Live Concert Photography: Summer Thunder at Union Pool 7/8/17: Boogarins with Outside World
Summer Thunder is a weekly showcase, presented by Academy Records and popular Williamsburg hotspot and music venue Union Pool, showcasing both up-and-coming and nationally or internationally touring acts and DJs performing at Union Pool’s back patio — for free with drink specials and tacos from El Diablo Tacos. So far New York-based psych rock duo Psychic Ills and the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra played Summer Thunder and adding to an impressive lineup of acts, the legendary New York-born and based salsa/boogaloo/Latin soul legend Joe Bataan played the showcase just last week.
Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past two years or so, you may recall that with the 2015 release of their sophomore effort Manual, the Brazilian psych rock quartet Boogarins quickly became a JOVM mainstay artist — and that JOVM mainstays can trace their origins to when its founding members Fernando “Dino” Almeida and Benke Ferraz started playing music together as teenagers in their hometown, the central Brazilian city of Goiânia. The music that they began writing and eventually recorded together quickly revealed a unique vision of psych rock and psych pop that naturally drew from their country’s incredibly diverse musical and cultural history; however, with a decidedly modern take. Along with that, Boogarins were among the forefront of their country’s contemporary rock acts, who wrote and sung lyrics completely in their native Brazilian Portuguese.
As for Manual, the album’s material was specifically conceived as a diary or dream journal, which naturally gives the material a deeply personal, almost stream-of-consciousness-like feel, but interestingly enough, it also revealed a band that had written increasingly sociopolitically conscious material, as lyrically the album focuses on the the complex socioeconomic and political forces at play during and after the 2014 World Cup — including the fact that entire neighborhoods and communities were being razed for massive commercial developments that helped national, global corporations and/or their interests make money instead of economically uplifting those, who desperately needed a hand up. And perhaps worse yet, the new developments wound up whitewashing the nation’s problems — i.e, increasing inequality and poverty, pollution, development into the Amazon and so on — away and out of sight from the tourists, who had come down for the soccer tournament.
Last year, during a busy run of international touring, the Latin Grammy-nominated act holed up in house near Austin, TX‘s SPACE Studios for most of the summer, and while in Austin they played a several weeks-long Austin club residency and spent their free time writing and recording new material, including “Elogio a Instituição do Cinismo,” a single that’s a decided sonic departure as the band incorporated thumping beats and backbeats, swirling electronics and abrasive and buzzing guitars to create a malevolently brewing storm of sound that evoked both a fucked up hallucination and a rowdy, dance-floor friendly stomp. Interestingly enough, the band’s third full-length album, La Vem a Morte continues the band’s experimentation with their sound — a period of experimentation that finds the band employing the use of synths, beats along with more traditional rock-based instrumentation and arrangements. And while being hallucinatory, the material manages to reveal a band that’s aggressive pushing psych rock and Brazilian rock into strange yet exciting new directions. The band played a Stateside ending tour at Union Pool’s Summer Thunder series with New York-based psych rock act Outside World. Check out photos from the show below.
Outside World is an indie rock band formed in Philadelphia, PA two years ago by the bands frontpeople and co-founders Hazel Rigby and former Brain Idea bassist Ben Scott, whose initial goal was to write sunny, jangling guitar pop that sounded much like Polaris, the band that wrote the theme song from The Adventures of Pete & Pete but interestingly enough members of the band have since relocated to New York and as I heard from their live set at Union Pool, the band draws from Math rock, noise rock, psych rock and World music.