Tennis @ Glasslands
Wednesday night's Underwater Peoples bill at the Cake Shop provided a welcome ray of sunshine to contrast the rainy, overcast days that characterized the first half of the week. The three artists of the evening kept their sets short and their sound swaggeringly upbeat. Though it seemed a bit odd choice to have Tennis play first, it was a nice change to see the room packed for the first band.
Tennis is primarily the musical project of married couple Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, but they were joined by a drummer. Unlike some husband/wife musicians (Handsome Furs, ahem), Riley and Moore don't look like they're about to start groping each other on stage. They exchanged just smiles and a chaste kiss on the cheek before the show. Alaina Moore has a surprisingly strong voice with the slightest hint of Southern twang to it though she and Riley currently reside in Colorado. The crowd at most shows builds with each additional act, but for Wednesday night, the trajectory for the evening was a bit unique. The room seemed to be the most crowded for Tennis - not a bad feat for a band making its very first appearance in the city.
Next up was Family Portrait. The crowd thinned noticeably as soon as Tennis had finished playing, but a number of people filtered back in after taking a brief respite from the sweltering basement room. Family Portrait played a brief set of dreamy, woozy, beach music that easily transitioned into the music of its musical cousin Ducktails, which also features a member of the Jersey-based lo-fi band Real Estate.
Ducktails is primarily the solo project of Matt Mondanile, but three other musicians joined him to help create a fuller sound. Before they began to play, Matt leaned into the microphone to address the sound guy. As he spoke, it quickly became apparent that there was enough reverb in his voice to render it almost indecipherable, but the effect nicely complimented the music's hazy, swirling melodies. Given the blissful undertones of the music and the name of the project, it was hard not to feel a wave of nostalgia (even though the TV show is technically spelled differently).
In keeping with the flow of the evening, Ducktails played a short set - just eight songs in all and no encore, but spirits were high and at least a few people in the modestly sized crowd heeded Mondanile's prompt to "shake around and dance a little bit."
Tennis played their 2nd NYC show the next night, Thursday, at Glasslands. Family Portrait was again on the bill, as was Magic Bullets and COOLRUNNINGS. At least two people I talked to went for Tennis and walked away a fan of Magic Bullets (who one more NYC show on Saturday). More pictures from the Glasslands show and some videos, below...
Magic Bullets @ Glasslands Gallery 8/26/2010
Tennis @ Glasslands Gallery 8/26/2010