Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Southpaw's 'Hipster Demolition Night' is music without pretense

Jay Banerjee hates hipsters.

The Manhattan musician dislikes them so much he is creating a night of irony-free garage, beat and power pop to battle what he calls “hipster noodling” — art-damaged, non-musical “music.”

It’s called Hipster Demolition Night, and it’s happening on May 27 at Southpaw in Park Slope.

“It’s a miniature revolution — a revolt against what’s been dominating the scene for far too long,” said Banerjee, 27, who rehearses in Greenpoint with his band, the Heartthrobs.

“We’re battling hipsters for the quote-unquote underground rock scene. Ninety-five percent of ‘American Idol’ winners that you hear on the radio — that’s not even part of the battleground here.”

It’s not a violent revolution, mind you; Banerjee’s weapon of choice is the guitar, his ammo chord progression, song structure, and “music you can sing along to.”

“I don’t advocate violence, because I don’t hit men with glasses, even Day-Glo orange ones,” said Banerjee.

In addition to his band — an early-Beatles, new wave-influenced four-piece — Banerjee’s recruits include The Split Signals (featuring Jonny Chan, a veteran of the garage rock scene), The Above, another Brit invasion-inspired act, and The Paul Collins Beat, led by the founding member of the power pop bands The Beats and The Nerves, who originally recorded “Hanging on the Telephone,” made popular by Blondie.

“He still rocks,” said Banerjee of Collins. “He’s the greatest.”

The musician envisions Hipster Demolition Night being a regular thing, and even has the next one set for the summer, this time in the hipster heartland – at Glasslands Gallery in Williamsburg.

“Anything called Hipster Demolition Night has to be in Brooklyn,” said Banerjee. “If you’re holding it in Manhattan, you might as well hold it in Iowa.”

Though that would be, of course, a hipster breeding ground.

“Hipster Demolition Night” at Southpaw [125 Fifth Ave. between Sterling and St. John places in Park Slope, (718) 230-0236], May 27 at 8 pm. Tickets $10. For info, visit


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