Modern Mystery Holiday Party Part Four

In this edition of our holiday party, we have a few of our Modern Mystery favorites entering the party. The lovely and charming boys of The Spinto Band, and the wonderful Ben Trokan from Robbers on High Street. Nothing says the holidays like great indie bands sharing some of their cheer with us. Enjoy reading!

Robbers on High Street @ Bell House, CMJ 2009 by ModernMystery. //  
Ben Trokan- Robbers on High Street

King Khan and the Shrines – What Is?
Death – For the Whole World to See
Reigning Sound – Love and Curses
Yura Yura Teikoku – Hollow Me/Beautiful
Chocolate Watch Band – The Inner Mystique
Budos Band 12″ EP
Life on Earth! – A Space Water Loop
PW and The Ghost Gloves Cat Wing Joy Boys EP
The Breakaways – Walking Out on Love
The Soft Pack 12″ EP

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year

I went to India.  Yeah, fucking India!

What do you love about the holidays?

Jingle All The Way.  “Put that cookie down!”

The Spinto Band Year End List

top 11 records:

Generationals- Con Law
Alvin Band- Mantis Preying
Mos Def – The Ecstatic
Neko Case- Middle Cyclone
MF Doom – Born Like This
Cryptacize – Mythomania
Sw!ms- Itemlord
Franklin Bruno: Local Currency: Solo 1992 – 1998
Drug Rug: Paint The Fence Invisible
Half-handed Cloud – Cut Me Down and Count The Rings
Nellie Mckay – Normal as Blueberry Pie

Crazy thing:
One wild thing that occurred was we found a chicken coop in Delaware and built a recording studio inside it.  The construction and decorating has taken up much of the year for us, but as always a close second to crazy things that happened this year would be discovering new places and playing rock music inside those places.  We hit up a bunch of new cities where we have never been and met a bunch of new people who we can now call friends.

Holiday faves:

Eggnog availability and acceptability. 
Christmas lights getting more and more elaborate.  Big ups to LEDs

Tom Hughes-The Spinto Band

Top 10 in Alphabetical Order:

Alvin Band: Mantis Preying
Broadcast and the Focus Group: Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age
Franklin Bruno: Local Currency: Solo 1992 – 1998
Circulatory System: Signal Morning
Cryptacize: Mythomania
Drug Rug: Paint The Fence Invisible
Generationals: Con Law
Half-handed Cloud: Cut Me Down and Count The Rings
Nellie Mckay: Normal as Blueberry Pie
The Sw!ms: Itemlord

Craziest Thing(s) That Happened To Me This Year:

1. We set up our own recording studio which has been a decade long dream come true.
2. Our tour of Europe at the beginning of this year was the best tour we’ve ever done. The most incredible crowds, sights, food and overall experiences I’ve had in a long time.

Favorite Thing About the Holidays:

The smell of fireplaces, both during and the morning after when it’s soaked into your sweater.


Sufjan Stevens @ Bowery Ballroom, New York – October 5, 2009

Going into the Sufjan Stevens show last night, I must admit I didn’t know what to expect. Having heard great things about his live set, the bar was set pretty high for him. This was his second date in New York as there are two sold out nights in Williamsburg to follow. The show opened with Asthmatic Kitty labelmates, Cryptacize who were a pleasant surprise. Singer Nedelle Torrisi has a soft angelic voice that’s not afraid to mix dark with poppy. The band seemed well recieved by the crowd.

Then, it was Sufjan time. No matter how big this guy gets, he still comes on stage to set up his own equipment. Fans in the front of the stage were sneaking pictures of him getting ready with smiles on their faces. With a band of over ten people it’s amazing how they even fit onto the Bowery stage.

Stevens greeted the crowd and launched into the set with banjo in hand. The setlist was mostly a cross between new songs and Come on Feel the Illinoise which made for a stellar lineup. Seeing Stevens play live is every bit as amazing as hearing his records. He sings with little effort because it comes so natural to him. The backup singers who included Nedelle from Cryptacize sounded heavenly behind the mixture of trumpets and assorted wind instruments that appeared throughout the night.

One thing I learned about Sufjan last night is that he is a bit of a joker. He said he is ‘”not very good talking onstage,” before he announced a string of songs, giggling “this one’s by Sufjan Stevens!” A lot of the new songs that he played last night strayed away from his orchestral sound that we’ve come to know and love. The new tracks with titles like “Impossible Soul” and “There is Too Much Love in Here,” are a bit electronic based but not in a cheesey way that feels forced. Somehow these songs still fit in with the likes of his banjo/acoustic songs like “Casimir Pulaski Day” which was one of the highlights of the night. Another surprise Sufjan had up his sleeves was the track “The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts,” which they hadn’t played it in so long that he admittedly had to write out the words to keep onstage. Stevens and the band played it flawlessly though, just like the other songs in the set. The show closed with a short encore: a low key version of “Chicago” and the earlier mentioned new tune “There is Too Much Love in Here,” as Sufjan stated that the encore had to end ‘just right and louder.’ It did just that.

Photos by Ivy Weir

Check out MORE Photos of Sufjan’s Show AFTER THE JUMP