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Orchid Tapes "BORING ECSTASY" Release Showcase, Brooklyn NY Saturday March 29th, 2014

Orchid Tape Heroes

Orchid Tape Heroes

I had the chance to go to the Orchid Tapes release show of “BORING ECSTASY”, a compilation featuring RL Kelly, Elvis Depressedly, Ricky Eat Acid, and others affiliated with the label.  It was at Shea Stadium (no, not that Shea Stadium) in Brooklyn, a venue and studio that anybody who’s anybody frequents.  What’s really cool is that because it’s a recording studio, the entire show will probably be available to re-live when they release it.

It’s a nondescript door that if you blink you’ll miss it, but once you open it up, you know you’re at the right place because the daunting steep staircase has music pumping out the top of it, and someone waiting so you can pay to get in.  It had a really laid-back vibe and it was pretty small, but had some couches and chairs in it.  I loved the atmosphere, and soon enough, Home Alone, a one-man act, graced the stage, had his nifty set up all good to go, and began to play.
I was hooked on his ambient shoegaze sound, dreamy and calm.  I really liked the combination of his vocals, guitar, and prerecorded electrotracks.  Thomas Mazurkiewicz, the mastermind behind Home Alone, was charismatic and soft-spoken, but very appreciative.  He really got in the zone and I was nearly put in a trance by his soft and beautiful music.  It was a wonderful way to start off the night, and set the mood.
RL Kelly also really blew me away.  Frontwoman Rachel Levy is small but mighty, with a massive personality and ridiculous charm.  I loved her presence and I didn’t quite know what to expect from her set, but I was certainly impressed.  Even singing “I don’t know the words to my own song” in place of some lyrics, and with a little technical error saying, “that’s it that’s the end of the song ok”, it was a really comfortable setting and I adored how everyone was so easygoing and even with a few slip-ups, she managed to leave a lasting impression on me and now I’m an even bigger fan than I thought.  “You’re Not The Only Monster From Hell” was phenomenal live, and definitely my favorite of the set.  The sing-along feel of it and the energy definitely made it memorable.
Four Visions was up next, and I hadn’t really listened to them too much, but knew that they were definitely going to not be as lo-fi as the others, and I was right.  They had more edge to their sound, using all 4 of your typical instruments, however, this isn’t always the case.  FV is actually just the solo project of a young man named Daniel Abary.  I’m not quite sure the reason for him having a full band play with him when other solo/small group artists worked with as little as possible, but regardless, it was so well done.  I loved the versatility of the sound, how it shifted from quiet and simple to complex and captivating.  It showed serious talent and variety, which I was really enthralled with.  Downloading their music the day after the showcase was a fantastic idea, because it’s pretty much all I’ve been listening to.
I was curious as to how exactly Ricky Eat Acid was going to perform live.  Sam Ray, of Teen Suicide and REA, has some immense talent but I figured it’d be impossible to capture the nonsense noise that is Ricky Eat Acid.  However, I loved how he pulled it off.  It was simple, a keyboard and prerecorded noise, but the sound was incredible.  It was ambient and very easy to get lost in, and was frankly a bit frustrated at the crowd.  Sam had said, “This is a set best enjoyed with minimal noise and talking so, shut up”, but in a bit nicer way, and yet people still talked over it.  Regardless, it was still my favorite set yet of the evening, and to be honest, we were all ridiculously lucky to experience something like this.  It’s not often a musician like him plays live at all, so I tried to take it all in as much as possible, and it was an absolutely lovely set.  Time was kind of lost and the entire room felt like it was vibrating.  It was beautiful.
Alex G was the second to last band of the evening, and I loved every second of seeing them.  The four guys really put out a powerful sound, and put together, they’re all really great performers.  Personally, I liked when they performed their song, “Mary” but that might be my bias.  Regardless, I love its funk feel and the guitar was really wonderful in it; overall it was definitely the best song of their set, and was just ridiculously fun to dance around to.  Their set felt like it was endless, and I loved that, and was a bit disappointed when it was all over.  However, the last act of the night was on next, and I had a feeling it was what everyone was waiting for.
I had seen Elvis Depressedly once before, but never like this.  RL Kelly played with them, which was great.  It displayed the sense of friendship all the bands affiliated with Orchid Tapes and playing at the showcase had, and that was adorable.  It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime set.  The band played tunes like “Thinning Out” and “Weird Honey”.  I never thought I’d hear either of those tunes live- those and “Crybabies”.  “Weird Honey” has the words “boring ecstasy” in it, and is my favorite song of ED’s and seeing the whole band perform it touched my inner fangirl.  That and the fact that Mat, the frontman and mastermind behind ED, just looked incredibly happy.  The energy in the room and everyone singing along had a really great sense of community attached to it.
It was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to, with some of the coolest musicians ever playing one after the other.  It was certainly a night to remember.
If there’s a cool spot in hell, all these people are gonna get it.

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