It's been over a week since Gothamist has been to a show we felt was worthy of review. Last night, we attended two.
First we headed over to Joe's Pub for American Analog Set. This was the first concert we had been to in a very long time where we were completely unfamiliar with the bands music. We went in with a clean slate and an open mind, having heard only excellent word of mouth from friends and colleagues. We were delighted to discover that we loved them just as much as we had expected to. Regardless of the Arts & Crafts affiliation, the sound reminded us a lot of a simplified Broken Social Scene. Andrew Kenny's understated vocals are left almost to a whisper, but they were never overwhelmed by the equally soft, meandering music. It was a very pleasant way to spend the early evening. Their new album comes out September 20th, and from what we heard last night, it should be a must buy.
From there, we headed straight down to Bowery for Gavin Rossdale's new band, Institute. There weren't many expectations, save for a splash of some late 90's nostalgia. Surprise surprise, his new band sounds like a more anonymous Bush. Besides the 3 covers of Everything Zen, Machinehead and Glycerine, there was nothing that stood out as being particularly memorable. The crowd, however, completely ate it up, jumping around to music they were likely hearing for the first time. Rossdale said himself, "If you didn't throw up when you heard Bush, you definitely won't throw up when you hear Institute." He knows what his market is. He’s knows he’s not making critically respectable music. He'll likely appeal to the masses the same way Bush did, and he seems just fine with that. It certainly wasn't particularly enjoyable for us, but we can understand the appeal. Gwen didn't seem too excited about it either.