Posted in music | pictures on September 6, 2012

photos by Courtney Dudley; words by Phillip Pantuso

TEEN at Glasslands, 9/5/2012
Teen

I recently moved from Austin to Brooklyn, and the main thing I've noticed across the handful of shows I've attended so far is that either Austin is on some apathetic shit, or NYC crowds are, in general, much more lively and appreciative. There's a pervasive bonhomie that would almost be insulting to the bands onstage -- were they oftentimes not its main instigator. Take this all with a pinch of salt; it's been three weeks. But know that I really mean it when I say that TEEN's debut album release show last night at Glasslands was like a love-in for ex-Here We Go Magic keyboardist Kristina "Teeny" Lieberson and her band. You could tell as much when a not-insignificant number of the audience cheered during her mic check, and then got so quiet in expectation of the first song that I actually suppressed a cough.

TEEN opened with "Huh" from their aforementioned debut. It was an auspicious start. A flanged synth chord swirled in repeat over a tsk-tsk cymbal and rumbly tom, Lieberson's open-throated vocals and trebly guitar stabs, and a slinky bass line from Jane Herships (the one non-Lieberson sister in the quartet). It's the kind of vibe-heavy dream pop that's been en vogue since Beach House's first record. Teeny's smoky, melismatic singing style reminded me of Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins: wildly performative and quite loud, which sometimes worked but often, as when she went off-pitch or overdominated the mix, didn't.

Like Here We Go Magic, TEEN's best songs work because they loop and layer earworm melodies until a kind of hypnotic, kraut-like trance is achieved. They take relatively simple parts that perfectly add up, as on "Come Back," a fervid, lovesick slab of jittery pop that inspired at least one straight-up interpretative dance in front of the stage. Or "Better," greeted by the loudest cheers of the night, probably because it features the punchy shout-a-long chorus "I'll do it better than anyone else!" But too many songs overstayed their welcome. "Roses and Wine" started out dirge-y and got even more languid over the course of what felt like ten minutes, whereas "Charlie," despite nailing a bleary, 60s girl-group pose, offered little in the way of fresh ideas beyond verse one.

Still, TEEN offered an at-times entrancing take on psychedelic dream-pop, and at the very least, it's heartening to see a band so warmly accepted while playing in their own (adopted) backyard. Teeny Lieberson was giving shout outs and literally conversing with friends the entire set.

TEEN's next show will be opening for Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti at Webster Hall on September 14 and will then head out on the road for a month-long jaunt with Hospitality.

More pictures from Glasslands, including openers Acrylics, are below.

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Comments (25)

Glasslands is a total dump!

Posted by Anonymous | September 6, 2012 8:08 PM

"the main thing I've noticed across the handful of shows I've attended so far is that either Austin is on some apathetic shit, or NYC crowds are, in general, much more lively and appreciative."

is this a joke?

Posted by Anonymous | September 6, 2012 8:12 PM

Shows in NYC are folded arms, insecure pseudo-cool central. No idea what this dude is talking about.

Posted by Anonymous | September 6, 2012 8:20 PM

There were no black people at this show.

Posted by Anonymous | September 6, 2012 8:33 PM

this is awesome

Posted by steven | September 6, 2012 8:57 PM

Bands that spell their names in ALL CAPS are dumb and bands that spell their names in ALL CAPS and omit the vowels are even dumber. A horrible trend, my friends.

Posted by Anonymous | September 6, 2012 10:37 PM

TEEN > YACHT > MGMT > SBTRKT > fun.

Posted by Anonymous | September 6, 2012 10:54 PM

Wide-eyed newcomer will become another cynic after his cell phone is stolen by an Obama supporter. Brooklyn sucks kiddo.

Posted by Anonymous | September 6, 2012 11:41 PM

this slut gag on cock on her knees? big tits or no?

Posted by Anonymous | September 6, 2012 11:46 PM

oh///////////
good

Posted by babyliss irons | September 7, 2012 4:27 AM

Don't think about it. Just wrap it up in something that can be carried up a hill.

Posted by quilp teerpo | September 7, 2012 4:49 AM

What?!?!? That is the dumbest 1st sentence ive read in a while. Obviously the author is 18 and a 1st year college student. You've never been to a show in Austin, or this is your 1st NYC show. Now I know to never read anything you write here again as you cant even keep BK and Austin straight!

Posted by Anonymous | September 7, 2012 8:23 AM

Lots of beards in the crowd.

Posted by Anonymous | September 7, 2012 9:12 AM

this written by a high schooler? jesus.

Posted by Anonymous | September 7, 2012 10:13 AM

"either Austin is on some apathetic shit, or NYC crowds are, in general, much more lively and appreciative."

what the what? how can Austin crowds suck more than NYC stand-and-watchers

Posted by Anonymous | September 7, 2012 10:34 AM

its true, i was there and the crowd was quite lively. maybe we're moving past when playin' it cool was cool. one can hope.

Posted by Anonymous | September 7, 2012 10:56 AM

I wonder what he would think about people attending shows in Ohio?

Oh wait, they are all living in BK.

Posted by Anonymous | September 7, 2012 11:17 AM

"Lots of beards in the crowd."


...in both uses of the term as well.

Posted by Anonymous | September 7, 2012 12:35 PM

Dear Author

You entered a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the the lively NYC hipster crowd zone.

Posted by Johnny 2 hat | September 7, 2012 3:54 PM

Plenty of dancing at !!! shows digglebots, go see trail of dead for a sweet art-rock mosh pit, foals had a swervin mosher at the mhow show few years ago, yu people is crazy, complain about the bros at shows but those dudes dance at least, but then you complain about people who just stand around - what is the approved conduct at a show? Fingerbanging through denim shorts is cool at least right?

Posted by Anonymous | September 7, 2012 4:12 PM

black people ?? beards ?? bands with 'CAPITALS' - oohh- shreeek! ???
methinks people with too much time , tiny brains and zero talent go online looking for sites like this to 'make themselves feel better'(?) by trying to belittle and bitch and bitch and be foul.
If you genii put a quarter the time you spend 'crique-ing the world'anonymously for your 'online public' and your own sad lonely personal self-satisfaction you'd make yourselves happier and the internet a better place .

Posted by Anonymous | September 7, 2012 5:37 PM

Hey 5:37,

Just wanted to respond to your comment. My name is Mike and I stand behind my comment that bands using ALL CAPS and no vowels are copycats and should be original when coming up with a band name. Remember how every other indie band name had "wolf" in it two years ago? That was lame too.

I'm allowed to have an opinion on such matters. That doesn't make me sad, condescending, or pathetic. Music is one of the most important things in my life and I find that many of these newer blog bands all sound blah and have the same words in their name.

I'm trying to lay down some constructive criticism here. What are you doing?

All the best,
Mike

Posted by Mike | September 8, 2012 1:12 PM

ima start a band called GET A LIFE ANONYMOUS

Posted by Anonymous | September 11, 2012 1:37 AM

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Posted by Electric Signs | September 11, 2012 7:22 AM

I miss out on all the fun really I do.

Posted by jordon | July 22, 2013 3:34 PM

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