The Depreciation Guild LIVE at Glasslands, Brooklyn 8.03.13

I reckon every so often you have the kind of night when plans fall through and you are left deciding upon which neighborhood dive bar best deserves your patronage, and somehow you always end up at the lovably grimy place with a jukebox that serves $3 Miller High Life.  Fortunately, last Saturday night I skipped out on the High Life in search of fresh live music to vibe out on. I knew that Saturday in Williamsburg, Brooklyn meant that Glasslands would be overflowing with the latest new wavey music and an equally notable crowd of self-proclaimed tastemakers. Most bands gigging here on the weekend are usually found floating in the outer reaches of the blogosphere, bouncing from blog to blog until they find themselves center stage in the ever evolving art installation that is Glasslands. That night the bands “Infinity Shred” and “Depreciation Guild” were playing. I cheated a bit by flipping through a few videos of DG’s on YouTube and found this gem:

It’s called “Dream About Me” and the first 20 seconds had me sold on the fact that this was something I could get my ears behind – well written 80’s dubs that felt like B-sides from Tears for Fears’ “Songs from the Big Chair.”

Once I entered the venue, I found my place back by the bar behind a sold out crowd. The room was tightly packed with die-hard fans, shoegazy guitars and lush reverberated vocals. The two dudes on guitar were both stoic and abundantly confident – you could tell that these guys have been playing to crowds like this for a while. After watching their video on YouTube, I was a bit surprised to see only two guys on stage.  This psyched me out for a moment and I was tempted to close my eyes and let their music wash over me, but I couldn’t look away. Depreciation Guild put on one heck of a light show, projecting neat 80’s psychedelic square graphics upon themselves that changed in size and color throughout the set.  Everything was perfectly timed to the music and allowed me to blissfully vibe out for the duration of their set, which was certainly 80’s inspired, but more chiptune rock than I’m accustomed to hearing.

My main critique of the show is the one, all too common thing I dread seeing amongst indie acts – using a laptop for backing tracks such as drums, bass or synth. Like a lot of bands in Brooklyn these days, they enlisted Steve Jobs to play the instruments they couldn’t find anyone else to play. Some may argue this, but I feel like depending on Steve to play live results in a lack of raw energy on stage preventing a true connection with the audience. However, the crowd at Glasslands seemed unfazed by the very low number of human beings on stage. After the show, I did some more research and found that Saturday’s gig was more along the lines of a reunion show – DG was playing their album, “In Her Gentle Jaws,” in its entirety. If DG decides to get back together for good, recruiting a drummer and a bassist would make them as engaging live as they once were on YouTube.

Wes Carmichael