Tag Archives: Beach Boys

The ‘Portlandia’ effect: Wild Flag rocks Webster Hall in NYC

Wild Flag at Webster Hall in New York City on April 1, 2012. From left, Rebecca Cole, Mary Timony, Janet Weiss and Carrie Brownstein. (Photos 2012, Steven P. Marsh)

Wild Flag is an all-female supergroup whose members are drawn from three ’90s bands — Sleater-Kinney, Helium and The Minders. But thanks to her incredible stage presence (and her seeming ubiquity as a result of her cult hit cable TV show “Portlandia”)  guitarist Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney), was the one who really owned the stage at Webster Hall in Manhattan on April Fool’s Day.

Carrie Brownstein, with Janet Weiss on drums.

Brownstein shares lead vocals in Wild Flad with Mary Timony (the Lolita-esque former frontwoman of Helium). But only Brownstein behaved like a rock star onstage. She pranced, jumped and stretched like a cat (not much purring, though, as her vocal delivery was aggressive) throughout the band’s tight, well-paced set. Despite being encumbered by her guitar for most of the evening, Brownstein, with her lithe figure, managed to evoke Mick Jagger with her moves.

That’s not to say that the other three were slacking. Timony, keyboard player Rebecca Cole (The Minders) and drummer Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney) each held up their end of the bargain quite well. Continue reading

Brian Wilson comes alive

Brian Wilson at the Highline Ballroom. (© 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

The funny thing about Brian Wilson, the man who masterminded the Beach Boys, is that he doesn’t look like he really cares all that much about his legendary surf-and-sun band’s music.

Sure, he’s got all the moves down, gives the heavily scripted introductions you’d expect. He was pretty much the picture of a legendary bandleader when he brought his act to Manhattan’s Highline Ballroom in Manhattan on Sunday, June 12. But he had that faraway look in his eyes.

Brian Wilson and his band.

But for the first half of the show, Wilson and company performed spirited versions of a hit parade of Beach Boys classics, include “Good Vibrations,” “Heroes and Villains,” “Sloop John B” and “God Only Knows.”

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