Desert Noises and Hollis Brown at Mercury Lounge 3/30/13

Desert Noises and Hollis Brown

Mercury Lounge

March 30, 2013

The weekend after my birthday was pretty crazy as I wound up attending and covering 6 shows in 4 days – with two of those shows being at the Mercury Lounge. I actually walked in for the early set, walked out for a beer with a publicist and her boyfriend at Local 138 before heading back to Mercury Lounge for the late set with Desert Noises and Hollis Brown

Both Desert Noises and Hollis Brown seemed to be a rather perfect fit for each other as they both played a fairly crowd-pleasing, straightforward rock – Hollis Brown different slightly as their sound was heavily influenced by the Southern rock of the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and others.  In the case of Desert Noises, their set was largely forgettable, and kind of dull. 

With Hollis Brown I can admit that sure, their material sounded decent but it wasn’t anything particularly mind-bending or novel; in fact, I’ve heard a number of Southern rock inspired bands over the years, playing similarly sounding material without much teeth or grit. Another Southern rock inspired band – ho, hum. Somehow, I felt jaded and started to lose interest. Certainly, if Hollis Brown is considered one of New York’s best straightforward rock bands, rock in New York is in a sad state. What happened to the sleazy, dirty raw sound of a band like the Cummies, who once had liner notes for a self titled EP which read “Songs to fight and fuck for”? 

And as much as I love Neil Young’s work, ending a set with “Rockin’ in the Free World” is one of the ultimate rock show cliches. It was admittedly kind of a frustrating show. Shamefully, just because it may aim to be crowd pleasing doesn’t mean it’s always good or particularly interesting.

Desert Noises

Hollis Brown 

There were some really cute girls at the Mercury Lounge, and the funny thing is that whenever you have a decent camera at a show, people want to pose for you.

For these photos and a few more from the set, check out the Flickr set here: