What better way to end the week then kicking back and watching some of our favorite new music videos? This week’s edition includes some of the coolest up and comers in indie rock…Surfer Blood, Deerhunter, The Morning Benders, Frankie Rose and the Outs and Twin Shadow. Watch them HERE! You’ll be glad that you did. Trust us.
The Morning Benders have recently added a slew of more tour dates to their ever growing schedule. The band already announced a few months ago their plans to play a number of dates, but now the tour has expanded all the way to next year. The Morning Benders’ newest release, Big Echo (+1/Roughtrade), which came out earlier this year, has been a turning point in the band’s career. The shows will feature the group as headliners as they travel through the United States, Europe and Australia. Take a look at the tour dates below. If you miss out on these shows you should reconsider your love of music.
The Morning Benders Tour Dates:
09-11 Berlin, Germany – Berlin Festival
09-12 Heidelberg, Germany – Karlstorbanhof
09-13 Cologne, Germany – Luxor
09-14 Utrecht, Belgium – Tivoli de Helling
09-16 Aarhus, Denmark – Vox Hall
09-17 Stockholm, Sweden – Debaser
09-18 Gothenburg, Sweden – Pustervik
09-19 Oslo, Norway – John Dee
09-21 Haldern, Germany – Haldern Bar
09-22 Dresden, Germany – Beatpol
09-26 Winterthur, Switzerland – Sazhaus
09-27 Eindhoven, Netherlands – Effenaar
09-28 Brussels, Belgium – AB
09-29 Paris, France – Nouveau Casino
09-30 London, England – Borderline
10-09 Dallas, TX – Kessler Theater
10-10 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
10-12 Tempe, AZ – Clubhouse Music Venue
10-13 Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up Tavern
10-14 Los Angeles, CA – Music Box
10-15 Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theatre
10-16 San Francisco, CA – Fillmore
10-18 Seattle, WA – Neumo’s
10-19 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
10-20 Vancouver, British Columbia – Venue
10-22 Boise, ID – Neurolux
10-23 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
10-25 Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
10-28 Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater
10-29 Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall Ballroom
10-31 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
11-02 Newport, KY – Historic Southgate House
11-03 Columbus, OH – Basement
11-05 Toronto, Ontario – Mod Club Theatre
11-06 Montreal, Quebec – Cabaret du Mile End
11-07 South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground Showcase Lounge
11-09 Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
11-10 Northampton, MA – Iron Horse Music Hall
11-11 Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church
11-12 Washington, DC – Black Cat
11-18 New York, NY – Webster Hall
12-30 Hobart, Australia – Falls Festival
12-31 Lorne, Australia – Falls Festival
01-02 Busselton, Australia – Southbound Festival
01-06 Brisbane, Australia – Sunset Sounds Festival
Why did it take me so long to review this album? Well I was too busy enjoying it, that’s why.
The Morning Benders have taken a new approach on their sophomore record, Big Echo (+1/Roughtrade). With producer and Grizzly Bear cohort Chris Taylor in tow, the band went into the studio last year to record an album that has finally launched their career into the spotlight.
While their first record Talking Through Tin Cans (+1) brought out the sweet, sugary, indie pop side of the band, this time they are headed in a different direction. This is indeed four guys who have grown up drastically since the last time they went into the studio. The songs show a more mature side of the group and it seems natural and effortless.
The album opens up with the first two singles, “Excuses,” and “Promises.” Both are only the beginning of what is to come on this record. If you were lucky enough to catch singer Chris Chu’s solo performance at CMJ 2009, you were able to see some of these songs including a special teenaged filled background vocal performance of “Excuses.”
“Wet Cement,” brings a bit of the first record in with it. It’s a very mellow and adorable song to say the least. One thing that stands out even more on this album is Chu’s voice. It is dreamy, smooth and flawless. This is more often than not hard to find these days. It’s as if his voice has the capability to bring you back into the 60’s. One of my personal favorite tunes on the record is “Cold War (Nice Clean Fight),” which clocks in under the two minute mark. This is a stomp your feet, clap your hands along song with it’s infectious beat.
“Pleasure Sighs,” “Hand Me Downs,” and “Mason Jar,” bring out a more experimental sound in the band. A little pyschadelic if you will, which the band has never really hit on before. Though somehow it fits and they manage to pull it off. You can really see Taylor’s influence in these songs.
“All Day Day Light,” contains a bit of an 80’s meets 60’s vibe to it. Take that for a leap of decades, right? It flows perfectly and trust me, it will not be leaving your head anytime soon. This is one to put on repeat. The album ends with the breezy “Stitches,” and “Sleeping In,” which appears to draw influences from the Beach Boys in the most flattering way.
Big Echo has launched The Morning Benders from small time indie band to full time buzz band. There is bound to be a lot more where that comes from so be on the lookout. If you haven’t checked out this record yet, do not hesitate. It has the makings to be an indie classic.
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”
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