Across the Narrows: 2 days, 4 shows, 2 boroughs, 1 lifetime of memories (until the next festival) - Oh My Rockness

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Across the Narrows: 2 days, 4 shows, 2 boroughs, 1 lifetime of memories (until the next festival)

September 29, 2005
Across the Narrows: 2 days, 4 shows, 2 boroughs, 0 joysticks. Anytime an outdoor music fest is "presented by Playstation," you just know it's going to rule. I mean, who really knows indie rock better than video game makers (Sonic and his blue mohawk was, in fact, the original video game punk). Across the Narrows takes two minor league baseball fields hostage -- one in Coney Island (go young Cyclones!), the other in Staten Island (go young Yankees!) -- for two days this weekend. There're so many bands playing, we're going to try to break it all down for you as briefly as possible.

Saturday: Keyspan Park: Coney Island: 1200 hours

Your Mission: To have a better time spending $55 dollars on this show than you would spending $8.00 to ride the Cyclone and eat a Nathan's Hot Dog. Be brave, young soldiers.

The Line-Up

Pixies: See this recently reunited band for possibly the last time (that's a joke).

Gang of Four: These U.K. art-rockers have been getting plenty of buzz. Some say they are just trying to be the next Bloc Party.

Built to Spill: They keep playing, yet a new album never seems to come. But judging from the post-Keep It Like A Secret years, perhaps that's not such a bad thing. C'mon Martsch. Let's string some together!

Rilo Kiley: I have newfound respect for this spunky, indie-pop band after finding out that guitarist Blake Sennett was on an episode of "Family Ties." Jenny Lewis is nothing compared to Jennifer Keaton.

Death From Above 1979: The brutal bass-drums duo, Death From Above 1979, have more female fans than any band in recent memory. Seriously, what is it about these guys' rhythms... their dirty... sultry... sexually charged rhythms... pummeling you from all angeles.... that make the ladies go all gaga? I don't get it.

Saturday: Richmond County Field: Staten Island: 1200 hours

The Mission: Figuring out why you are on Staten Island right now instead of Coney Island.

The Line-Up

The Killers: Las Vegas neighbor, Mr. Agassi, may have had more hits, but damn it if "Mr. Brightside" isn't an "ace" of a love song. But not "love" as in tennis love, because that would mean zero... and those crazy, rumple-haired Killers aren't zeroes. They're at least a bunch of deuces.

New York Dolls: Once the coolest band in NYC, these guys made young David Bowie and Lou Reed starry-eyed. The New York Dolls spawned one of the most important musical figures in the history of rock 'n' roll: that's right, Buxter "I was also in the movie Scrooged" Poindexter.

Interpol: First Interpol plays on a luxurious cruise in San Diego, then they play the legendary Radio City Music Hall, and now they're playing exotic Staten Island? These guys better be careful, or their next location just might have to be heaven.

British Sea Power: Members of this band have been known to play while wearing tree branches and to beat their drums with a stuffed owl. But even wackier, they spell things weird... like instead of "color," they spell it, "colour." And instead of "theater," that spell it, "theatre." Haha! I tell ya, only in rock 'n' roll...

Tegan & Sara: Punk-folk-synth sisters Tegan and Sara have been called an "acquired taste." So if they're anything like beer, they must be awesome!

Sunday: Keyspan Park: Coney Island: 1200 hours

Your Mission: What? You spent $55 bucks again!

The Line-Up

Beck: If Tom Vek is called "the London Beck," does that mean that Beck is the "American Tom Vek?" Additionally, if Bill starts out at Point A and runs 5 miles/hour, while Jill starts out at Point B and runs 10 miles/hour, at one point does Bill resent Jill's superior athleticism?

Belle & Sebastian: I always thought Belle & Sebastian should go on tour with Cher. That's it.

The Polyphonic Spree: These guys just did the soundtrack to the new indie film, "Thumbsucker." What a waste of money that movie was... more like "Thumbsucker!" Oh wait...

The Raveonettes: European garage-rock duo, The Raveonettes, would be MUCH cooler if they had a dude in their band named 'Hotel.' Seriously.

Gang Gang Dance: NYC's electro-experimental outfit Gang Gang Dance stole their band name from the original title of "West Side Story." I'm not making that up... and by "I'm not," I mean I am.

Sunday: Richmond County Ballpark: Staten Island: 1200 hours

Your Mission: Learning to love yourself after going to the wrong island... again.

The Line-Up

Oasis: Back in Illinois, our expressway rest stops were called Oasis-es (anybody know the plural form of Oasis? Oasis'? Oasises?) and were situated right ABOVE the expressway. In summation, that is why the White Sox will win the World Series.

Jet: Australia's Jet are tight, raw, and infected, err, I mean, infectious. There are siblings in this band too. Man, if that's all it takes to be a rock star, maybe I should start a band with my bro... if my bro wasn't holed up in a run-down filling station on the outskirts of Guatemala that is.

Doves: English pop trio Doves play epic, stunning, atmospheric... ah, forget it. They sound like Radiohead.

The Lemonheads: It's a shame about Evan Dando. He's had his ups and downs... but what did he expect when he chose that band name? According to television, Lemonheads are dudes who always drop the important pass and dribble the ball off their shoe. If he'd named his band, "The Awesome," maybe his career would have turned out better.

Post-Script: I would like to apologize to Staten Island... it's a very nice place. I went to a bar there once. The walls were pink and the lights were fluorescent. If that's not paradise, what is?

Across The Narrows takes place October 1st and 2nd at Coney Island's Keyspan Park and Staten Island's Richmond County Field. (buy tickets)


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