songs from the land of nod - The I-94 Bar
Pull up a chair, crack a beer and let’s have a bet. Bukowski would. There are short odds on offer, my friend, that Beechwood is your new favourite band - even if you haven’t heard them yet.
Bukowzki was from the other side of the USA, as this trio from Brooklyn, NYC, the buzz on whom is substantial but not undeserved. It’s picked up momentum to move past a dull roar, even in these times of fragmented public communication. A recent European tour left the French, in particular, in raptures. See herefor proof.
You ever read Bukowski? Full of extremes, for sure, but also littered with patches of light and shade. Much like the sound of Beechwood. It isn’t easily categorised; there are so many stylistic threads coming together that you’ll die trying. A sometimes languid flow of vaguely ‘60s pop and psych elements runs right through it. Concise songs full of variety but somehow linked together.
They don’t have Real Rock and Roll bands in New York City any more, do they? Don’t kid yourself, kid. They might be hard to find but they’re still there, their beating hearts buried under 50 feet of radio-friendly dross and cultural fragmentation.
No, Virginia, there’s no CBGBs. They made a shitty telemovie about it and moved the awning to an airport bar, somewhere. It was a shadow of what it was, even when I got there in the mid-‘80s. There’s no Max’s, either. Times Square is more family friendly than a Disney dance party. Even The Continental is just a dive bar now, more famous for (literally) banning a figure of speech than the Joey Ramone parties it used to host in the ‘80s.
Gentrification has a lot of downsides and one is squeezing cultural outsiders to the extreme margins. Art mostly doesn’t pay the rent, pegged or non existent. The NY rock “scene” is in Brooklyn these days, by all accounts. It has been for quite some time but it’s mostly disposable pop. Thank fuck, then, for Beechwood.
One of our favourite new bands created a stir at their album launch in New York City this week.
Psych--glam-punks Beechwood played Berlin on Avenue A in Manhattan last Saturday to christen the "Songs From The Land of Nod" long-player...only find there were 14 undercover police in the audience.
According to their label Alive Natural Sound, they arrested drummer Isa Tineo: "What major felony had been committed to warrant such manpower? It was for jumping the subway turnstile in 2014 and not paying the $100 ticket."
The incident follows the arrest of two band members for playing a rowdy street party in Manhattan in 2016. At least 14 extra payers through the door should off-set the fine. Word is the cops let him finish the gig - and liked it. But 14 to arrest one person? That's rock and roll in The Big Apple these days.