There's really only one acceptable explanation for the Guardian's breathless article about the vitality of the Brooklyn music scene: The editors filed the story back in 2002, misplaced it, found it yesterday, and published it today with some of the band and venue names changed in the hope that readers wouldn't know the difference.
Arcade Fire played five shows in a Greenwich Village church last month, and now the band is set to announce tomorrow that it's coming back to New York at the beginning of May — and to an equally head-scratching venue: the United Palace Theater in Washington Heights. The former movie palace at Broadway at 175th Street — currently home of the Reverend Ike's Christ Community United Church — will start hosting rock shows next week, when Bloc Party becomes the first band to play the way-uptown venue. And Modest Mouse, Björk, and Iggy and the Stooges are booked there in the next few months. (Okay, fine: Arcade Fire is doing a Radio City show in May, too.)
Thank heaven for David Cross. The 2007 PLUG Independent Music Awards at Irving Plaza Saturday night were an appropriately “indie” mess. Would-be attendees stood for hours in the cold before being informed that the “day-of” tickets allegedly available at the sold-out show were a myth, the sound system was plagued with technical problems all night long, and, during the long wait for sets by scene favorites Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, El-P, and Silversun Pickups, attendees sat through a succession of odd, intermittently successful acts, very few of which went off without a significant delay. A much-hyped “iPod Battle” found the participants standing awkwardly onstage for ten minutes before they were able to kick off the “battle,” which culminated with a pair of oddballs in gladiator masks sprinkling glitter on each other to the tune of “Oh Yeah” by Yello. Jason Trachtenburg (of the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players) led a hoarse, out-of-tune sing-along of “World’s Best Friend” (his wife and daughter were absent) that had most audience members heading for the bar for depressingly tiny $8 drinks. A barbershop quartet sang a cappella between bits. And so it fell to poor emcee David Cross to make light of things.