Today is the first day of our second favorite Brooklyn-based, multi-venue music festival, NYC Popfest! It’s pretty safe to say that this year’s lineup is the indie-pop obsessed local festival’s best yet. You’ve got Kiwi pop legends The Bats playing at the Bell House on Saturday. UK treasures Close Lobsters playing Littlefield on Sunday night (with a sick support lineup including Ski Lodge, My Teenage Stride, Wolfhounds, The Secret History, etc. etc. etc.) They’ve even coaxed missing in action mid-00s favorite The Ballet out of hiding to play a free show at Spike Hill on Saturday afternoon. All the kudos! All of them!
But the crown jewel of the lineup is clearly the chronically underappreciated British band The Monochrome Set. Formed in late 70s London as The B-Sides, the band once featured Adam Ant as member. He went on to MTV superstardom, and they went on to be one of my favorite bands of all time, so they clearly won. Smart and catchy in equal measure, they were the class of the British post-punk scene. On Monday, the band played their first NYC set in 30 years. I’m going to see the second, tomorrow night, and I’m beyond excited. But, apparently not enough of the rest of you are, as tickets for that show are still available. This is unacceptable.
Below, listen to seven songs that should be able to get you into this legendary band. They have plenty more, but we’re starting with the basics.
“Eine Symphonie Des Grauens”
This pre-album single ended up being a head-fake, presenting a more brooding version of themselves than they’d ever really be. But what a perfectly temperatures bowl of goth-pop! While I like using the lyric video to show how clever these dudes were, I also recommend this 1979 live video to show how handsome.