don't you tell me how i feel.

phosphorescent at mccarren park by v
June 17, 2013, 10:43 am
Filed under: angsty boy alert, moody, New music, Shit I love, Shows | Tags: , , ,


Phosphorescent, the musical project of Alabama-born, Brooklyn-based Matthew Houck, opened for The Walkmen at McCarren Park last Saturday. The show was well-timed, since I’ve spent the last month falling in love with their latest record, Muchacho — a mostly downtempo collection of anguished, piano-heavy songs. Yeah, it’s kinda country, kinda folksy, and that whole Americana sound isn’t usually my thing, but Houck’s twang is formidable.


Live, they were true to the record: His voice really IS that crackly with emotion, and people went apeshit for it, particularly the Johnny Cash-cribbing “Song For Zula” (the “hit,” I suppose). Surprisingly, the group’s showman wasn’t Houck at all but his pianist, whose theatrics won the crowd over by the end of the first song. To wit: After a particularly complicated solo, he turned to the audience, threw both middle fingers up, and mouthed “fuck you” before turning back to the piano.


The Walkmen followed — and this is going to sound blasphemous to some — but I only stayed for two songs of their set. I can’t quite put my finger on what I don’t like about them, but it’s possible that the sound of Hamilton Leithauser’s voice completely stresses me out. Watching his face and neck turn bright red in person was even more alarming — he seems perpetually on the brink of bursting a blood vessel. And while it’s apparent that they have talent in spades, it’s just not for me.

Anyway, this isn’t intended to be a Walkmen hatefest, but a Phosphorescent lovefest. If you haven’t heard Muchacho yet, get on it.

More on Phosphorescent here


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