The brothers Mims, Dan and Matt Mims, recently invested in a Brooklyn studio spot that, despite dietary preferences, they chose to call The Yolk. (No doubt the motivation is far more meaningful than the sticky yellow stuff, but I’ll leave that for another entry.) Goodbye East Village exposed-brick-three-bedroom-two-bath, hello lonely industrial loft (Dan actually lives solo). Ah, the price we pay for artistic inclinations. It proved a strategic investment for the twins, a decision steeped in dedication and commitment, to both their own band, HERE, as well as guest musicians they have hosted or hope to one day host in their cozy but comfortable nook in Brook.
Located on Tillary, near a luridly lit golden arch, this intimate music sanctuary has become the destination for many a friend and fan -- of the Mims, of their music, of their guest performers’ material and, perhaps more than anything else, of their complimentary confections. That’s right, these laudable animal-lovers aren’t fooling around; every event they put on features a different delectable cruelty-free treat courtesy of Samantha’s Confectionery. I’ve met Sam herself and, let me tell you, she’s got it going on. She’s the best vegan baker in New York. You heard it here first.
Beyond the edible delights used to lure in gastric-centric guests such as myself, The Yolk has a couple other tricks up its figurative sleeve that are apt to appeal to many a curious arts (and alcohol) seeker. This past Saturday the Mims held another one of their quasi-famous shindigs, a gathering of open-minded kids willing to donate $5 at the door and be surprised by the line-up. We knew well who was scheduled on the bill beforehand, but, truth be told, it was a bit of a risk. Attendees climbed four flights of stairs and walked through the red-tint-lighted entryway to find themselves in the midst of an experimental monsoon of music. Meanwhile, Mother Nature competed for attention, beating against the windowpanes, droplets drenching the glass and lightning flashing across the night sky, thunder almost in time to the tempo.
The evening featured performances by Brooklyn-based duo Bluejay, Dan and Matt’s two-man band HERE and Boston-based Daniel Striped Tiger. I would have to say that HERE takes the cake (the dairy- and egg–free kind, of course), with their precise percussion partnered with tight guitar strumming. Dan juggled drums and vocals simultaneously, which impressed everyone within earshot. While I wouldn’t necessarily select their tracks for an intimate moment with my man or a casual stroll to the supermarket, there’s no denying their skill and adept understanding of what it takes to put together an attractive arrangement. (Hear “Rain.”) As for the other two bands, Bluejay’s beats were righteous; swerving electric guit mixed with soft singing and tempered drumming. (Hear “Hurts.”) Their appealing pop potential truly resonated with listeners. Lastly, DST proved least palatable, but this stems from personal preference rather than objective criticism. They did a lot of scream-singing and the percussionist literally lost his shirt. They get an A for effort but overall left me cold –- and deaf. And I even viewed most of their set outside the actual studio, taking advantage of a comfortable couch whilst watching the real-time video stream. Yes, the Mims thought of everything.
The evening drew a healthy crowd, probably 50 people over the course of the night, which wound down around 2 a.m. DJ Vitamin King worked the turntables between sets spinning everything from The Cure’s “Close to Me” to Snoop Dogg’s “Drop it Like it’s Hot.” I was especially taken by his inclusion of Girl Talk’s remix of Grizzly Bear’s “The Knife.” Love it. Dan and Matt’s older brother, Jeremy, manned the bar where a tower of blue-frosted vanilla chocolate chip cupcakes perched, just begging to be plucked up and swallowed whole. Absinthe and Pabst could be bought so I saddled up and sipped slowly on a glass of the former, supplemented by sugar cubes and lemonade. All in all it turned out to be a successful soiree and an eye-opening experience, an audible exhibit well worth taking the then fucked up 4/5 train from the Upper East Side to see. I can’t wait for the next installment.
Photos by Gilbert Ng