Contact Us

NYC Popfest 2012 in preview (part 1): Burning Hearts, Orca Team, Speedmarket Avenue, Saturday Looks Good to Me & more

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Popfest Mix (ZIP)

Burning Hearts @ NYC Popfest 2009 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Burning Hearts

It’s NYC Popfest time again. Popfest happens Thursday – Sunday (May 17 – 20) at various venues around Manhattan and Brooklyn. You can still get 4-day Festival Passes ($50) that will get you into all the weekend’s shows, or you can buy tickets to individual shows.

There’s a couple quick ways to check out all that’s going on: Popfest has put together a free downloadable mix (linked above) with all the bands playing this year; and I put together a Spotify playlist with a couple songs from all the Popfest bands that have songs available on the service. If that’s not enough, here’s a little more about what’s ahead, and this post covers Thursday and Friday night’s shows. Saturday and Sunday preview will be later this week.


Like usual, Popfest kicks off Thursday (5/17) at Cake Shop. Headliners are Finland’s Burning Hearts who were last here for Popfest 2009. The band’s new album, Extinctions, mixes shimmery synths, jangly guitars and cooing guitars. You can stream the whole album at the bottom of this post. Burning Hearts also play a free show at LES store Ivana Helsinki (251 Elizabeth St.) and the Rock Shop on Monday (5/21) as part of a post-Popfest hangover show with Vancouver’s Sleuth, the Philippines’ Outerhearts and Orca Team (more on them below),

Staying in the same part of the world, Swedish powerpop band Speedmarket Avenue are also playing Thursday night. It’s been four years since the band released their last album but, but a recently posted new song on their website gives hope for new musical activity. Hopefully we’ll get a preview of their new album this week.

The rest of the Thursday Cake Shop lineup is from New York: Dear Marje and The Marshmallows are in the classic Tiger Trap style cute indiepop vein; Heaven’s Gate (ex-Sweet Bulbs) veer more shoegaze.

Orca Team
Orca Team


Friday night is at Knitting Factory with headliners Michigan’s Saturday Looks Good to Me who haven’t played NYC since the band dissolved in 2008. Main man Fred Thomas is promising a new album, so good to hear this will be more than just remember when.

For me the band I’m most excited to see Friday is Pacific Northwesterners Orca Team whose music is like a ’50s dance party on a submarine with Tim Gane piloting. Their new album, Restraint, is out June 14 on the Happy Happy Birthday to Me label and is a little less specifically retro (and all the better for it). If you can’t make it Friday night, Orca Team play two non-Popfest shows while here: a free show at XPO 929 (aka Party Expo) on Saturday (5/19) and they’re also playing that 5/21 show at the Rock Shop with Burning Hearts and others.

Also playing Friday night are organ-fueled partiers Cola Jet Set from Barcelona, who sing in Spanish and maintain an impeccable wardrobe. The band also play a FREE show at Cake Shop tonight [5/15]).

Plus at Knit: Houston, TX’s danceable and swooning Wild Moccasins; and the fuzzed-out sugarpop of Philadelphia’s Catnaps.

As I said above, look for a preview of Saturday and Sunday’s Popfest events later in the week. Meanwhile, the full NYC Popfest schedule (bands, set times, etc) is below.

AGE: 21+
TICKETS: $10 ADV / $12 DOS

08:00 The Marshmallows (NYC)
08:45 Heaven’s Gate (NYC)
09:30 Dear Marje (NYC)
10:15 Speedmarket Avenue (SWEDEN)
11:00 Burning Hearts (FINLAND)

DJ: Colm (Help Stamp Out Loneliness / Language of Flowers)

TICKETS: $10 ADV / $12 DOS

07:45 Catnaps (PA)
08:30 Orca Team (WA)
09:15 Cola Jet Set (SPAIN)
10:00 Wild Moccasins (TX)
11:00 Saturday Looks Good To Me (MI)

AFTERPARTY at CAMEO GALLERY (93 North 6th Street)
FREE for Friday Ticketholders, and Festival Pass Holders.

AGE: 21+

02:30 Lisa Bouvier (SWEDEN)
03:15 Outerhope (PHILIPPINES)
04:00 Pale Lights (NYC)
04:45 Habibi (NYC)

AGE: 21+
TICKETS: $15 ADV / $18 DOS
08:00 Pushy Parents (SWEDEN)
08:45 The Electric Pop Group (SWEDEN)
09:30 Seapony (WA)
10:15 The Pooh Sticks (UK)
11:15 Comet Gain (UK)

INDIEPOP DANCE PARTY featuring DJ: Roque (Cloudberry Records)

AGE: 18+
TICKETS: $15 ADV / $18 DOS

04:00 Swearin’ (NYC)
04:45 Sleuth (CANADA)
05:30 Dot Dash (DC)
06:15 The Holiday Crowd (CANADA)
07:00 White Town (UK)
07:45 The Wave Pictures (UK)
08:45 The Ladybug Transistor (NYC)
10:00 Allo’ Darlin (UK)

DJ: Sean Price (Fortuna Pop! – UK)

Burning Hearts

Check It Out

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for BrooklynVegan quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!