Saturday, May 2, 2009

On the Band That Made Fort Nightly, Which Is About How Often I've Been Updating Recently

The baffling picture above this was taken by my friend Lauren at NYU's Strawberry Fest. Instead of having some form of a spring weekend like a lot of schools, NYU instead holds an event every year that has us celebrating... well, umm, strawberries.

Maybe us hipsters should count our blessings. My friends at Penn State got a performance from Asher Roth. Coincidentally, my friends from Penn State generally enjoy college, drinking, women, and college. On second thought, it was a perfect fit.

Anyway, for the past 25 years or so, NYU has picked out a spring day, sectioned off a block or so, closed it off from traffic, and relentlessly force-fed unsuspecting students with several tons of strawberries. It's an experience, if only to check out/devour "NYC's Largest Strawberry Shortcake."

For the first time this year, however, they decided to have a concert with it, and booked five bands to play. Besides the obvious missed opportunity to call the performance Strawberry Jam and try to get Animal Collective, the idea was a great one. The headliner was a band called White Rabbits, and I was excited about it, but it certainly seemed like a lot of people either were upset about it, or simply didn't care at all.

On to the bands. I arrived in the middle of the fourth band's set, which is a shame, because apparently it was a surprisingly solid lineup. The other bands were Motel Motel, We Are The Arm, Golden Triangle, and Teengirl Fantasy. I don't really know much about any of them, and I could only find Teengirl Fantasy on Playlist (the song's not bad; it sounds a lot like recent Animal Collective without any kind of yelping vocals... or any vocals at all).

As for White Rabbits? I kind of feel bad for the five of them (and their more recent, kind-of superfluous sixth). The stage set up in the middle of Strawberry Fest seemed like an afterthought to the majority of people who were passing through, even though they (and apparently everyone else) put on a good show. They played a lot of songs promoting their soon-to be released It's Frightening, and a few from their first.

I'm a big fan of that first album, 2007's Fort Nightly. It got a lot of comparisons to Spoon, and probably rightfully so: They sound like Spoon (if Britt Daniel was less into smoking pot), they toured with Spoon, and the lead singer/piano player looks a little bit like the lead singer of Spoon if you squint. However, with their second album, they took what can only be described as a somewhat misguided attempt to try and distance themselves from Spoon... by hiring the lead singer of Spoon to produce.

Sorry for saying Spoon so many times, but it's coming a couple more.

Here's the crazy thing: it kind of worked. That second album sounds less like Spoon. Coincidentally, though it's good, it's not as good as a Spoon album.

In direct contradiction to any math you've ever been taught, this means: Spoon+Spoon < Spoon. Of course, I'm not a math major.

(Apologies. That last set was to be annoying.)

In unrelated news, this week should be interesting, and despite the fact that I have finals, I should probably be updating again. Monday at midnight, I'm finally going to be taking advantage of the fact that the Roots are stationed in New York City when I see them at their residency at the Highline Ballroom. Tuesday, TDoFS-favorite St. Vincent is doing a performance inside of the Virgin Megastore.

Aaaaanyway, here are some pictures, and below them, enclosed in the playlist are some White Rabbits songs from the old album, as well as one from the new one, the Teengirl Fantasy track I found, and the song "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane, which has no relation to the band, but is great nevertheless. Hopefully, you guys enjoy them, because I feel as though White Rabbits deserved better than to lose to fruit (albeit a delicious one).

The guy in the polo is the aforementioned super-superfluous sixth. He spent the majority of the show just drumming on one tom.

Britt from Spoon, vs...

Stephen from White Rabbits. You be the judge.

Finally, one of the many distractions going on during the set. Troublesome that people gravitated more to our mangy bobcat.


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