The Morning Benders w/ Holiday Shores, The Luyas @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY – 4/24/2010


Excitement was in the air on Saturday night as boys in tailored jackets and girls in summer dresses and leggings flocked to the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The second of three sold out shows in one week, and their only non 21+ event, The Morning Benders, and new Brooklyn residents, were ready to take the stage in full force.

Opening the night was the Canadian band, The Luyas. This band the night could have done without. The singer’s voice was not always pleasant sounding, even though I’m certain she was trying to make it sound ‘pretty.’ Nothing amazing stood out about this group, and it was obvious. If they hadn’t played, The Morning Benders could have done a longer set, and that my friends, would have been radtacular. I wouldn’t go out of my way to see this band because, well, they made me sleepy on so many levels.

Next up was Holiday Shores, who were extremely impressive live. The band was missing a few members that night and took on a couple of the guys from Twin Sister for the set. You couldn’t even tell they weren’t part of the band because they were DEAD ON. Originating from Florida (Is it becoming the new Brooklyn, Surfer Blood?), the guys made it up to New York for a one night only set. Nice. The crowd was into it, mouthing the words and dancing around. Things were really getting started.

Around 11pm The Morning Benders finally took the stage. Opening with the spacey number “Stiches,” off of their new record Big Echo (+1 Music/Roughtrade), the audience was howling. “You don’t know me by name,” echoed from singer Chris Chu’s voice. It was at that point chills went down my spine and I knew we were all in for a treat tonight.

The crowd seemed intent on every word, every guitar hum, every cymbal crash that the band had to offer. What we were witnessing is one of the greatest acts to have come out in the past ten years. Their harmonies are reminiscent of early Beach Boys records and even more prominent live than on their records.

“We’re going to play you our new album tonight, Big Echo,” said Chu and fans were noticably ecstatic to be experience nearly every single song.

I’m not sure if I could say there was a ‘standout’ tune of the night, because nearly everything stood out. When it came time to play their second single “Promises,” everyone was singing along. When the band promised us they’d play songs we can dance to, they started it off with “Cold War (Nice Clean Fight)” one of the most incredible and fun songs to hear live.

Throughout the show, only one old song was played, which was a slower version of “Damnit Anna.” No one seemed to mind it though and it fit in perfectly. They also played a new track called “Go Grab a Stranger,” which was amazing beyond words.

It’s amazing to me to see this band that I saw play a Puma Instore two years ago when CMJ took place (and they weren’t part of the festival), completely grown. The store wasn’t even full, and John Norris from MTV was sitting on the floor watching the band. Flash forward to today where The Morning Benders are one of the hottest indie bands around and their newest release is produced by Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear? Talk about coming along way.

Amongst some personal song highlights of the night were “All Day Day Light,” “Pleasure Sighs,” “Hand Me Downs,” and of course, “Excuses.” For this song, Chu came into the crowd and sung to a few audience members as he roamed around the front portion of the floor. He really knows how to work a crowd, and you can see he enjoys every moment of it. So does the fans. There was no encore, and Chu told the crowd that the band would be in the lobby after the show to greet and talk to fans.

This is what makes me love music. This is what makes me love The Morning Benders.

CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM THE SHOW HERE

Watch two videos from The Morning Benders show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg

“All Day Day Light”

“Hand Me Downs”

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Miniature Tigers w/ The Grates, The Stationary Set @ Knitting Factory – Brooklyn, NY – 4/21/2010

With the spring breeze in the air on an early night in Willimsburg, Brooklyn last Wednesday, fans packed the Knitting Factory to see the Miniature Tigers play their first show EVER in the BK area. Four of the nicest guys took time out to greet friends and fans that they passed throughout the night.

Hitting the stage first was The Stationary Set. The room was already starting to get packed for this indie buzz band. Trading instruments like something you would see at a Sloan show, and seperate precussion that you would experience while seeing Pavement, were both driven throughout. Lead singer (most of the time at least), Andrew Lutes, has one of the most poppiest voices I’ve heard in a long time. Though these boys may be on a small label they certainly have a big label sound and potential. I can only imagine we will be hearing more about The Stationary Set in the coming months.

The next to take the stage was Australia’s own, The Grates. The quintet led by charasmatic and energenic front woman, Patience Hodgson, literally blew the crowd away (even down to her golden chucks). What we were in for, and I’m sure no one was aware, was a 45 minute set of pump-your-fist-dance-your-ass-off music. If you didn’t look like you were having fun Hodgson got in your face and made sure that you did. And who could resist? The Grates play amazing indie pop tunes with a dab of Gwen Stefani style. Heading into the crowd several times, she really won the whole crowd over, leaving a once skeptical audience wanting more.

Around 10pm, the Miniature Tigers took the stage with big grins on their faces. Rick Schaier’s signature moustache is noticably gone, and I couldn’t help but think of the fresh faced CMJ newcomers I had originally met in 2008 and interviewed in a diner. It’s amazing how far they’ve come since their first New York City trip.

Most of the night was filled with upcoming material from their second record, Fortress (ModernArt) that is due to be released this summer. Produced by musician/friend/tourmate Chris Chu of The Morning Benders, you can really feel how the group has crafted their songs further from the early versions they have been playing recently on their last couple of tours.

New tracks like “There’s a Japanese Woman in My Closet,” and “Bullfighter Jackets,” were amazing to hear live on stage and really started to give the audience a glimpse of what the new album is going to sound like. Singer Charlie Brand’s voice is more brilliant in tone than ever. For a few songs, the band switched it up a bit as Schaier
took to the keyboard and synths and guitarist Algernon Quashie went behind the drums. Though I am not sure of the title, Rick took the lead vocals on one track that was very un-Mini T’s like but it was incredible nonetheless how it switched things up.

Brand also came out from behind the guitar and went mic-stand solo for a track as well. The band has become quite popular with fans and fellow musicians alike as there was some giggling high school girls in the corner, and you could see Tim Or of The Morning Benders and Christian Rudder of Bishop Allen watching the show from the center of the crowded room.

Everytime I see the Miniature Tigers they get better and better. I’m not sure how it’s possibly but they manage to pull it off flawlessly every single time. Watch out for Fortress this summer, and the band will most certainly be on tour thereafter. Be sure to check them out when they pass by your fortress!

FOR MORE SHOW PICS CLICK HERE

The Morning Benders Release New Video for “Promises”


The Morning Benders are back at it again with the second video off their new record Big Echo (Plus One/Roughtrade), with the song “Promises.” This is the first music video by the band that doesn’t feature themselves, it’s also their most theatrical.

The video chronicles two young Bonnie and Clyde like characters…and by young we mean about eight to ten years old. They get into abnormal trouble for children their age and somehow get involved with drinking, smoking, triple x shows, bank robbery (under the name Morning Benders), cat throwing, gun toting, hostages, and ultimate death and suicide. It’s a bit heavy for video by The Morning Benders, but it is also hands down, their best yet. Who knew they had it in them?

Also if you’re in the New York City area, be sure to catch The Morning Benders at the end of their tour. The band will be playing tomorrow (Saturday) night at The Music Hall of Williamsburg and again this coming Wednesday to a Sold Out crowd at Mercury Lounge.

Secondhand Sunday: The Morning Benders “Waiting For a War”


What better way to start Spring off then with some old school Morning Benders. There’s nothing we can really say about this song from the poppy (former) Californians, but it’s ohhhhh so good. This week’s edition of Secondhand Sunday is their track for “Waiting For a War.” Get ready to start dancing around your apartement. Yea, the Morning Benders just make you want to do that, don’t they?

Listen to the New Single “Excuses” by The Morning Benders!


Earlier this we showed you the new video by The Morning Benders, called “Excuses,” off of their upcoming record, Big Echo (Roughtrade) due out March 9th. Today the band put up on their website the new song to download. The studio version of the track is even more beautiful than the one in the video. The Morning Benders have always been a great band, and it’s nice to see they are finally gaining some recognition. Stream “Excuses” on Modern Mystery below!

Morning Benders Excuses by melissa-2

The Morning Benders Release Friend Filled Video for “Excuses”

The Morning Benders have certainly come up in the world. You don’t have to search hard on Modern Mystery to find out that we’ve loved this band since day one. I personally recall listening to the band for the first time when one of their first videos for “Waiting for a War,” came onto the scene from their debut album Talking Through Tin Cans (+1 Music) in 2008. For most people, the guys have been a bit off the radar until recently. Now they seem to be exploding everywhere we look.  Their newest record titled Big Echo (Rough Trade) will be out on March 9th and is produced by no other than Grizzly Bear’s own Chris Taylor.

The Morning Benders just put out an amazing performance video of their new song ” Excuses,” which singer Chris Chu performed at CMJ during his very intimate Lit Lounge performance with a bunch of very talented teenagers. In the video for “Excuses”  the band was joined with the help of various people and friends (spot Chris from Girls? or the sensational John Vanderslice?) along with the Echo Chamber Orchestra. The Morning Benders are about to become your new favorite band, if they aren’t already. Check out the video and tour dates below including shows with Surfer Blood and The Miniature Tigers!

The Morning Benders on Tour 
02/25 – New York, New York @ Housing Works (Hype Machine CD Swap)
02/27 – Brooklyn, New York @ Market Hotel #
03/10 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania @ Johnny Brendas
03/11 – Washington DC @ Black Cat
03/12 – Chapel Hill, North Carolina @ Local 506
03/13 – Atlanta, Georgia @ Drunken Unicorn
03/15 – Birmingham, Alabama @ The Bottletree
03/17 – Austin, Texas (SXSW)
03/23 – Phoenix, Arizona @ Rhythm Room
03/25 – Los Angeles, California @ The Troubador
03/26 – San Diego, California @ The Casbah
03/27 – Costa Mesa, California @ Detroit Bar
03/28 – Santa Barbara, California @ Muddy Waters
03/30 – San Francisco, California @ The Independent
04/01 – Portland, Oregon @ Holocene
04/02 – Seattle, Washington @ Crocodile Cafe
04/03 – Vancouver, British Columbia @ Media Club
04/05 – Provo, Utah @ Club Velour
04/07 – Denver, Colorado @ Hi-Dive
04/09 – Des Moines, Iowa @ The Vaudeville Mews
04/10 – Ames, Iowa @ The Maintenance Shop
04/11 – Rock Island, Illinois @ Huckleberry’s Pizza (Daytrotter Presents)
04/12 – Chicago, Illinois @ Schubas
04/14 – Toronto, Ontario @ The Drake Hotel
04/15 – Montreal, Quebec @ La Sala Rossa
04/16 – Winooski, Vermont @ The Monkey House
04/17 – Boston, Massachusetts @ TT The Bear’s
04/22 – New York, New York @ Mercury Lounge

# w/ Surfer Blood