Polyphonic Swedes

Tim Delaughter, you now official have competition for title of Biggest, Happiest Band on the Planet. Flying in from Sweden, all 23 (that was my count, though they top out at 29 back in Jönköping) of them, I’m from Barcelona were a perfect choice for the Sunday Pool Parties, especially on a sunny, breezy, relatively-non-humid day like today. Their weapons of joy? Kazoos, glockenspiels, La La’s, Bah Bah’s, Doo Doo’s, dancing, hugging, arm waving, and a World Series Championship parade’s worth of confetti. And at at 30 minute set, not wearing out their welcome.

Like the ‘Spree, these Swedes are better experienced live when you can get taken by the moment (and the confetti) — I find their album, Let Me Introduce My Friends, a bit too Up With People for casual listening. (Though I like Jens Lekman and Suburban Kids with Biblical Names, both of whom are not unlike IFB in their incessant upbeat-ness.) But live, the band are pretty irresistible, even with all the hugging and one guy dressed in Team Zissou garb. Most of them were more crusty than you’re average Scandinavian indie band (though even the dirty hippies are better looking than your average American), but ecstatic with the love-in vibe, kind the musical version of Lukas Moodysson’s Together, at least the first half before the dream goes South.

Shockingly, as of this writing there are still tickets for Monday’s show at Southpaw — worth checking out just to see how they’re going to fit them all onto the stage.

MP3: I’m from Barcelona – Oversleeping


The real stars of the day, the reason for the insane lines to get in (in which there were a lot of delusional people standing), was headliners Blonde Redhead, who have somewhat quietly become one NYC’s most popular bands. When I say quietly, I mean that figuratively, as sonically they are somewhere between Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine, all the more impressive as they’re just a three-piece. I think they’ve just gotten better and better, and their latest, 23, is shoegazer perfection, especially the hypnotic title tracks. That was the highlight of their set too, with singer Kazu Makino going into a trancelike state with looped vocals that whirlpooled into the Pace brothers tremolo-heavy guitars and jazz-trained drumming. This is a band who are better at night, with a light show, and probably smoke machines, but it they were magnetic  at 6pm nonetheless.

MP3: Blonde Redhead – 23

It was a full day in the sun for me. Previous to McCarren Pool, I spent the day at the Red Hook Ballfields, where some first-timer friends and I hit nearly every food stall. The standouts, as usual, were the tacos de barbacoa at Perez Tacos, the hurraches de enchilada at Hernandez Hurraches, and the ceviche mixtos at Rojas Ceviche. Fatty Crab owner Zak Pellaccio and recent Top Chef expellee Lia Bardeen were among those enjoying the many delicious things available. Some pictures after the jump.


One Comment

  1. I have to disagree when you say that Jens Lekman is incessantly upbeat. I find many of his best songs to be melancholy, if not in their delivery than in their lyrics (and sometimes both as well). Good examples of this are "A Pocketful of Money", "Someone to Share My Life With" (yes I know it's a Television Personalities cover, but still) and "Another Sweet Summer's Night on Hammer Hill". Of course, this is balanced out by upbeat sounding stuff like "A Sweet Summer's Night on Hammer Hill", which may be what you're thinking of.
    Oh and we tried the food stalls at the Red Hook ball fields a few months back when we were in town. Delicious! And to think that they were thinking of evicting them! The nerve!

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