Carney @ The Bell House

BROOKLYN, NY—Cecilia’s Daily Rant No. 4378: If you’re going to pre-game (meaning have a few drinks before arriving at a venue in order to avoid spending all of your hard earned pennies at the bar), make sure the location you’ll be traveling within is well-stocked with lavatories. After stepping off of the PATH train at the World Trade Center, my friend Chopsy and I soon learned that the real mission impossible is finding a bathroom in that area. We bumbled around for about an hour before happening upon a Starbucks [cue bright heavenly lights reflecting upon the coffeehouse and angelic voices singing “Hallelujah” here]. Before I continue on to the intended purpose of this article, I have to say one thing. Hey, Starbucks, you charge five bucks for a cup of coffee. Clean your fucking bathroom! Alas, there’s nothing like the smell of rancid piss and soaking your toes in an inch of indoor mystery water to put you in that Empire State of mind: Hostile and ready to karate chop the next annoyance right in the throat.

Since so much time was wasted doing absolutely nothing, we opted to forego travelling via the MTA subway system and instead hailed a cab to make it on time for Los Angeles-based blues rock band Carney’s 9 p.m. performance at The Bell House in Brooklyn on June 5. The steamy summer air from the cab’s open windows scattered around ashes as we rode through the Brooklyn Bridge with cigarettes dangling out of our mouths. It was then that my friend and I learned that the driver’s second occupation consisted of counseling people on their smoking addictions, and boy did he let us know it. The guy began going through the steps he encourages his clients to complete in order to achieve their goals, and even wanted us to take out a pen and paper to start the first assignment towards quitting. It was at this point that I locked myself inside what my friends like to call “her mental room” (where I am completely oblivious to everything going on around me except for what’s in my head), blasted a cranial version of Deftones’ “Knife Prty” (which has been on the noggin a lot lately for reasons unknown), and prayed for a fast arrival to The Bell House (that took longer than expected because, sigh, we made a wrong turn).

Finally, at last, finalmente, we reached the venue just as Carney began performing. I became an insta-fan once I stepped through the door. The band was performing a super soulful and immaculate cover of “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” from The Beatles’ Abbey Road album, and anyone who can cover one of my favorite songs without completely massacring it is a-okay in my book.

Carney is made up of scrumptious family members Reeve and Zane Carney (who provide guitar and vocals, respectively), as well as the less scrumptious but just as talented bassist Aiden Moore and drummer Jon Epcar. With mega label Interscope Records backing them, the band released their debut album, Mr. Green Vol. 1, on May 11. In other interesting news, Reeve has been tapped to play Peter Parker in the upcoming Broadway production of Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark.

In-between his breathless vocals for songs such as “Mr. Green” and “Amelie,” the sweaty, bell-bottom-wearing Zane wriggled around the floor while embracing his electric guitar. Orlando Bloom look-a-like Reeve provided kaleidoscopic guitar riffs for songs such as “Love Me Chase Me,” giving the band a nostalgic, ‘60s-inspired sound that fit perfectly with the dreamy lyrics. Bassist Moore wore black sunglasses throughout the set, yet didn’t miss a note as he kept the tempo moving from song to song, while Epcar provided palpitating percussion beats using the jazz drumming technique.

All in all, it was a sweltering summer night filled with even hotter music thanks to Carney. I give the band two lighters up (for whatever that’s worth, probably not much). But if you get the opportunity, this band is definitely worth checking out.