Underwater Peoples Showcase at Market Hotel

Post Author: , Karen Aragon

A few months ago, Underwater Peoples put out a surprisingly deep compilation of largely unknown bands a lot of people really loved, and they threw together a huge lineup at Market Hotel last week that a lot of people from New Jersey went to.

Jokes aside, there were equal-parts curious folks from just down Bushwick Ave or Broadway dropping by to see what the fuss was about with this Julian Lynch guy or maybe to catch another Real Estate show (just can’t get enough can you?), but the bands and their fans brought cargo shorts to a place they perhaps had never been before.

Good luck keeping tabs on all that transpired. Between Lynch and Real Estate there was Fluffy Lumbers, Andrew Cedermark, Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, Family Portrait, Pill Wonder, and Air Waves, and that was just the second half of the show. Standouts remained Pill Wonder (best track on the first UWP compilation) and Air Waves (appearing on their next comp), and while most of the bands we caught displayed solid performance chops, Underwater Peoples has done something slightly novel here by pulling baby bands out of their gestation periods in suburban basements and bedrooms and forcing them straight on stage. One band admitted mid-set that they were playing their second show and we got the sense they weren’t alone.

There remained a maddening gulf between some of these band’s recorded material on the compilation and their jammier, straight-laced interpretations on stage. It’s like our Garage Band generation has figured out how to make sumptuous oddball recordings for songs that are actually pretty square. That said, there’s nothing wrong with a good song, if you got a few, and the night closed out with two full sets of them in Real Estate and Air Waves.