[Photos and words by Rez Avissar]
Nathan Williams' current wavve of attention has been helped by incessant touring — so far in this young year he's toured around the world, including at least six shows here in NY.. and he's playing again tonight at Mercury Lounge.
A quote from a Ramones documentary claimed that if you slowed down their songs you'd get The Beach Boys. Although WAVVES acknowledges that his music is pop, his flirtations with noise, ambient and lo-fi have helped win him an adoring indie fanbase. Yet last night's Cake Shop performance was, at least to me, distinctly punk rock – 30 fast-paced minutes, dimly lit hot packed basement, the smell of sweat, dancing and pushing. No need for any shouts of "1234."
The songs sounded good live. I've always enjoyed WAVVES live better than on record. The song "To The Dregs," in particular, was a highlight. At the end of the (first) brief set, the audience demanded more, to which Williams asked drummer R.W. Ulsh "do we even know any more songs?" Apparently so: the rare encore featured, if my memory serves me correctly, "California Goths" into a solo (and great) "Weed Demon."
*Sub par photos due to bad lighting: