Thursday, August 18, 2022

New York Groove

Since we're doing Creative Appreciation for Blaugust this week and we've broadened the definition from games to pretty much anything, I thought I'd give a call to someone I've mentioned previously only in passing: Jarret Wolfson

I have no idea who Jarret Wolfson is, although I have to say if that's their given name then wow! Lucky! 

All it says in the About section of their YouTube channel is "Just a fan of live music." Okay, that's not all it says. There are a couple of paragraphs about methodology ("All videos taken with the phone that I own at the time.") and intent (If there's a video of your band up and you'd rather it wasn't, just say and it'll be taken down but don't be a dick and start issuing takedown requests because the rest of the bands on the channel would like their videos to stay up, thanks very much.) 

I paraphrased that last part, obviously.

Couch Prints - Horsepower

What Jarret does, as far as I can tell, is go to a hell of a lot of gigs in and around New York City. Instead of just getting drunk or fucked up on molly like everyone else, he meticulously films the performance on his phone, then comes home and puts a selection of the highlights on YouTube, probably the same evening.

 Groupie - Poor You

Some of the bands are national or international acts on tour but plenty are famous only locally, if at all. Jarret's channel might be the only place anyone outside their neighborhood is ever going to see them. Nearly every bloody one of them sounds like they could be from nowhere on earth other than NYC.

The Lovenauts - Title Unknown

It's an amazing public service. Loads of people upload shaky, mobile footage of gigs they've been to but most of them are either unwatchable, unlistenable or both. Sometimes you find a club or a venue that publishes a video record of the bands that play there but mostly what you find is random and unconnected. 

Foyer Red - Slander

Jarret's uploads are coherent and contextual. Okay, sometimes you can't hear the vocals too well or the bass is too far forward in the mix but that's as likely to be the sound engineer. It probably sounded like that on the night.

 JessX - MFL

Jarret's channel offers an amazing insight into the independent music scene in one of the biggest, most innovative and influential cities in the world. Or it might. How would I know? I don't get out a map and mark the locations of the venues so I can check there's representative coverage of all five boroughs. Jarret may never travel more than ten blocks from the appartment for all I know.

Daisy Grenade - Are You Scared Of Me Yet?

I don't care. I'm not Simon Reynolds. I'm not working this up for three thousand words in the Quietus ffs. (By the way, since this is for Blaugust, the festival of blogging, guess how many active blogs Simon Reynolds has going right now, according to his bio? Forty! Forty separate blogs. That he writes. Himself. Imagine if he joined Blaugust...)

Razor Braids - Megachurch

No, all I care about is that Jarret Wolfson lets me feel like I'm there, in New York, on the scene, going to cool gigs in trendy clubs, seeing great bands and living that life. Plus I get to discover music I really enjoy that otherwise I'd almost certainly never have heard. Or even heard of.

Nation Of Language - This Fractured Mind

I wish I knew of a whole network of people like Jarret, putting the world in touch with the invisible world of musical micro-scenes all across the globe. I could name at least fifty cities whose scenes I'd love to explore. There probably is such a network. If I find it I'll be sure to let everyone know.

Ecce Shnak - Internet

For now, I'll have to content myself with New York, which, frankly, ought to be enough for anyone. Thanks Jarret. I know you'll never read this but you're doing good work and I'm grateful for it.

 SUSU - Title Unknown

And if you're taking requests, could we please have some more Mary Shelley

 Mary Shelley - The  Nursing Home Jig (feat. Laura Galindo)

Mary Shelley - Democracy Is Alive



  1. Oh, thank goodness, a music post! And bands that I've not listened to before, too!

    I know I can always count on you to expand my musical horizons, Bhaggy. I really appreciate that.

    1. Heh! Thanks! I'm always happy - and surprised - to get any feedback on the music posts. Positive feedback is even better.

      I do try only to embed videos or tunes I genuinely like and I do like al of these, but I'm not going stand behind all of them as anything more than being illustrative of the general point of the piece. Also, it's fair to say that, exciting though I find the live footage, it doesn't always do the performers or the songs justice. I'm probably going to do a follow-up at some point with a few actual, properly recorded promos for the acts I've found via Jared that I like the most. It only seems fair to them!


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