Two big free Brooklyn shows were going on last night. Brian Wilson or Deerhoof? Brian Wilson or Deerhoof? Brian Wilson BABY!!! A no brainer. I love summer in NYC, we are truly privileged to get to hear so much fantastic music, many from the originators, many for free. Although Brian Wilson (the mastermind behind the Beach Boys) was five bucks, it was priceless.
I didn't know what to expect. I heard the stories about Brian Wilson. His mental instabilities, his years under a Doctor's care where he took too many anti-psychotic medicines, his stage fright, y'know all that bad stuff that helps create a legend. The crowd at the show was decidedly BROOKLYN. As in Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach, Midwood, Flatbush. Marty Markowitz was babbling on stage for at least 45 minutes listing off EVERY SINGLE musical act that ever played at Asser Levy Park and even some that never did, it was unbelievable how he just rattled on and on. Exactly at 8pm the band took the stage and Brian was front and center behind a keyboard. The music is really beautiful and so complex but as I sat there looking at the old greasers going wild, I distinctly heard the doo-wop influence. Just think about "Help Me Rhonda" (which was their final Beach Boy song of the evening.) Brian was a bit stiff in the beginning and seemed cranky but a funny kind of cranky. It was a bit surreal to hear him sing "When I grow up to be a man" but he was a lot more loosened up toward the end, I actually saw him crack a smile during "Good Vibrations". Maybe being beachside under a full moon was the right vibe for Brian because he came out for a second encore and did a number from his upcoming album, a ballad called "Southern California". I'd say they played for about 90 minutes, which from what I understand is a long set for him. Below is my cheap camera video, it's more for the sound than the visuals and the song is "Heroes and Villians". Just hit play and stare at that ship photo I found in my closet! I ALMOST made it to the end of the song but security made me put my camera away.(please sing that last sentence to "Fun Fun Fun"!)
And tomorrow night ANOTHER fantastic free show. By another originator.
Mary Weiss of the Shangri-las!
The Lost Crusaders
6:30pm at South Street Seaport