Alexander Schimpf at Zankel Hall
Jane Birkin Plays the Songs of Serge Gainsbourg

Brian Mackey at the Knitting Factory

by James Pellegrino
Brian-MackeyLast night, NYC- based Brian Mackey played his final show of 2011 at the Knitting Factory in Williamsburg. Mackey’s folk pop songs are reminiscent of early Marcy Playground, but are filled with a type of modern anti-folk lyricism that is at once brutally honest and unique.

Mackey - who grew up in Georgia and Florida - plays songs based on past relationships and failed love affairs, which is a refreshing dip into the traditional world of folk music. His set was full of reflective wit, best exemplified by the song “Come Out of the House,” about having a restraining order enforced on him in some far away town. Mackey explained to the audience: “I used to have a drinking problem, but now I know that I love drinking way more than driving.”

Aside from the witty banter between songs, Mackey is as handsome and charismatic as a typical pop singer, so it isn't hard to understand why his entire set was composed of songs about his experiences with love. The show in it’s entirety was like a blind date: I came with high expectations that I never expected would be met, but when they were exceeded, I was disappointed by how short Mackey's set seemed. It felt like it only lasted about 25 minutes, but I was probably there for an hour and just didn’t realize it.  He was just that good.