The Diggs: NYC's Newest Kept-Secret?
The Diggs, (picture via Jordan Hoffman from a different show)
The Diggs - Just like you Said (mp3) from “Parahora” (unavailble?)
The Diggs – Stagg (mp3)
Check out iTunes for 2 more tracks (both recommended)
Friday night was one of those nights when your higher-paid coworkers chose the bar, which just happens to be the roof-top of a mid-town hotel with a view of the Empire State Building two blocks away. Since I have moths in my pockets, I only had one beer while I watched the others grow increasingly talkative. I finally left when I could bear my sobriety no longer and met up Angela for some dinner. After a bottle of wine that we ‘shared’, I was much much happier. I can justify a $20 bottle of wine way faster than a $7 Corona.
Ang and I made our way to the Cake Shop, which is most notable for having a fantastic coffee aroma upstairs, and a nice basement set-up downstairs. Compared to other basement venues in NYC (Crash Mansion, Knitting Factory Old Office, Northsix), Cake Shop has them all beat; it’s not just intimate because it’s small, but also because it’s quite cozy. And there is no greater smell leaving a venue than that of roasted coffee. Mmmmmm.
The Diggs opened their set with “Trouble Everyday”, a great opener that begins kind-of atmospherically, builds in intensity as it progresses, and finally returns to it’s original diminished state. I hear resemblances of the Wrens in this song, but Angela, who has been a longer Wrens fan than I, disagreed. I still hear it.
They followed with a few songs unknown to me that didn’t come off nearly as strong –not because I didn’t know them, but because the vocals were lost in the arrangement, a characteristic of many amateurish bands. This wasn’t their fault, but actually our own, since we were stupid to think we could sit to the side of the stage and the balance would remain the same. When they played "Stagg" I knew for certain we had screwed ourselves, and so we moved to a different part of the room that had more vocals coming through; it corrected the problem.
The only reason I bring it up at all is to warn you that if you ever go to Cake Shop, don’t sit on the couch to the side of the stage no matter how comfortable it looks; it’s not worth the sacrifice in sound.
"Stagg" worked well, although of the three on their EP “Orange”, it is shadowed by the other two. They followed it with my favorite song “Just Like You Say”, and closed with another song I hadn’t heard.
I’ve been really really liking the Orange EP. It’s the type of music that didn’t make an immediate impression, but the more I listen to it, the more I feel like listening to it once again. The vocals are refreshingly not distractive from the songwriting. In fact, they aren’t overly distinctive at all, and it works great with their sound.
They are not quite the heirs of ‘emo’, since I find most emo quite static, but I could see them attracting the same crowd at their shows. I think I’ll stick with my assessment that they sound like the Wrens's “The House that Guilt Built” or “Happy”.
As a fairly new band, I think they might just be one of New York’s best-kept secrets*. With only a handful of songs at the moment, it’s too early to see what will happen, though, if an album can maintain what they achieve on their EP, they will do well.
Try to catch them at their residency at Sin-e, Thursdays from Aug. 18- Sept. 1, and Friday September 9th.
*We Are Scientists and CYHSY were formerly of this title, but the cat’s been let out of the bag for them, for the better of course.