The Brooklyn singer/songwriter turned a lot of heads earlier this year with his self-titled debut full-length, and is seemingly playing all over New York this August (QRO NYC Concert Calendar). But a lucky group got to see him for free at downtown Manhattan’s South Street Seaport (QRO venue review) on August 8th.
Opening for Cass McCombs (QRO photos), Robinson did face some stiff competition: across the East River on the Williamsburg Waterfront, Gang Gang Dance was leading The Boredoms’ ‘88 BoaDrum’, eighty-eight drummers on 8/8/08 (QRO Free NYC Concert Schedule), while across the Hudson was day one of the new All Points West Festival (QRO Festival Guide) in Liberty State Park in New Jersey. Oh, yeah, and it was also the opening ceremony for The Olympics. No, the crowd wasn’t as large as for bigger shows there like No Age (QRO live review), but it did thicken quickly when Robinson started playing.
Backed up by “The Family Robinson”, ‘MBAR’ rocked tracks both off of Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson and not. The record’s “Woodfriend” was grand and impressive, even more emotional than on the LP, a similar fate that came over “The Ongoing Debate Concerning Present vs. Future”. Miles’s leadoff track, “Buriedfed” (Robinson evidently favors mashing words together…), which is “currently burning up the blogosphere…” was especially tops, earning its place on the Internet. Meanwhile, Robinson also delivered non-Miles tracks like the rollicking, but still weighty, “Shingles”, and “Boat”, about the waterway right behind him, which was as grand and evocative as the mighty East River.
Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson playing “The Ongoing Debate Concerning Present vs. Future” live at South Street Seaport, NY:
Before Robinson went on, Seaport Music Festival MC Stephen Dima thanked the crowd for skipping Radiohead at APW, joking that the all-stars were, “Overrated…”, and while the audience wasn’t huge, it did feature a rather strange old man, all on his own, who would groove to the band by spinning himself around. The word-mashing Robinson did mumble a bit at times, he was still charming, from congratulating a fan on guessing what was coming next (“‘Cause we always play the same set list…”) to telling people what are the best days of the week to go the overlooking Pizzeria Uno (Tuesdays & Thursdays, because of the specials). Robinson returns to Bowery Ballroom (QRO venue review) this Wednesday (QRO concert listing) with Thao Nguyen & The Get Down Stay Down (QRO spotlight), along with four more NYC dates, before touring the West Coast with friends TV On the Radio (QRO live review) – even if you were on some other shore that night (Williamsburg, Jersey, China…,) you’ve still got no excuse for not going the extra Miles.