Backlights & Math the Band played totally different types of music at Glasslands Gallery

A review of the PopGun show on January 4th, 2013
by TREE WAVE (in normal) and PULSE WAVE (in highlight)

Relevant links!

I got to the show late & missed the first band, Teen Commandments (which Pulse says was pretty good, people were even dancing).

Yeah they were pretty rad.  I'm excited to see some kind of resurgence of 80's inspired dramatic pop.  Teen Commandments lacked that DFA Records detachment that was all the rage (and still is if Holy Ghost is any indication).  That's not to sound critical of those bands, it's just that what Teen Commandments is doing is different from that.  There's a dramatic flair at work in Teen Commandments work that that is reminiscent of all those 80's queer bait one hit wonders. Think Spandau Ballet or Alphaville. The inclusion of some very Johnny Marr guitars also really works in the band's favor. Smiths style drama being not that far removed from Tears for Fears' The Hurting when you get right down to it...The whole set was just very dramatic and earnest!  Of course I love synths because they are so detached but I certainly applaud Teen Commandments for being so very lacking in the kind of irony that I couldn't possibly keep out of my own music.

The second band was Backlights (formerly known as 'The Backlights'). They were great, as usual. Pulse describes their music as 'soft rock'. I think everyone else calls it 'dreamy pop'. They have a new bassist who is pretty intense.

Backlights' new bassist in a moment of calm
The Backlights also swapped instruments for one song. It was totally unexpected! Here is photographic evidence:

Backlights, remixed
To be fair, one of the members of Backlights called their music 'soft rock' before I ever did...I'm just running with it. I'm pretty sure switching instruments mid set qualifies Tyler as an indie rock icon right?!

The third band was Math the Band. They were really high energy, they couldn't even stop smiling. Everyone danced. There was one especially mesmerizing girl in the audience who was like, sort of pogoing but then would do this hip sashay & then turn her feet in & out really fast? Did you see her? What is that move called?

Math the Band
Back to Math the Band, Justine (the girl half of MtB) is awesome and plays synths & drums at the same time! You should watch this video  of their song "Bad Jokes" to understand.

I've wanted to see Math the Band for a little while now and they didn't disappoint. They tour like crazy so I guess I shouldn't be surprised by how solid their show was. I listened to their recent album and I'm really digging it. As impressive as playing keys and a drum is though, I wish they had less track. But that's just my preference... Maybe because ATTACK.WAV is going trackless...?

In summary, the line-up was pretty weird but I'm glad I went & the bands that I managed to see were great so I think you should check them out too if you get the chance to see them live.

Notable moments:

1. We saw Peelander Yellow!

2. Twitter says that Wheatus was at the show, remember them? Late Cambrian was there too, they call themselves "Existential Club/Pop Rock" so I think I like them. They took better pics than I did:

3. There was this skinny Asian girl wearing high-waisted jeans who got busted for smoking a cigarette at the show! The white doorgirl was like Get the fuck outta here and ignored the smoker's sheepish smiles & attempts to put out the cig. That was exciting.

Don't forget they she attempted to put the cigarette out by throwing it into the trash WHILE IT WAS STILL LIT! An impressive display of mental dexterity to be sure.

4. The bathrooms at Glasslands are stressful. It's co-ed & there's not enough space to get in & close the door without rubbing up against something/someone especially if you have a puffy jacket. Also they need some hooks for purses, scarves, hats and puffy jackets.

5. I got two Math the Band stickers!

Math the Band merch is pretty!
6. FINALLY, I almost barfed during the cab ride home but instead I got out early & had to walk like 30 minutes in the cold. My 2013 resolution is to not go to shows when the weather sucks.

7. SINE WAVE says that the Glasslands sound guy is awesome.

DISCUSSION GROUP: Did you go to the show? What did you think? What line-up would you have, if you were organizing the show? Did you dance? How much did you drink before you started dancing?


  1. Thanks for posting my tweet.. :-)
    Fun read this blog is...
    John of Late Cambrian

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hey,

    This is James from Glasslands Gallery. I just wanted to give you a heads up that we've launched a brand new website and will no longer be using our old blogspot, which is the URL that you have listed on your website. Here is a link to our new website so that you can update your information: http://www.theglasslands.com/.

    In South Williamsburg since 2006, Glasslands is a converted warehouse, formerly a homegrown community art space turned psychedelic venue partyhaus. We are located at 289 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249. Thanks!


  4. thanks for the update James! the background colors on your new site are VIVID! i love it!! ^_^