Quick shout-outs: MSPAINT, GEL, Cookiee Kawaii
They thrilled me at Saint Vitus and SILO.
[apologetically] Hey guys…
So yeah, I hope you’ve been keeping up with what I’ve been up to at Hell Gate. I originally imagined keeping this blog going at a weekly or fortnightly-ish pace, but as I probably should have predicted, not only is having a full-time job a full-time job, a lot of what I do there overlaps with this blog’s purview. I still want to do it though! How to Party is, at least in my mind, a little different, looser and wackier than my Leave Your Apartment column there. Plus, it’s not all about New York!
On that note, I thought I’d press this blog’s claim with a little ditty about some shows by out of towners I saw a few weeks ago: Hattiesburg’s MSPAINT, East Orange’s Cookiee Kawaii, and Ewing’s GEL:
GEL, the hardcore punk band from Ewing, New Jersey, stomped through their set at the back of metal bar St. Vitus (to get there, go through an unmarked black door on Manhattan Avenue near Greenpoint's… point, turn left at the scowling bartender with waist-length hair and wrist-length arm tattoos, and climb into the music hall, breathing in the 15 degree climb of accumulated body heat).
GEL were potent. God, I love non-dogmatic hardcore. I love a soft piano interlude that accentuates the connection between moshing and crying, and a little Sopranos sample. Why did we ever do it the other way–what kind of lunkhead loser thinks hip hop corrupts punk? Openers included swaggy NYHC mainstays Dog Breath, Rhode Island's Peace Trust ("how about some movement? Act like you fucking like us"), and a surprising and captivating fusion of punk, noise and rap-rock from Mississippi's M.S. Paint–check them out.
From there, I headed to SILO, the drafty hangar that's been converted into a nightclub, across the street from Honey's meadery in Bushwick. I was shivering, covered in rain at this point. At 1:30, another New Jerseyan, Cookiee Kawaii, princess of Jersey Club, took the stage wearing a Naruto headband and presided over "Dick Appointment," the "Hottest Dance Party for Medium Ghetto Queer Blacks, POC, and Allies Based in Brooklyn, New York". A single backup dancer capered around her, pumping the crowd up for her Tiktok-viral hits like "Back It Up" and "Violin" that were bouncing around the venue's metal shell, turning angular bass drums into a fuzzy blanket of sound. "Brooklyn always shows me love," she toasted, sparkling.