An overdue (rooftop) review

Rooftop Films – Old American Can Factory – July 2nd

A lot of summer festivals rely on bands who have already proven themselves and are perhaps already past their peak. Rooftop Films has a knack for picking up Brooklyn indie acts on the rise.

Last Friday marked my second time seeing the duo Bow Ribbons. The first time was at the small DIY Brooklyn venue Shea Stadium last April with High Places. From the first few notes uttered by “Bow,” I was intrigued and curious to see more. After seeing them perform a second time, I admit I’m still not sure if Bow’s dramatic stage presence and  deep, (often painfully) husky voice is an act or if she is truly moved by the music they make. I can definitely see why they might grate on some peoples’ nerves. Their music is quite a shtick.

Bow Ribbons

But then for better or worse, part of me wonders what good music is if it’s universally liked. Shouldn’t it be challenging? Should some people balk at the sound? Or have I just been tainted by my work with Brooklyn Vegan and all the haters who love to defend the crap and rail against bands that actually put in the time and effort in the studio and out (think Grizzly Bear and The National).

Again, I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about Bow Ribbons, but I do think that their moody music somewhat fit the ghostly post-industrial landscape depicted in the evenings’ shorts… even if Bow Ribbons is a band the probably thrives more in small, intimate settings instead of on a rooftop full of 9-5’ers who sadly come more for the view and the booze than the main events.

Of course, the music was not the only thing that interested me about the evening. I simply couldn’t resist to see how Werner Herzog would voice a plastic bag as it blew around, wandering the world in search of its maker.

Rooftop Films is only getting warmed up. Visit their site for more info on upcoming events.


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"He considered music a liberating force: it liberated him from loneliness, introversion, the dust of the library; it opened the door of his body and allowed his soul to step out into the world to make friends."

- Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being


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