I couldn't make out a single lyric. After awhile, I couldn't distinguish the songs from one another. But, I dig this song so I'd like to give them another go at a venue with better acoustics.

Crystal Stilts opens for Love is All on December 7th at Bowery Ballroom.

Crystal Stilts - Crystal Stilts

Crystal Stilts


Anonymous said...

it wasn't the acoustics, it's the lead singer's reverb pedal.

but regardless, who focuses on the lyrics at a live show?

mimi on December 2, 2008 at 7:23 AM said...

lack of understanding the lyrics is my way of saying i couldn't hear the singer at all. literally, he could have turned off his mic in the middle and i probably couldn't have heard the difference. maybe it was where i was standing, maybe it was a combination of the acoustics, sound balance, reverb petal, etc. if it is the reverb pedal, as you claim, then i guess you've saved me from going to another muddy performance. thanks.

and, i happen to listen to vocals at shows. what's the point in not caring about them? if the band didn't care about their own vocals and didn't want you to care/be distracted by them, there would be no singer(s). they would be purely instrumental. but, maybe i'm missing the whole point with crystal stilts. the p4k review seems to suggest that they purposely bury the vocals in the instrumentals, and that sorta defines their sound/style.

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