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last night's gig

Broken Social Scene Get Sociable; Feist Gets Feisty

Broken Social Scene performing in Berkeley, California, August 4, 2006.Photo: Jay Blakesberg / Retna

One has to wonder how Grizzly Bear chose their name — there’s nothing particularly grizzled or even bearish about them, unless you think of the latter in stuffed-animal terms. The scruffy, soft-spoken Brooklynites were the first onstage in last night’s indie-rock triple-header at McCarren Park Pool. The opening act in an already early show, they only played for long enough to be seen by Kings County residents and the unemployed, then departed with a clipped but polite "Thank you." Perhaps because they had the luxury of time, the second two acts were bigger on banter. Brendan Canning, one of the two founding members of Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene, cracked several tired jokes about people swimming in the waterless pool, before changing tacks and heckling a fan who was talking on his cell phone. Kevin Drew, Canning’s more focused half, had to cut him off several times so they could move on with the set, which covered a range of material from Drew’s upcoming album, Spirit If, including crowd-pleasers like "Safety Bricks," "Backed Out on the…," and "Tbtf" ("Too beautiful to…" yeah).

The van down from Toronto must have had U2 playing on loop, because Drew’s generally sedate vocals sounded strangely wailed and Bono-ish. Maybe the histrionics were because Canning and Drew had gotten into the booze that Feist was sipping as she played next. “She’s so badass,” the petite chanteuse chirped in mock third-person amazement after slugging some Mezcal down between songs. Apparently Feist’s been taking a break from touring in order to grow raspberries, but the weather hasn’t been in her favor. Don’t worry, Leslie: Badass or not, you can always come back. —Alex Littlefield