Considering how beautiful the surroundings were, the organization of Hudson RiverRocks at Pier 84 on the Hudson River was a bit disappointing. But that's for another time. The music--which is why the crowd took advantage of this free event in the first place--was pretty good.
Yuck, a quartet hailing from London, was the first to take stage, though better name for them might be, "Too Cool For School." They remained mostly immobile throughout their short set, and the audience mimicked their stoicism. Though, what the audience lacked in movement they made up for in screaming their song suggestions.
Yuck did eventually warm up, and the occasional floppy dancer made himself known. Lead singer Mariko Doi wore her sunglasses at night, and a fannypack stuck out from her back pinned with silver studs. The rest of the band consisted of three skinny people playing gritty guitars and a happy drummer in the back, Jonny Rogoff, who looked a bit like Seth Rogan.
The paradox of U.S Girls begins with their name. The band is really one girl, a powerful singer named Meghan Remy, with two backup singers who were highly entertaining to watch lose their shit.
Remy is delightfully - and dare we say classily - weird. She opened the her headlining slot with what I would call thunderstorm music. Imagine what the Bride of Frankenstein's daydream might be like, and you have a fair understanding of U.S Girls.
It's funny that if you play U.S Girls long enough on YouTube, you'll eventually be recommended to a Grimes video. And just as Grimes has been described as "Witch Trance," a title she grudgingly and belatedly accepted, U.S. Girls can be thought of as "Witch Country." You hear it in the occasional twang of Remy's voice - though, she occasionally delves into R&B, such as her cover of Brandi and Monica's "The Boy Is Mine".
Her first few songs featured radio static from a Winnipeg radio station. The music was jarring to the senses, as if played from a melted record. Split sound apart, and you get U.S Girls. It's all very cool and slightly horrifying.
By the 4th song, Remy introduced a few light strands of pop, giving birth to the following banter, which Remy carried out in a Dolly Parton-like voice:
"How many ladies use a diva cup?"
A woman shouted and raised her hand.
"Oh you do lady...good for you. Doesn't you mouth taste like copper?--that's what I heard."
From there, she launched into further beats that sounded like something from Metal Heaven. Remy has a distinctive, powerful voice, though it got swallowed up by the outdoor stage, making it difficult to hear any of her lyrics clearly. After her set, which only lasted 35 minutes, someone shouted impatiently, "Play another song!"
(All photos by Emily Cheng)