out and about:  neon indian, prefuse 73 go to govenors
    • TUESDAY, AUGUST 17, 2010

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    Photography by Chris Gayomali. For more pictures from the photo, head HERE

    On Saturday, it didn't take more than 10 seconds for someone on the water taxi making its way to Governors Island for Converse's free summer concert series—dubbed "Gone to Governors"—to crack a Titanic joke (as if a dude old enough to remember "Titanic" had never been out on open water before). And, as any free and potentially fun event in New York tends to an draw overcapacity crowds of overworked, underfunded borough dwellers, I was praying that the night's show—headlined by last summer's chillwave pioneers Neon Indian—wasn't going to be one of those nights.

    Thankfully, it wasn't.

    Here's a quick rundown:

    Due to a layover, Arizona based Miniature Tigers were added to the bill at the last minute. They opened facing a setting, multi-hued Manhattan skyline, and played five or six songs of breezy pop rock with tics taken from the Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys. They were nice, but their random "hoot hoots" and other yelps sounded more like a mild case of barnyard Tourettes than, say, Animal Collective, which I think they were going for. I liked them.

    Nite Jewel were next. Their brand of ultra-harmonic girls-who-can-actually-sing pop (think School of Seven Bells) was best when funky. They had this one track that sounded like some throwback, drum 'n' bass Ghost Town DJs tip that made folks—or just me—want to get down. (I think it was "Want You Back," but I'm admittedly not too familiar with their catalogue).

    DOM! What a pleasant surprise these guys were! DOM consisted of a bunch of grungy, distorted, fuzzy, surf rockers who kicked some life back into the island. Think Wavves, but less inarticulate. More polite. They provided some much needed adrenaline. And ass. My favorite line? "It's so sexy / to be living in America." Love it.

    On deck for Neon Indian were trip-hoppers extraordinaire Prefuse 73. They were loud. I don't know what it was, but in terms of pacing something was off. I think I noted it as "calculated schizophrenia" or something — something genre-inhabitant Flying Lotus does well. They did, however, throw down a too-brief, beautifully mutilated sample of Chingy's "Oh I Think They Like Me," which was amazing. The rest was cool. Overheard from some Aussie's behind me: "They fucked my ears."

    Neon Indian were last, and they were great. You could really tell that they were on some other level in terms of performing, presence, overall knowing-what-their-doing, etc. Frontman Alan Palomo danced from keyboard to keyboard like a mad man, bouncing afro and all. Leanne Macomber wore ripped up stockings and barely-there pants while dancing around her keyboard. She looked like a sweetheart. Erika and her lovely vocals from Au Revoir Simone came out pinch hit. Everything was nice, and, thankfully, all potential crises were averted. -chris gayomali

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    PHOTOS: Neon Indian, Prefuse 73 and More Play Govenors Island

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