Buzzing in NYC, part II: Each Other's Mothers

Kathi Killer invited me to an Each Other’s Mothers show at the Charleston in Williamsburg on Saturday, August 11, 2007. In Brooklyn, my friend and I navigated through blocks of bleak de-industrial structures. Eventually we found Williamsburg, a recently gentrified neighborhood in Brooklyn, tucked in a nice, “quaint” neighborhood where a group of folks in their 20s to 30s leisurely congregated for nightlife afforded by the local artsy hipster scene.

A near-hole-in-a-wall place, there were lots of beers and pizzas amidst a friendly crowd at the Charleston. Each Other’s Mothers came on at around 11:45PM. The band began with a song that flaunts a Deerhoof-inflected guitar riff - it’s sweet like “Wrong Time Capsule”. In most songs, Kathi and Rachel alternated between two dissonant riffs on their guitars, sometimes a third apart from one another, other times unevenly dis-harmonizing each other. Angie played solid and complex bass lines while Allison zealously put accents in unexpected spots. No simple power chords, just cleverly composed songs with original melodies, harmonies and rhythms.

Kathi described Each Other’s Mothers’ music to be “instrumental math-punk with some dance rock.” What I heard was refreshing indie-punk sound influenced by Deerhoof (rather blatantly), Franz Ferdinand (my feet danced!), Blonde Redhead (bold dissonance), and Sonic Youth (droney, creamy effects). No bullshitting around. They occupied significant physical and sonic space. The boys and girls in the crowd went nuts for their generous motherly love and pleasure. [Live recording available here.]

Each Other’s Mothers hit the musical sweet spot for me, balancing between rock music conventions and un-conventions. If the planet of punk/rock music is colonized by white men, Each Other’s Mothers has de-colonized a good part of it by rocking out with their serious edgy musical intelligence.

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