The Morning Benders @ Webster Hall, NYC – November 18, 2010

The Morning Benders are a band I first encountered at The Market Place Hotel (R.I.P.) in Brooklyn supporting Surfer Blood (also that evening playing alongside bands such as Grooms, Turbo Fruits, and Beach Fossils) and I’ll admit at first I wasn’t impressed, but there was a certain charm their stage presence put out that has stuck with me. The band not only seemed incredibly young but ripe for the journey most aspiring musicians cannot even comprehend, fast forward to where we are today, the bands sophomore record Big Echo is destined to make many top 10 list, they have already supported Ra Ra Riot, White Rabbits, MGMT, Yeasayer, and The Black Keys, and after all of that the band have set out on their first headlining tour. Not bad for the four little guys who played Market Hotel earlier this year.

The bands performance really surprised me. Its unbelievable how much a band can change in the span of a year but The Morning Benders make it a feat to show that they’ve been doing nothing but learning. Chris Chu fronts the band with a relaxed talent but isn’t afraid to get into his tunes, while his brother Jon Chu backs him up with a rhythm guitar which could be named precision. After the third track Chris Chu proclaimed “Earlier this year we released an album called Big Echo! We’re going to play a lot of tracks from it to thank all of you for the year we had!” I was lucky enough to capture their show at Webster Hall (along with photos of opening act Twin Sister).

Photos from the show can be viewed here.

Wintersleep Release New Video, Tour Dates

Fresh off their US tour with The Hold Steady, Halifax rockers Wintersleep have released a video for their single “Preservation” off their fourth album, New Interiors. The band is currently on tour through November with Ra Ra Riot, before hitting the road with The Hold Steady again, this time through the UK.

Dates with Ra Ra Riot

Wed-Nov-17 Calgary, AB MacEwan Hall
Thu-Nov-18 Edmonton, AB The Starlite Room
Fri-Nov-19 Saskatoon, SK Louis’ Pub
Sat-Nov-20 Winnipeg, MB The Garric

Pepper Rabbit Hops All Over the Left Coast

Is it ever a bad time to be a band based in Los Angeles? Not if you’re the LA based duo, Pepper Rabbit. On the heels of their debut, Beauregard, released October 26th, Pepper Rabbit’s Xander Singh and Luc Laurent are garnering praises from fellow Angelinos, Local Natives, and press raves across the country from FILTER, WNYC, and Seattle’s KEXP.

Gearing up for fall concert dates with Freelance Whales, Passion Pit and coming in early 2011, two shows with Ra Ra Riot, Pepper Rabbit kicks off the tour with a show at The Echo in Los Angeles on November 18th. Their live show delivers a variety of instrumentation unique to Pepper Rabbit’s sound—expect ukele, synths, clarinet and those unmistakable rhythms. Catch their latest track, “Babette!” here.

Tour Dates:

11/18/10 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echo
11/19/10 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Shop ^#
11/23/10 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile ^#
11/24/10 – Vancouver, BC @ The Biltmore
11/29/10 – Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre *
11/30/10 – Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre *
12/1/10 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom *
12/3/10 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium *
12/4/10 – Pomona, CA @ Fox Theatre *
12/5/10 – San Diego, CA @ Soma *
12/7/10 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium *
12/9/10 – Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues *
1/22/10 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s %
1/25/10 – Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall %
^ w/ Freelance Whales
# w/ Miniature Tigers
* w/ Passion Pit
% w/ Ra Ra Riot

New York City’s Weekly Show Round Up


Klaxons, Baby Monster @ Bowery Ballroom

Emily Wells @ City Winery

Sea Wolf, Sera Cahoone, Patrick Park @ Knitting Factory Brooklyn

Sleigh Bells @ Studio at Webster Hall


Ra Ra Riot @ Bowery Ballroom

Pavement @ Central Park Rumsey Playfield

Jenny and Johnny, Love as Laughter @ Maxwell’s

Wavves, Christmas Island, The Babies @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Thee Oh Sees, Sex Beet, Happy Birthday, Fergus & Geronimo @ Santo’s Party House


Ra Ra Riot, Lower Dens @ Bowery Ballroom

Pavement @ Central Park Rumsey Playfield

Emily Wells, Shipa Ray @ City Winery

Spacehog @ Maxwell’s

Klaxons, Baby Monsters @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

French Horn Rebellion, Savoir Adore, Mighty Five @ The Woods

Caribou, Emeralds @ Webster Hall


The Boxer Rebellion, Amusement Parks on Fire, Augustines @ Bowery Ballroom

Pavement @ Central Park Rumsey Playfield

Tera Melos, Anamanaguchi, Pterodactyl, Fiasco @ Death by Audio

Field Music, Motel Motel @ Littlefield

Ra Ra Riot, North Highlands, We Barbarians @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Simian Mobile Disco (DJ Set) @ Santo’s Party House

LCD Soundsystem, Sleigh Bells @ The Wellmont Theatre

These Are Powers, Gatekeeper @ Union Pool


Gordon Voidwell @ BAM Cafe

David Bazan, The Mynabirds@ Brooklyn Bowl

Pavement @ Central Park Rumsey Playfield

The Acorn, Basia Bulat @ Littlefield

Bettie Serveert, The Art of Shooting @ Maxwell’s

Electric Six, Fall On Your Sword, Fake Problems @ Maxwell’s

Ra Ra Riot, Anamanaguchi @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Japanther, This Runs on Blood, Math the Band @ Shea Stadium

Stars, Wild Nothing @ Terminal 5

The National, Owen Pallett @ The Wellmont Theatre

Kiss Kiss Makes Us Fall in Love

Kiss Kiss display a remarkable talent for blending experimental pop and avant-garde indie-rock. It’s an explosion of sound! Today, we catch up with singer and guitarist Josh Benash.

Modern Mystery: Which do you enjoy more, recording in the studio or playing live?

Josh: I love both. In the studio I really enjoy piecing together sounds, experimenting with timbre and instrumentation, live I enjoy releasing pent up energy in a giant gesture of communal catharsis. Both are so very different its hard to choose. So I am going to say both, disregarding the question and the purpose of an answer.

Your live set is “INTENSE” on stage. When you guys record trax in the studio, do you try and replicate that?

Josh: Yes. We are very energy conscious in the studio. Our music itself is intense and heavy. If we went into the studio and half assed it that lack of energy would translate. So when performing in the studio we treat it, and more accurately, feel it, like we are playing it live.

Unlike alot of other bands who mimic other music, you guys have such a cool sound. How did you find it?

Josh: Honestly our sound was an accident. A lot of bands try to be different and it comes off as disingenuous. We really never viewed ourselves as being different until we were constantly told so. I think what did it was the vast amount of music we all listen too, from Modern Classical to Country, to Noise Rock, Motown, and various world musics. We all have been absorbing so music that the pool of influence we take from is just very large.

Josh, on stage you sing, play guitars and play keyboards. What is the most fun for you?

Josh: I love to sing, and I prefer to play guitar despite the fact that I am on keyboards for 80% of every set. With guitar I feel more mobile and able to fuck things up. I’ve always liked to ride our pyrotechnics through the audience and jump off right before it obliterates the back wall.

You’re band has “roots” to the music scene at SUNY Purchase in NY. What’s your thoughts on Dan Deacon and other alumni musicans that have come out of there?

Josh: Man I feel envious. Dan and I had a master class together for years. I know so many people from my years at SUNY that have blown up. Granted I love them all and they are all doing great things, but damn it so are we!

You guys have been on tour and also been to SXSW… What are some bands that you guys have shared bills with recently we should know about? Who’s blowing up?

Josh: Well our favorite tours have been with bands like Murder By Death, The Dear Hunter, 3, Doctor Manhattan, Kristeenyoung, Gay Blades and Capillary Action. We also got to open for The Pogues, Ra Ra Riot, The Ataris, and many more. Whose blowing who? I’m not sure.

How long have you guys known each other? Do you guys hang out with each other when you’re not tour or recording?

Josh: Jared and I have been playing together for 10 years now. Which is insane to think about. Mike has been with us for 5, Rebecca 4, and James 6 months. We do hang out, although after months in a bus together a short break and time with girlfriends and boyfriends is vital.

You guys have such a fun Youtube channel where you vlog about tour stuff…do you plan on keep on making tour videos’?

Josh: Yeah, I’m working on one right now where I swallow a sword and then Mike Swallows me.

Speaking of video’s, your friend Lindsey just made a great NEW video for your song “All They Draw”… did you guys come up with the concept or did you let her have fun with it?

Josh: That was all her. She came to me with the idea after I wrote the absolutely retarded script for Innocent Part 1. I loved her vision and as a film maker we all completely trusted her, and she did a fantastic job. Really Really great video.

What are some of the things that influences your music and writing?…doesn’t have to be music.

Josh: I’d say the apprehension and discontentment we all have of our day jobs. That and heart ache, anger, feeling shit on and the cosmic desire to constantly create. You know, the usual.

Any news or tour plans for your fans…?

Josh: Well we just finished a national tour, we did a massive 8 weeker from coast to coast. So right now its back to work, replenishing funds and what not, we hope to start making a new album, and if a good tour pops up we are on it like a fly on doody. Thanks for the interview guys!
XOXO – Josh

by Joe Madonna

Siren Music Festival Celebrates 10 Years, Announces Lineup

Coney Island’s best, biggest, and only festival is celebrating 10 years at the iconic location. The Siren Music Festival is set to take place on July 17th in everyone’s favorite summer hot stop. The festival, which is in it’s 10th year, is starting to announce a few bands that are slated to play this year. Amongst the performers announced so far are Surfer Blood, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Matt and Kim, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and Harlem. More bands are to be released soon, but the lineup so far looks pretty amazing to us.

The festival is FREE as it is every year, and it’s always packed, so you better make sure you plan to get there early. Siren Music Festival has been booking the coolest acts since the beginning. Past performers include the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Peaches, Modest Mouse, !!!, TV on the Radio, Death Cab for Cutie, Spoon, Brendan Benson, VHS or Beta, Tapes ‘N Tapes, We Are Scientists, Dr. Dog, White Rabbits, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Ra Ra Riot, Islands, Beach House, and Bear Hands just to name a few.

Who knows what additions will be made to the lineup this year.