New Yorker Jeffrey Lewis is part of the whole anti-folk movement and has a really tubular website. His songs are very pro-active and witty, but they ended up making me feel like a bad person for some reason. I felt like I should have been saving the world instead of standing at a club. In the vein of Kimya Dawson and Daniel Johnston, this dude has a large following in Cleveland and elsewhere. All in all, it was a very thought-provoking and whimsical set. He told stories, held up his homemade comics, and won the crowd over in general.
Next up was Ra Ra Riot from Syracuse, NY. I was completely blown away by their set. Fresh from SXSW, this group showed no signs of stoppin’ the funk. At first I felt guilty about comparing the singer’s voice to that of Vampire Weekend’s leading man, however on their website they list them as palz. Their high-energy set left me very excited to hear their self-titled EP, which I dutifully purchased after the show. Expect a lot from this funky bunch in the future!
Their set was comprised of mostly new tracks from their latest album, Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever, but they also managed to please older fans with a rowdy rendition of “Hey Scenesters”. All in all, my friend and I were surprised about how intense and energetic they were. Listening to their albums, there isn’t much aggression at all, however they were gettin’ sweaty and were giving it their all.
I left the show in a great mood, considering the whole Crystal Castles fiasco two days prior. Solid gold.