Photos + Recap: Mexican Summer's Five Years Festival
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There’s really no point in writing a flowery intro to independent record label Mexican Summer. You’re either vaguely aware of or deeply in love with the Kemado Records offshoot. More than 100 releases—from folks like Best Coast, Kurt Vile and Oneohtrix Point Never—Summer celebrated its five year mark with a swinging music festival in Brooklyn’s Red Hook. The two-day event featured performances from Ariel Pink, The Fresh & Onlys, Spiritualized and dozens of drunk music dorks trying to balance on a slightly unstable gravel ground. It. Was. Magic.
We arrive at Pioneer Works Center for Art Friday to find Bobb Trimble’s Flying Spiders swallowing the stage whole. The space itself, a tiny trek from the label’s Greenpoint headquarters, robs your body of all breath. It’s a cavernous, brick cathedral and at this time, lit almost entirely by magenta light. There’s a big backyard, too, littered with tiny foothills, folks in black sweaters and those gravel monsters I mentioned earlier.
Bobb and his Spiders, though, look like an inventive quilt and play like a bird up in flames. “When The Raven Calls,” a cut from Trimble’s ’80 release Iron Curtain Innocence, soars like a cooling Phoenix, limping upwards to shoot off into a molten sunset.
Taking on a stripped-down presence, The Fresh & Onlys next fill the space significantly. Emotive ringleader Tim Cohen runs his thumb across his neck during “I’m A Thief,” mimicking slitting his own throat. It goes over well with the audience.
Tamaryn channels Morrissey, it seems, throwing roses into the crowd of her slot. Ambient pink, blue, purple projections hotly illuminate her sex appeal. She tears petals dismissively. The entire set feels like floating in a friend’s pool after an epic bong rip. Not a bad thing.
Pioneer’s bathrooms started the night with swanky organic soap. By now, midnight, it’s back to SoftSoap and the attendant sits still and bored.
Ariel Pink is Night No. 1’s big pull. Tossed tresses shimmer, immediately revealing Ariel and his cohorts as owners/growers of Maybe The Shiniest Hair Ever. He performs his typical freak-out fare to a thirsty audience, pulling a thick book open and just inches from his nose. Gibberish and more gibberish fall from his mouth and I can’t but wonder if I detect, “And God said, ‘Let there be psychedelics.’”
New York’s first exhales of fall rush especially hard now. Everyone’s wearing something flannel, a cool bomber jacket or maybe Army-reissue. There are herbal refreshers like, everywhere. Girl gaggles shuffle in the gravel with eyelids at half-mast. Their nights are only beginning but mine is done and my car home has arrived. Until Day 2.