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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Show Review: Broken Bells Record Release Party @ Baby's All Right (Brooklyn NYC)

The "pink lady" at the Broken Bells record release/Tumlr IRL party.

Show Review:
 Broken Bells Record Release Party
@ Baby's All Right (Brooklyn NYC)

  No show review for last Thursday's Dum Dum Girls record release show at Mercury Lounge- could not get in ha ha. As far as I'm concerned it's a good sign because it means there is demand among fans and press.  Plus, Dum Dum Girls were playing two shows that day (Mercury Lounge + Letterman) and they had just flown cross country, and I had seen the record release show at the Echo so I was like, ok.  I was staying around the corner however.

 The next night was the Tumblr IRL part at Baby's All Right in Brooklyn.  I believe this was the Broken Bells record release show, though no one actually called it that, nor did anyone seem to acknowledge the possibility that it could be construed that way.  The show, free for fans who RSVPed (or anyone who showed up after the initial pre show line subsided) was a smash success, with photographs by Danger Mouse (from the video production for the first single,) a girl dressed up in the Space Girl suit from said video (see above) and a custom made Juke Box stocked by the band and decked out in album art matching colors.

  Broken Bells came out and did three songs in duo fashion.  There was an open bar sponsored by Red Bull. I drank too much and ate no dinner. I think the new Broken Bells record is a hit and if ever there was an indie record that didn't need Pitchfork support, this is the one.  For what it's worth, having met both principals of the band, I would cordially disagree with almost everything that Larry Fitzmaurice said in this 5.4 review of the LP.  His main inaccuracy is pegging Mercer as the primary songwriter on the record, in fact, it was Danger Mouse who wrote many of the lyrics.  I don't think knowing that would have changed the record review one iota.

  The Pitchfork enmity for Danger Mouse is well established at this point- I'm not sure why but it seems to be manifested in multiple generations of the upper echelon of Pitchfork editorial staff.  Perhaps it was an interview he gave? or refused to grant?  Maybe if they just got to know him?  It seems like they would have a lot in common, since Danger Mouse is really just kinda a nerdy bro type underneath the international jet set super producer tag.

  To be totally clear, I'm not angry or upset about the review.  Honestly, post Drifters/LITD, post Crocodiles LP, it's become pretty clear that whether Pfork likes or hates your band doesn't really matter once the initial flush of interest ebbs away.  After that it's more about whether you actually produce music that normal people like, and what kind of label/management/press constellation you can bring to bear on the situation.  Certainly dating an artist manager has alerted me to some of the benefits of having someone capable in your corner.  The larger an audience for an artist, the important issues like "Who manages you?" and "What label are you on?" become. For the newer artist, label and management are more or less irrelevant, but when you get to a Broken Bells/Dum Dum Girls level these choices become important indeed.

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