Entries tagged with: Morning Benders

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POP ETC (fka The Morning Benders) at Webster Hall (more by Andrew St. Clair)
The Morning Benders

The Morning Benders (whose frontman was spotted at Fiona Apple Friday) posted a statement to their website announcing that they've changed their band name to POP ETC. The statement, reprinted in full below, explains that after getting way bigger due to the success of their sophomore album, Big Echo, they made their first trip to Europe to learn that "the word 'bender' in the UK and many parts of Europe is a slang term for 'homosexual.'" "We were told our band name was the equivalent of 'The Morning Fags' in America," they said. They continued saying, "We simply cannot go on using a name that is demeaning to the gay community. The reason we are making music is to reach and unite as many different kinds of people as possible, and the idea that our name may be hateful towards anyone makes us sick."

In honor of the name-change announcement, they've released a new mixtape, which includes a cover of Bjork's "Unravel." You can download the mixtape at the POP ETC website or stream it in full below. The new material suits their new name really well, complete with dance beats and auto-tuned vocals. A full length album is reportedly on the way too.

Mixtape stream and full statement below...

Continue reading "The Morning Benders change their name to POP ETC"

by Andrew Sacher


New album STROKED: A Tribute to Is This It, as the title hints, is a tribute to The Strokes' massively influential debut Is This It. The album was released for free on Stereogum today (7/26). They write:

Is This It was recorded in NYC at Transporterraum with Gordon Raphael. When it was finally released in the States in the Fall of 2001, a decade after Nevermind, it helped not only put contemporary New York City in the forefront of music lovers' minds, it offered an easy reference for people to dig backwards into the Big Apple's rock 'n' roll past. For certain younger fans, it was maybe the first time they carefully considered Television (the late '70s), the Velvet Underground (mid '60s to early '70s), and other lesser known garage and rock and whatever bands that inhabited a dirtier, grubbier Manhattan. The title's pure Richard Hell. The original sexy album cover a minimalist echo of New York Dolls (via Roxy Music). It's no coincidence that 2001 NYC -- eventually, especially Brooklyn -- ended up being known for its post-punk revival. (See, for instance, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars, Black Dice, Vice Records' No New York nodding collection Yes New York, etc.) Is This It was a history lesson, but one with enough new ideas to also offer a roadmap.
Chelsea Wolfe, Austra, Owen Pallet, The Morning Benders, Real Estate, Peter Bjorn & John and others offer their takes on album tracks as well. Full tracklist below.

Cities Aviv
Cities Aviv

Wise Blood contributed "Someday" to "Stroked". He and fellow weirdo rapper Cities Aviv share a bill on September 1 at Glasslands in Brooklyn. The show is one of many scheduled around the world for Wise Blood, but is Cities Aviv's only date we see scheduled at the moment. Tickets for the Brooklyn show are on sale now.

Wise Blood's tour includes another NYC show two days later. He plays a Jelly RockBeach show on September 3 with Pictureplane and others TBA. More dates are listed below.

Cities Aviv, the self-proclaimed "Post-Death" rapper, is also on the Glasslands bill with Wise Blood. The Memphis native released his debut full length Digital Lows on May 2. The album's production credits go to a number of virtually unknown producers, Muted Drone, RPLD GHOSTS, Danny Dee, Upgrayde, and Royal'T. The beats are dreamy, reverb-soaked headknockers that sound about as woozy as that album art (below) looks. Cities Aviv takes the beats, which on their own would make up a pretty solid chillwave album, and spits biting lines with a classic southern drawl. Fille Catatonique provides sung vocals which blend quite nicely with the album's vibes. The final track, "Float On," features Cities Aviv rapping over chillwaver Blackbird Blackbird's cover of the Modest Mouse song, that he recorded for 2010's Happy High EP. It's a fun way to end the album, and is far better than Lupe Fiasco's "The Show Must Go On," which sampled the Modest Mouse song earlier this year.

Cities Aviv isn't exactly the only rapper crossing into lo-fi/indie-approved territory lately, but he's certainly approaching the crossover from a unique angle. Digital Lows isn't nearly as blown out as, say, Shabazz Palaces, but he's still got way more experimentation going on than guys like Wiz Khalifa or Theophilus London. Grab the album for free at his bandcamp and check out some songs below.

All tour dates, videos, album art and tracklist below...

Continue reading "Stereogum giving away Strokes tribute album, Cities Aviv giving away an album too, playing Glasslands w/ Wise Blood"

photos by David Andrako


Here are a few things that happened on Coachella Day 1:

And Day Two is today!

What were your highlights of Coachella Day One? Are you there or watching the stream?

Photographer David Andrako managed to catch 18 acts and other random stuff in between on Friday. His pictures from the whole day continue below...

Continue reading "Coachella 2011 Day 1 in pics (Chemical Brothers, Black Keys, Robyn, Interpol, Cee Lo, Crystal Castles, Sleigh Bells & more)"

photos by Andrew St. Clair, words by Rachel Kowal

Andrea joins the Morning Benders on Stage
The Morning Benders

I was somewhat surprised to learn that The Morning Benders were playing Webster Hall, but the large space was densely packed by 8:00 for the early string of shows.

Having missed Cults during CMJ, I was thankful for a second chance. At its core, Cults is the project of Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin, but for their show, the duo had expanded. Fitting for their name, it looked as if Oblivion and Follin had chosen the additional four musicians based on their Manson family-esque appearance. All but one wore their dark hair long and a bit tussled.

"Hi. We're Cultssss," said Follin, dramatically drawing out the 's.' Like many young bands, Cults seems to lack a singular focus in their music, but their live show is the better for it. Over the course of their brief 25-minute set, they covered everything from slow, sexy songs to peppy, poppy dance numbers like the "Go Outside," which is perhaps their biggest hit to date.

Sure, Cults' set was a bit sloppy at times, but their music has all the right ingredients. They just need to let the dough settle for a bit so the yeast can do its thing.

Up next was Twin Sister. In addition to singer Andrea Estella's arresting appearance (Is that a parka? A wig? Or did she just tease her hair into a giant platinum mass?), it's easy to get lost in the band's mellow melodies and hushed vocals. The members of Twin Sister seemed to be in a perpetual state of bliss that had a calming effect on their music. Typically, stand out tracks are a band's more upbeat songs, but in the case of Twin Sister, it doesn't get much better than the smooth, slowly building "I Want a House" or the hazy jam "Lady Daydream."

The Morning Benders were met by a loud den of high-pitched cheers as they walked on stage. With singer Chris Chu's boyish good looks and the bands buoyant melodies, it should come as no surprise that their most ravenous fans are female. Throughout the evening, Chu spouted praises and niceties, which his eager fan base gladly absorbed. He could nonchalantly whisper "I love you" into the mic and at least 50 girls would turn to their boyfriends and dump them on the spot.

The band has apparently had a busy year. Chu estimated that Thursday night's show marked their 146th since March. Somehow, despite the heavy touring, the band didn't seem to be sick of the songs from their popular sophomore release, Big Echo, and nearly all of their set was lifted from the album. Of course, they did manage to work in a few other songs, like a Fleetwood Mac cover ("Dreams"), which featured guest vocals from Twin Sister's Andrea Estella.

Early in the show, Chu made a passing comment to get people dancing, but given the modest results, he repeated the sentiment before launching into the short, peppy song "Waiting For a War." "I gave you a chance to dance a couple of times, but you didn't really deliver [...] you guys could really go wild and express yourself. Feel free."

Then, as if all they were waiting for was permission, people started bopping along. Though the movement was a bit timid at first, as I watched from my perch in the balcony, I began to see subtle undulations on the floor as the crowd loosened up and seemed to move as one.

For "Excuses," the last song of their initial set, Chu put down his guitar, picked up a shaker, and walked to the edge of the stage, grabbing the hands of fans as he went. "Let's do this. Let's create a memory together, guys [...] let's get everyone singing." Sure enough, the house lights came on and nearly everyone sang along to the "dum du-dum's" of the chorus, including the other three members of the band. As the vocals continued on loop at the end of the song, Chu leaned over and started fiddling with pedals, and for a minute or so, the sunny melodies were shrouded in eerie overtones and discordant noise before he stripped it all away again, leaving the unadulterated group vocals to repeat a few more times before the screams and cheers from the audience became too overwhelming to hear the fade out.

Even if The Morning Benders don't appeal to you, it's hard to deny the gem of a song that is "Excuses" - so simple yet unbelievably catchy. Then you have the lyrics - not sexy enough to be dangerous or intimidating, but not completely innocent either. Take the first couple of lines: "You tried to taste me / And I taped my tongue to the southern tip of your body." (Whoa. Did I just blush typing that?)

As he walked off stage, Chris Chu uttered one last promise. "We'll be back soon with a new album." Then as if giving us a sneak peak, the band returned for one last song, a new one entitled "Virgins."

More pictures from the tour-ending show and the headliner's setlist, below...

Continue reading "The Morning Benders, Twin Sister & Cults @ Webster Hall ---- (pics & setlist) "

photos by Josh Darr

Morning Benders

"Berkeley, California-bred four-piece band The Morning Benders are the Muhammad Ali of pop-rock: their summery melodies float on leader Christopher Chu's airy vocals like butterflies, but their lyrics sting like bees that've crawled under your sleeve when you weren't looking."
[Eye Weekly]
The Morning Benders finish up their tour tonight in a big way, with a headlining show at Webster Hall and a stacked bill of indie pop rising stars with both Twin Sister and Cults opening the show. Tickets are on sale, and if you need one more reason to get there, how about a pair of free tickets? I am giving a pair away. Details on how to win below.

Earlier on that tour they happened upon Chicago's Lincoln Hall on October 31st, and as you can see in the above picture taken at that show, they were ready for the occasion. More pictures like it, below.

Also below: a stream of the Golden Filter's brand new remix of hit Morning Benders track "Excuses" which you can also download via a widget at the band's website.

Continue reading "The Morning Benders are back (win tix), remixed by Golden Filter (MP3), dressed up for Halloween (pics) "

photos by Tim Griffin

Austin City Limits

"An estimated 200,000 people journeyed the grounds of Zilker Park this weekend for the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

The descent of the iconic guitar sign Monday signified the end of an incredibly successful ACL Music Festival, and with eight stages and 130 bands, clean up is expected to take the rest of the week.

"This year's ACL was one of the best. The weather was incredible," City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department spokesperson Victor Ovalle said.

The show's producer, C3 Presents, takes care of cleaning up Zilker Park, and the city sends crews into the surrounding neighborhoods to remove any trace of music fans who know how to have a good time.

After C3 Presents leaves the park later this week, fertilizing and watering the grass will city's number one priority." [News 8 Austin]

Friday pictures HERE. Lucero HERE. The xx HERE. Mayer Hawthorne HERE, the rest of the Saturday HERE, Flaming Lips HERE, and the rest of the pictures from Sunday (and the conclusion of our 2010 Austin City Limits coverage), below...

Continue reading "ACL 2010 Day 3 in pics (Foals, Eagles, Yeasayer, Norah Jones, Ted Leo, Devendra Banhart, Morning Benders & more)"

photos by Ryan Barkan, words by Bill Pearis

Twin Sister @ Mercury Lounge
Twin Sister

Twin Sister have had a pretty good 2010 so far: a critically-lauded EP, tours with Bear in Heaven and MemoryHouse. The band will be hitting the road again soon. After playing the 2010 Pop Montreal fest, Twin Sister will head out for an extensive tour with The Morning Benders. At different points along the way,  Cults, Oberhoferand Holiday Shores will also be joining the tour. It hits Webster Hall on November 18. Tickets are still on sale.

Oberhofer, who also opened for Twin Sister at Mercury Lounge recently, opens the Webster Hall show. We posted pictures of Oberhofer from that show, but not the Twin Sister ones. Here they are.

But before that Twin Sister are playing this Friday (9/10) at Bruar Falls as part of a pretty great bill that includes soon-to-be tourmates Holiday Shores, plus Ava Luna and Chicago's Distractions. You might want to get there early for that one.

New videos for Twin Sister's "Galaxy Plateau" and Morning Benders' "All Day Daylight"  are below, along with all Twin Sister tour dates and more pictures from Mercury Lounge...

Continue reading "Twin Sister playing Bruar Falls before touring w/ Morning Benders (tour dates, new videos, live pics & more) "

photos by Andrew St. Clair

The Morning Benders
Black Keys and Morning Benders at Summerstage

"With tonight's show, [The Black Keys] started off with the two of them, then added a few backing musicians for the new tunes. The new stuff lit a match for the night because when it's just the two of them in a venue of thousands of people, you tend to want something with a little more energy and activity.

I didn't plan on going to either gig tonight, but extra tickets were given to me. Ding dong, I'll take them. I was late getting there and arrived when Morning Benders announced their standard, "We have two songs left." Thus, I was stuck in the back. Let me tell you, I've been spoiled with my small shows, photo passes and being upfront, because standing in the back sucks. Especially at SummerStage because Rumsey Playfield slopes down to allow for drainage. DRAAAAAAAAAINAGE, ELI!" [Music Snobbery]

The Black Keys and The Morning Benders played their second show in a row at Central Park Summerstage in NYC last night (7/28), and now they're off on tour.

For the Black Keys it was their first show of the night. They played Terminal 5 later last night. All three NYC shows sold out well in advance. It's only a matter of time before they join the ranks of Phoenix and Arcade Fire as MSG headliners (they opened for Pearl Jam at the big venue in May).

More pictures from last night below...

Continue reading "The Morning Benders & Black Keys played Central Park Summerstage again (night 2 pics) "

photos by Jessica Amaya


"The last rays of sunlight were creeping up the Sycamore trees as Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of the Black Keys loped onto Central Park's Summerstage Tuesday evening. As they kicked off their set I was instantly reminded as to why I hold the Black Keys in high esteem - simply put, they rock.

With Auerbach on his amped up Gibson and Carney sitting high above the crowd, they commanded the crowd's affection as they tore through a string of older songs, including "Thickfreakness", "The Breaks" and, "Busted" (one of the first songs they ever wrote), before inviting a bass and keyboard player onstage for some of their new material off Brothers. Highlights from their new material included "Everlasting Light" and their cut, "Chop & Change", from the new Eclipse soundtrack. (Say what you will about the Twilight series, but the song is damn good)."
[The Docta's Notes]

The Black Keys and The Morning Benders kicked off a tour at Central Park Summerstage in NYC last night (7/27), except they aren't going very far yet. Both bands return to the same venue for the 2nd night in a row tonight (7/28).

And hopefully the Black Keys are resting right now because Summerstage is only their first of two shows this evening. After that, they head over to Terminal 5 to headline night three of the SPIN/Zync shindigs (I heard they go on around midnight after opening sets by The Whigs and Lee Fields).

And while the Black Keys were playing Summerstage Tuesday night, the Flaming Lips were playing Night Two of the SPIN/Zync things at Terminal 5. The Flaming Lips played their own show at Summerstage one night earlier. Night Four of SPIN/Zync is the National who were playing Prospect Park last night.

More pictures from the Rumsey Playfield (Central Park) show, below...

Continue reading "The Black Keys & Morning Benders played Central Park Summerstage (night 1 pics) "


It's a busy week for big NYC shows. The Flaming Lips are here for two performances, starting with the gig tonight/Monday at Central Park SummerStage. Oneida opens. The Flaming Lips show Tuesday night at Terminal 5 is part of the Spin25 series of gigs running each day this week.

Spin25, sponsored by American Express's new ZYNC card (as you can see in the picture above), kicks off with Smashing Pumpkins tonight at Terminal 5, and continues with Flaming Lips on July 27th, the Black Keys on July 28th, the National on July 29th (all at Terminal 5), and Spiritualized on July 30th at Radio City. Show openers are listed below (Spiritualized, which has no opener, is the only one with tickets available currently).

7/26 - Smashing Pumpkins @ Terminal 5 (w/ Kill Hannah & The Jim Jones Revue)
7/27 - The Flaming Lips @ Terminal 5 (w/ Fang Island)
7/28 - The Black Keys @ Terminal 5 (w/ Lee Fields & The Expressions & The Whigs)
7/29 - The National @ Terminal 5 (w/ Suckers & Kurt Vile)
7/30 - Spiritualized playing Ladies and Gentlemen (TICKETS)
If you don't have tickets, we're offering one more chance for you to see the shows. We have two pairs of tickets to give away to each of the last four (that's all minus Smashing Pumpkins). Details on that are below...

You can also watch the shows online: SPIN & ZYNC are streaming them.

Several of the above bands have more shows this week too. The Black Keys play two SummerStage shows with the Morning Benders on July 27th and 28th (the second being the an early show on same night they play T5). Those two shows are also a tour kick-off for the two bands. All dates below.

The National also play Celebrate Brooklyn on Tuesday, July 27th with Beach House opening. They'll be back in September for a show at Wellmont Theatre with Owen Pallett who opens both Arcade Fire shows at MSG next week.

Contest details and dates below...

Continue reading "SPIN 25 this week (win tix, stream the shows) ++ it's a busy week w/ more Black Keys, Flaming Lips & National shows too "

Dawes @ Sasquatch 2010 (more by Chris Graham)

Like the Seaport Music Series, RiverRocks is giving away a free mixtape on Insound to help promote their summer series of free shows which kick off TONIGHT, 7/8, with Phosphorescent and Dawes.

It's a one-off show for Dawes who are back in their hometown of LA two days later to play a free show there too. But on July 14th they kick off a tour in Texas that brings them back to NY and NJ four more times before the month is over. On July 18th they hit the XPoNential Music Festival in Camden, on July 22nd they open for Edward Sharpe at Webster Hall (sold out), on July 23rd they headline Maxwell's (TICKETS), and on July 24th they head out to the tip of Long Island top play the Montauk Surf Lodge.

All dates, and a couple of cool "Yours Truly" session videos that Dawes recorded with The Morning Benders playing as part of their band, below...

Continue reading "Dawes played w/ the Morning Benders (videos), playing RiverRocks w/ Phos (tonight) & other tour dates"

Wild Nothing @ Governors Island Saturday night (more by Andrew St Clair)
Wild Nothing

Wild Nothing and the Morning Benders shared a bill at Governors Island Saturday night. Both bands, coincidentally, will next be heading to the UK for shows later this month (dates below), and both just added additional NYC shows to their schedules.

Wild Nothing will co-headline a show at Bowery Ballroom with Blank Dogs on August 28th. Both Cosmetics and Minks are also on that bill. $13 tickets go on AmEx presale Wednesday at noon. General sale starts Friday at noon.

The Morning Benders, whose next NYC shows are with the Black Keys at Summerstage in July (both sold out), will headline their own show at Webster Hall on November 18th. $18 tickets also go on AmEx presale Wednesday at noon. General sale starts Friday at noon.

All tour dates for both bands, and some videos from recent shows, below...

Continue reading "Wild Nothing, Blank Dogs & the Morning Benders add shows"

photos by Andrew St. Clair

Morning Benders
Morning Benders

Wild Nothing opened the night with a blistering set of tunes that had me groovin'....

Freelance Whales were up next, and I had high hopes for their set....The band was good, but not great...

The Morning Benders played an incredible set the last time I saw them at The Music Hall Of Williamsburg. I didn't think they would be able to top it, but the did. With the devastatingly beautiful backdrop of NYC accompanying them, there was nothing but good vibes floating all round their performances...

...the band played a great cover of the Fleetwood Mac classic "Dreams". The guys nailed it down so well that one wouldn't be at fault for mistaking the song as a morning benders original.

That wasn't the only cover that they did. The band also covered Joy Division's "Ceremony", which Chris said was one of his favorite songs....The set ended with the always incredible "Excuses" which brought a huge singalong from the crowd... [We All Want Someone]

The second of the summer's free Converse Presents: Gone to Governors shows on Governors Island happened on Saturday night (June 19th) with sets by the Morning Benders, Freelance Whales and Wild Nothing. Like the first (Yeasayer) show, the space filled up, this time about an hour before the music (though they let some more people on to ferrys around 8:30, after the beer fest that was also happening on the island emptied out).

The next show in the Gone to Governors series happens on July 3rd with Portugal. The Man and Alberta Cross (that's a day before She & Him play a July 4th free show on the island with Oakley Hall).

For the Dr. Dog show now happening on Sunday, August 15th (note the date change), atmospheric indie-folk-rock Chief have been added to one of the opening slots.

More pictures from Saturday with the setlists and some videos are below...

Continue reading "the Morning Benders, Freelance Whales & Wild Nothing played Governors Island - pics, video & setlists"

photos by David Andrako

DOWNLOAD: The Morning Benders - Cold War (Wallpaper. Winter Remix) (MP3)

Broken Bells Shin James Mercer @ Irving Plaza
Broken Bells

"Well this concert was amazing. After waiting for a good hour looking at some Mario/WWII footage combined with trippy backwards synth music on a screen, it's safe to say the audience was ready for the opening act. I'll be honest, I had no idea the Morning benders were playing, and although I have heard of them I didn't really know any of their songs. When they came on, to be honest I thought they were some local high school band, aged 14 tops. But the lead singers voice is really something- it captivated most in the audience (especially a drunk girl next to me who seemed to know all their songs - and subsequently left when they finished). Their music was tight - the bass and drum parts really fed off each other and the singers voice tied it all in. Their final song, Excuses featured them looping their voices and a huge cresendo where they all collapsed and finished. Although it was a little gimmicky, the levels were perfect and they executed it well.

Of course, the Broken Bells made us wait another hour and a bit until they were "ready". By the time they came on we had been standing for 2 and a half hours, making the opening notes of "October" sound even sweeter. Honestly I expected this concert to be meh..." [The Blue Radio]

The Morning Benders & Broken Bells tour ends this Friday, June 11th, in Athens. This past Saturday, June 5th, they stopped by Irving Plaza (yes, that's the venue's name) in NYC. That review and the pictures in this post are from that show.

The Morning Benders' next NYC show will be a free one on Governors Island with Freelance Whales and Wild Nothing. They're also back in NYC (where they live) for two shows at Summerstage with the Black Keys in July.

MB's full list of updated tour dates, the new Broken Bells video, the Broken Bells Irving setlist, and more pictures from the show, below...

Continue reading "Morning Benders played Irving Plaza w/ Broken Bells (pics & setlist), playing more shows (updated 2010 dates) "

DOWNLOAD: The Morning Benders - Cold War (Wallpaper. Winter Remix) (MP3)

Caribou @ Bowery Ballroom (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)

What is now being considered the full lineup for the ten-show, Converse-sponsored "Gone to Governors" series at Governors Island is almost complete (openers still TBA). There are ten shows total - seven of which are on Saturdays. One is on a Friday. Two are on Sundays (one of which is July 4th). All except Local Natives on August 7th are free.

The lineup's latest additions include co-headliners Caribou & Phantogram with The Chain Gang of 1974 (July 16th), and Josh Ritter with openers Justin Townes Earle and Dawn Landes (August 8th).

Here's the whole thing:

  1. June 05 - Yeasayer, Keepaway, Delicate Steve
  2. June 19 - The Morning Benders, Freelance Whales & TBA
  3. July 03 - Portugal. The Man & TBA
  4. July 04 (Sunday) - She & Him
  5. July 10 - Lucero & TBA
  6. July 16 (Friday) - Caribou, Phantogram, The Chain Gang of 1974
  7. July 17 - Dr. Dog & TBA
  8. Aug. 07 - Local Natives & TBA ($10 ticket)
  9. Aug. 08 (Sunday) - Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band, Justin Townes Earle, Dawn Landes & the Hounds
  10. Aug. 14 - Neon Indian & TBA
  11. Aug 15 - Dr. Dog
The doors are at 6pm, show at 8pm for all shows (except for the afternoon She & Him show, which has doors at noon, show at 4pm). I originally thought there would be shows every Saturday, but I'm told this is it (for now anyway).
Ferry service to Governors Island for the "Gone to Governors" shows is free. As previously reported the series is being co-produced by Bowery Presents, Highline Ballroom and Mad Dog Presents with Converse and event partner Water Taxi Beach. BrooklynVegan is the media sponsor.

The shows will be held at the Beach at Governors Island, one of three venues on the Island. The others are Colonel Row (where Passion Pit will be playing, for instance) and South Island Field (which'll host M.I.A./HARD NYC). Michael Franti & Spearhead w/ Trombone Shorty kicks off the season of pay-shows at the Island with a Thursday, June 3rd performance there.

The Morning Benders will headline the second show in the series on June 19th, and they just released new song "Go Grab A Stranger," a Big Echo b-side currently available as a limited tour 7", streaming below. A remix of their song "Cold War" by Oakland act Wallpaper is available above.

"Go Grab A Stranger" and more info on the Gov. Island shows are below...

Continue reading "Gone to Governors - full 10 mostly-free show lineup (Caribou, Phantogram, Josh Ritter, She & Him & Local Natives included)"

The Morning Benders @ MHOW in April (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Morning Benders

The free Yeasayer "Gone to Governors" show at Governors Island is soon! June 5th to be exact. Keepaway and Delicate Steve have been added as openers by the band. It will be the first of many free shows at "The Beach" this summer, only a few of which have been announced yet.

There will probably be a free show on June 12th (save the date), and there will definitely be a free one on Saturday, June 19th which will include sets by The Morning Benders and Freelance Whales (and one more band TBA).

Other announced shows in the free series are Neon Indian on August 14th, and She & Him on the 4th of July (a Sunday). Local Natives on August 7th (a Saturday) will be lumped in with the series, but it costs $10. More coming.

When I first posted about the "Gone to Governors" series, I compared it to Sunday's Jelly Pool Parties. In a way that's true, but not when it comes to show times. The Yeasayer and Neon Indian shows are 6pm doors, 8pm show (Pool Parties were always over by 7pm if I remember correctly). She & Him (on Independence Day) is a 4pm show.

Matinee NYC party for Pride 2010 is happening at the Beach on Governors Island Governors Island on June 26th ("The World's Hottest Party Comes to NYC for the First Time!"). That's a Saturday and it's a pay show, so no "Gone to Governors" on that day (Tickets go on sale at noon).

Rock the Bells NYC, set for August 28th, is another of the recently announced Governors Island shows, but that will be in a larger "venue" on the island (there are three main areas where shows can happen on the island - "The Beach" is where the free shows are).

Grizzly Bear, The Walkmen and Gang Gang Dance play a pay show at the Beach on Thursday, August 12th.

The Morning Benders are currently on tour with Broken Bells. Both bands come to NYC for a sold-out June 5th show at Irving Plaza. Their shows after that include Europe and a pair of SummerStage shows with the Black Keys in July.

photos by Bao Nguyen

Twin Sister
Twin Sister

Tickets to the June 26th BrooklynVegan Memory Tapes / Twin Sister / Dom / ZAZA show at Music Hall of Williamsburg go on sale Saturday at noon (not today at noon as originally advertised). The four bands are four of many that were just announced as part of this year's Northside Festival.

You don't have to wait until June to see Twin Sister though. As previously mentioned, they'll be at Rooftop Films Opening Night on May 14th and a release show for their Color Your Life EP at Glasslands on May 28th. I also since noticed that the band is booked to play the "Art Directors Club Annual Awards After-Party" at ADC Gallery, 106 West 29th Street on Wednesday, May 19th. That show will set you back a mere $125.

Wednesday night Twin Sister shared a bill with fellow twin band Twin Shadow (twins are the new caves?). NYC Taper taped Twin Sister. Go over there to get the free MP3s (or FLAC).

Both twin bands were the openers for the Morning Benders who were playing (to Jason Schwartzman at) their third sold out NYC show in a short amount of time. The first was also at Mercury Lounge. The second was the BV show at Music Hall with Holiday Shores and The Luyas.

More pictures from Wednesday night below...

Continue reading "Twin Sister played Mercury Lounge w/ Twin Shadow & Morning Benders (pics, audio), more shows coming (one expensive)"

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo, words by Andrew Frisicano


At their Brooklyn Vegan-presented show on Saturday night (4/24), The Morning Benders didn't bring out any special guests a la their widely circulated video for "Excuses" (which features support from a studio-full Bay Area musicians). Instead, the band made do with the sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg crowd, who boosted that song's wordless harmonies with encouragement from frontman Chris Chu as he suavely serenaded the women in the front row and then hopped off stage. He hopped back on before the extended, set-closing hit song was over. There was no encore.

The Morning Benders' Big Echo has only ten songs, but from that they culled a set with ups and down that started with a whisper and closed with ebullient highs of "Excuses". They also went back to their 2008 record Talking Through Tin Cans for the song "Damnit Anna", and played a non-album track live for the very first time. It was a B side to a limited 7" that was for sale at the show. They said they played it to mix up the set for those who came to multiple NYC shows on the tour.

Holiday Shores warmed up the crowd with splashy beach pop. The band was bolstered members of Twin Sister, who they had played with the night before, and who were filling in for Holiday Shores members that couldn't make the trip to NYC this time. Their drummer and bass player were totally locked in and riveting to watch. That made the other things happening on stage - an extra ride cymbal being pulverized, a Rhodes solo, vocals - all the more interesting. They split afterward to do a late set at Bruar Falls' one-year-anniversary party, which was happening a few blocks away.

Before that, Montreal's the Luyas played gently shattered art pop with a French horn, keys and a harplike electric guitar. They created atmospheres of tension with those tools and more - at one point, their drummer rattled chains on his floor tom for extra eerie effect. It was one of several NYC shows that week for the band (one of which was at a loft, and the last of which was at Glasslands on Sunday night).

The Morning Benders, now based out of New York, have one more sold-out NYC show on Wednesday at Mercury Lounge, before they tour with Broken Bells in May and June. That includes a June 5th show at Irving Plaza. Tickets are sold out. Their shows after that include a pair of shows at Central Park SummerStage with the Black Keys in July. Tickets to one of those are still available.

More pictures from the MHOW show, with the Morning Benders' setlist and their newish video for "Promises" and all tour dates are below...

Continue reading "The Morning Benders, Holiday Shores & The Luyas played Music Hall of Williamsburg - pics"

Broken Bells @ the Mohawk (SXSW 2010) (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Broken Bells

In case you were worried that The Morning Benders didn't have enough NYC shows coming up, now there's one more, but it's because the NYC via California band just accepted the opening slot on Broken Bells' first tour which includes a June 5th show at Irving Plaza. Stay tuned for ticket information. All dates below.

For Broken Bells it will be their 2nd NYC show. They played Music Hall of Williamsburg before SXSW. The Morning Benders play Music Hall of Williamsburg in April (and two sold out shows at Mercury Lounge the same month). The Morning Benders also open for the Black Keys at Central Park Summerstage date in July (both of their shows there). All three bands so far mentioned in this post were at SXSW, though the Black Keys only played one show which was also one of the few that Broken Bells played. The Morning Benders' first SXSW show this year was a BrooklynVegan party. Right before Austin they played an intimate record release show at Cameo.

Broken Bells is the new project/band/album from The Shins' James Mercer and Danger Mouse. Danger Mouse has also been busy producing new Black Keys songs (one track on the new album and the entire album that was released in 2008) (he also produced Broken Bells)...

"Broken Bells features Mercer on vocals, guitars and bass while Burton plays organ, drums, piano, synths and bass. The pair play all instruments on the album with the exception of a full string section arranged by Daniele Luppi. Broken Bells was recorded by Todd Monfalcone and Kennie Takahashi at Mondo Studio in Los Angeles and produced by Danger Mouse."
One of Danger Mouse's other recent projects was Dark Night of the Soul which was a collaboration with Mark Linkous who very recently took his own life.

All Broken Bells and Morning Benders dates below...

Continue reading "Broken Bells & The Morning Benders - 2010 tour dates"

The Black Keys @ SXSW 2010 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Laura Marling

The Black Keys will be on the road this summer to support their new record, Brothers, which comes out May 18th on Nonesuch. One of the gigs on that tour is at Central Park Summerstage on July 27th. That date has sold out, and the band has added a second show for the next day, Wednesday, July 28th. Tickets go on AmEx presale today (Wednesday, March 31st) at 11am. There's also a fan presale that and other dates going on now.

Those who purchase pre-sale tickets through the band's website, theblackkeys.com, will receive a special bundle, which includes a copy of Brothers (digital only or physical and digital, CD or vinyl) upon release. Additionally, pre-sale tickets will come with an instant download of two tracks from Brothers-"Tighten Up" and "Next Girl."
General sale for the NYC show starts Friday, April 2nd at noon.

The Morning Benders (who are playing two shows at Mercury Lounge and one at MHOW this April) will open the new both Central Park dates in July. .

Before then, The Black Keys will be opening for Pearl Jam at Madison Square Garden on May 20th. They'll also play Letterman and Jimmy Fallon on May 25th and 26th to support the new record. Check out "Tighten Up," a Danger Mouse-produced song from the album, at their MySpace. Speaking of Danger Mouse, they shared a bill with him at their only SXSW show.

All tour dates and the Brothers tracklist below...

Continue reading "The Black Keys - 2010 Tour Dates include 2nd Summerstage show w/ The Morning Benders, presale (w/ free new songs)"

photos by Graeme Flegenheimer

DOWNLOAD: The Morning Benders - Promises (MP3)

The Morning Benders @ Cheer Up Charlie's
Morning Benders

The Morning Benders woke up Wednesday morning to a Best New Music on Pitchfork, and just in time to get to Austin to play their packed 1:30pm set at the free BrooklynVegan day party at Emo's (which sounded great). It was their first of a series of SXSW shows that included the Stereogum party, Fader Fort, the True Panther Sounds showcase at Cheer Up Charlie's (Ms. Beas) and the official Rough Trade (their label) showcase. Eight days earlier we presented their free record release show at Cameo, and I'm proud to present that we're doing it again, but this time at the much bigger venue across the street (though not free this time).

After selling out both of their April shows at Mercury Lounge (April 22 & 28), The Morning Benders have added an April 24th show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets for the new show go on sale Friday at noon.

"As with the first time I caught them at SXSW, the Morning Benders have taken the opportunity that the success of Big Echo afforded them and used it to up their game by a lot. Their live show is a smart blend of early '60s vocal pop and timeless guitar shredding. They're a group I feel like I could see over and over again without tiring of in the least." [YouAintNoPicasso]
Big Echo is available in CD & LP format at Insound. Graeme saw their SXSW set at Cheer Up Charlie's which is where the pictures in this post are from. The rest of those with all dates, below...

Continue reading "The Morning Benders played SXSW (pics), add Brooklyn show (BV Presents) + other 2010 Tour Dates "

photos by Tim Griffin

"Just saw Fucked Up tear it up at Emo's, with a cameo from two of the Wu Tang Killa Bees. That's gonna be hard to top" - mehan jayasuriya

"FUCKED UP: Frontman Pink Eye says Emo's was first place he ever went shirtless. "Fat guys everywhere felt a little bit skinnier."" - Rolling Stone

""GZA? He just couldn't make it," Killah Priest told BrooklynTheBorough.com later. "He told us to come and help him out. He'll be here though - somewhere - he'll be here.""

Fucked Up

"The first show I caught at South by Southwest was The Morning Benders at Emo's for the Brooklyn Vegan day party. I talked with Christopher Chu, the lead singer and while he was warming up near the stage, I snapped a few pictures. If you have not purchased Big Echo, their latest album it is worth the dinero." [Harmon Drive]
As previously mentioned, GZA didn't show up but Killah Priest and 9th Prince made a quick but special appearance on the main ("outside") stage at the BrooklynVegan day party at Emo's on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 in Austin, TX. The two stage party featured a Torche-headlined metal stage "inside", and great sets by YellowFever, The Morning Benders, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Japandroids, Titus Andronicus, The Black Angels and Fucked Up outside. Finger on the Pulse played tunes between sets.

The last few bands got slightly longer sets due to the gap in the schedule that GZA created. The capacity crowd enjoyed free Magic Hat beer, Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, Vitamin Water, Mr. Natural breakfast tacos, Nadamoo coconut milk ice cream, Daily Juice catering, Raw Revolution bars and Hail Merry granola. It was an amazing first day at the festival that was quickly followed by our official showcase right down the street at Club DeVille. More pictures from this stage (metal coming later), and a video clip of the Killah Priest part, below...

Continue reading "BrooklynVegan Emo's day party pics (SXSW 2010 - Fucked Up, Titus Andronicus, Japandroids, Morning Benders, more) "

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: The Morning Benders - Promises (MP3)

morning benders

The Morning Benders tied up their succinct CD release show at the Cameo Monday night (3/8) with "Excuses," the album's ambitiously arranged, counterpoint-heavy opener. The shimmery violins and chorus of backup singers (see the video below) were nowhere to be found - instead the five-piece carried the cruise-ship sway themselves, with singer Chris Chu and the band looping up a cappella vocals until its climactic crest. Their live set and their Big Echo T-shirts were both worthy adverts for the new disc, which expands on their concert sound with the studio touch of Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor (and Chu, who coproduced). "Promises," above, is a particularly expert unfurling of that in-studio tool kit. A sun-ready sound practically begging for the Seaports or Waterfronts of the summer.

The Cameo show was the last in a run of NYC gig for the band. Their continuing tour includes SXSW (where they'll be at the BrooklynVegan day party at Emo's on Wednesday March 17th, for one) and a return to NYC for a shows at Mercury Lounge in April.

More pictures from the Cameo (and their video for "Promises") are below...

Continue reading "the Morning Benders played Cameo (pics) + 'Promises' video "

SXSW flyer

As previously mentioned, we've lost our minds and are doing seven shows in Austin during SXSW this year. The first of those parties kicks off at Emo's at noon on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 (doors @ 11:30am) on two 100% FREE stages:

Outside/Main Stage
12:00 YellowFever
12:45 The Rural Alberta Advantage
01:30 The Morning Benders
02:15 Japandroids
03:00 Titus Andronicus
03:45 The Black Angels
04:30 GZA
05:15 Fucked Up

DJs: Finger on the Pulse

Inside/Metal Stage (Emo's Jr)
12:00 - Kill The Client
12:35 - The Atlas Moth
01:20 - Javelina
02:05 - Dark Castle
02:50 - Salome
03:35 - Landmine Marathon
04:20 - Withered
05:05 - Torche

FREE DRINKS COURTESY OF: Magic Hat & Firefly Vodka & Vitamin Water (while supplies last)
(starting @ noon. while supplies last)
MORE FREE FOOD COURTESY OF: Daily Juice (catering from 2-5)

We previously announced the entire metal stage for this Wednesday day party, but Dallas's Kill The Client is an even newer addition. They start the inside stage of off right, right at noon (as you can see above).

Thanks Zach Jaeger for the sweet flyer.

The Morning Benders, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Austin's own YellowFever, AND GZA are all being announced for the first time in this post. Those following along already knew about Fucked Up, The Black Angels, Titus Andronicus, and Japandroids.

It should be a wild first day in Austin and needless to say, we're very excited for this one. And did we mention this was all free? No RSVP. No Badges. Just stop by. Get there early if you want a free vegan breakfast taco. Stay around if you want even more catering by Daily Juice. Drink for free from our 10 kegs of Magic Hat beer and the many bottles of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka that we'll be pouring. Then after the show, if you're still hungry (and standing), get dinner quickly and head over to the official BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase at Club DeVille right down the block (Dawes go on at 8, Serena Maneesh finish things off at 1am). Then get some rest because you've got 19 more bands to catch on Thursday afternoon at Spider House.

And for those in NYC, don't forget that we're also hosting a free Morning Benders show, TONIGHT (3/8).

We also just announced the full lineup of our Saturday day party at Red 7 which is happening at the same time as our Saturday day party at Galaxy Room.

GZA's "Liquid Swords" video below...

Continue reading "BrooklynVegan presents a day party @ Emo's (Fucked Up, GZA, Black Angels, Torche, TRAA, Withered & much more) "

DOWNLOAD: The Morning Benders - Promises (MP3)

photos by Waverly Rose / second set by Fresh Bread

Morning Benders

A trio of bands - Cuddle Magic, Morning Benders and Shark? - played acoustic sets at Housing Works's CD swap on Thursday, February 25th. Two separate sets of pictures from that Hype Machine-sponsored event are in this post.

Morning Benders then played Market Hotel two days later and they have a busy upcoming schedule - they'll tour to SXSW and return to NYC for a show on April 22nd at Mercury Lounge which is now sold out (though Harlem, the early show at the same venue that night, is still on sale). Didn't grab tickets? Well, they've added a second show. The new Mercury Lounge date is Wednesday, April 28th. Tickets go on sale soon.

Can't wait that long? The band's album, which you can stream online and get a song from above, comes out March 9th on Rough Trade. So to celebrate they'll play a BrooklynVegan-presented CD release show at The Cameo this Monday, March 8th. The place is small. The show is FREE. Arrive early if you want a shot at getting in. Flyer below.

The rest of Morning Benders' tour dates, including SXSW, are HERE (plus there's at least one more Austin show still TBA). Flyers, a live session with friends (that include members of Girls & John Vanderslice), and more pictures are below...

Continue reading "Morning Benders played Housing Works (pics), add 2nd Mercury Lounge show, playing free CD release show @ Cameo"