Three chords, sometimes four, were the opiates for the late night masses, and on Saturday morning around 1am, Death By Audio was a den of devotees to No Age’s new age punk rock. The one thing these guys consistently prove for me is that we don’t live in a guitar hero nation; you don’t need the chops if you’ve got the right aural antecedents, Dirty Projectors and the stream of punk-jazz bands weaving through Brooklyn these days continuously the exception to the rule. When I first heard them play at an Austin show prior to their Weirdo Rippers release, they were piling more looped noise between the songs that ultimately appeared on the album, but even then it wasn’t rocket science so much as a tightrope walk that allowed contemporary music to balance with resonances of some classic greatness — completely nostalgic, yet novel. So when Randy Randall and Dean Spunt blitzed the Brooklyn venue that was packed in anticipation of their surprise appearance (after their official gig to tourists and devotees and increasingly growing crowds of the recently initiated and No Age-curious), the performance glowed with an aura that surpasses the simplicity of the band’s parts.
Is it an image thing? Yes, and no. No Age tightropes another line, between the world of hipsters and their haters: coming out of an LA scene that early on propagated the sort of posturing that makes a noise band in neon more exciting to a whole group of people who otherwise wouldn’t care about a noise band. On the other hand, they’ve made two great records in less than a year, and according to someone who was more sober than me, they replicated their tracks with aplomb before the couple hundred kids swelled against the wooden stage. At moments like these, the frenzy is sort of out of the band’s hand
Here’s to many more No Age visits to Brooklyn as haloed as the last.