Thursday, April 29, 2010

mason jar

Across the street from the site of the Brooklyn Flea in Ft. Greene is an enormous old stone building otherwise known as the Brooklyn Masonic Temple.  Built in 1909, it's a really incredible place full of marble staircases and intricate details - many of which sadly are hard to appreciate because the building doesn't get the greatest care these days.  I've had a strange past few weeks bouncing around to different locations, this included, and I will definitely say that it has been the most striking.  I even encountered an HBO film crew setting up for a shoot for something taking place in the 1920's (I think).  While I'm coming up on my one-year anniversary of living in Brooklyn, only recently have I learned about my surrounding Brooklyn neighborhoods and met a lot of people who live around me, and subsequently fallen in love with this borough even more.  Photos of the temple below:

exterior shots:

interior shots:
I loved those Emergency Exit lantern-y lights
The bathroom lounge was large and spacious, leading one to believe that the actual bathroom would be somewhat similar.  That thought was wrong.

Today was not my favorite, but I have decided to retain my fledgling optimism so it sees another day.  I'm powering through this week with a one-two punch of Big Echo by the morning benders, and streaming the National's upcoming High Violet, which I am already addicted to.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

the morning benders @ music hall of williamsburg!

Great show Saturday night!  There was some sort of concert fairy godmother that put really short girls in the front row (by really short I mean some even shorter than me) - which really is how things should go more often (ahem tall people).  Second row, therefore, was like a dream.

The Luyas, from Canada (as they often noted), opened the show.  They were fun (and much hyped by the show's organizer, Brooklyn Vegan), and had some really interesting percussion.  Their lead singer had red Toms that matched her guitar, which was adorable.  Her personality toed the fine line between "adorably quirky" and "awkward rambling" but I think they came out on top overall.

Holiday Shores were the 2nd opener, with two substitute musicians from Twin Sister.  While I had never heard (of) them before, their energy was contagious and it was clear that they had some really hardcore fans in the audience who made things really fun.

The Morning Benders are amazing.  The show was fantastic, minus the fact that I was in front of the bass amp and the vocals were hard to hear at times.  Chris Chu is a really great frontman - conversational and responsive to the audience; charming without being remotely sleezy; energetic and overall really friendly.  He polled the audience for people from the bay area (after someone had yelled out San Francisco early on, and he responded with "...bay area" - they're from Berkeley), and people who were going to multiples of their NY shows this week (which sadly I am not).  They threw in "Damnit Anna" for their old school fans, and their new 7inch "Go Grab a Stranger" for the multi-show attendees.  I think what I loved the most was that even after selling out these 3 NY shows (and a bunch of others), they're still really personable and hang out at their own merch table after the show, allowing their fans an opportunity to talk to them and take pictures.


"All Day Day Light" (a personal favorite off Big Echo)

and, some pictures from the show:
(plus my 15-year-old-fangirl moment, in which I told Chris Chu that he's awesome)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

it's all Greek to me

Did you know that the keyboardist in Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros is also an actress on Greek?

Nora Kirkpatrick at Coachella (via Refinery29)

Yeah, I bet you didn't.  I'm pretty sure that if you drew a venn diagram of people who listen to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, vs people who watch shows on ABC Family, the overlap would barely exist.  But it does (shhh), and now you know, too.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I can't help thinking we grew up too fast

Just a small note to tell you all how much I'm enjoying this video.  The mood of this song is so swanky and cool as it starts out, as are the kids in this video:


the morning benders | MySpace Music Videos

Next Saturday I'm going to see them at Music Hall of Williamsburg and could not be more excited.  It will be a great end to a week that also includes going to two of the four Cubs v. Mets games at CitiField.  I am hardpressed to think of anything quite so excellent.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

rank and file

This weather is wacky. So is my census stuff. My body's ailments would not be out of place in July (hello small sunburn and bug bites! it's still APRIL!)  2010 just seems to be flying by (1 quarter over already??), and I've had to add album release dates to my Google Calendar just to keep up (hint: May is gonna be download cityyy).

But where do I stand now?

Frightened Rabbit - The Winter of Mixed Drinks
As a general point, I do think that the charming Scottish accents of Frightened Rabbit are well-suited to wintertime.  However, I don't understand why anyone would release an album in March named for the season that is ending. [/rant].  Ignoring any naming follies, I was highly anticipating this album and it has lived up to what I expected.  Despite song titles like "The Loneliness and the Scream" I actually find the album to be considerably more uplifting than Midnight Organ Fight.
  Favorite song: Nothing Like You

Hot Chip - One Life Stand
I've always had a thing for Hot Chip, with their (sometimes nonsensical) looping lyrics and strong beats.  From the moment that "Thieves in the Night" was leaked I knew that it was another winner.  I'm pretty baffled by the video for "I Feel Better," but while I can fall in love with a song because its video is awesome, it's harder to fall out of love.
Favorite song(s): "Thieves in the Night" (& "Slush")

 She & Him - Volume Two
I love how the charming lilt to Zooey Deschanel's speaking voice translates to her singing voice.  She and M. Ward and such and oddball pairing, but it works yet again on Volume Two.  While not the pinnacle of modern music, it has an old school charm that's difficult to hate, just like the singer herself.
Favorite Song - "Don't Look Back"

 Broken Bells - Broken Bells
I would love nothing more than to go back in time and stop Zach Braff from making The Shins synonymous with Garden State.  But, it's been a while since then, and it did launch them to new levels of popularity which probably led to James Mercer working with Danger Mouse so that now we have Broken Bells.  And I'm ok with that.  It still sounds fairly Shins-y in some spots (James Mercer's voice has that effect...), but it's like the cool cousin cometh. 
Favorite Song: "The Ghost Inside"
Other points!
* Two Door Cinema Club - everything I hear by these guys is excellent (including but not limited to the Passion Pit remix of Undercover Martyn Flexin' It) and I should look into it more but I've been busy/lazy/cheap.
* the morning benders - I'm going to their MHOW show in a few weeks (one of a gazillion shows they have scheduled in NYC), and I'm super psyched.  Look forward to my recap ;-)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

go on and fool me

Happy April Fools Day! I briefly considered making some announcement like: I'm moving to California! ...but that was just too sad to joke about.  Instead, I'll give you this:

and this: