NYC Popfest: The Hermit Crabs + Cats on Fire + More | Union Pool | 6.15.2008

Catsonfire_up
"So we played Mondo Party on Friday," said Cats on Fire's Mattias Björkas after their first song at Union Pool on Sunday. "And there's already a review on the internet. It was mostly positive."

Oh boy. I was pretty sure he was talking about this site.

Then, I was sure. He continued: "The person wrote…'The Finnish don't quite have the command of the English language their
Swedish neighbors do, and Björkas stage banter came off
stilted and a
cold." The audience erupted in laughter. Me, I felt flushed. I yelled out "It's much warmer today!" but I don't think he put it together that I was the guy who wrote that. Probably just as well. That was a first, getting quoted. If there's a next time, I hope it's about something positive.

And Björkas' stage banter was warmer on Sunday. The band was more relaxed — probably less jet-lagged from the long trip from Finland — it was a better show than at Don Hills on Friday night. The crowd ate it up like sugary cereal.

Popfest_unionpool_sched
The final event at NYC Popfest 2008 was a lot of fun, very chill, and way off schedule. Bands were supposed to start at 2PM but then the kickoff got pushed to 3PM. But they didn't actually start till maybe 3:30 and there eight acts on the bill.

It was all right though, despite it being monstrously hot and humid. Union Pool is a nice place to hang out, with a big outdoor area with a fair amount of shade. A barbecue was set up with The Besties manning the grill. And the performance room — which is really cute and actually perfect for Popfest — stayed nice and air conditioned.

The day's biggest discovery was Boston's One Happy Island, who had some really winning songs with lots of interesting instrumentation, including kazoo, glockenspiel and ukulele, which at one point was played a distortion pedal. (That was a first.) Three of the four members sang, though they'd do well to feature the lovely voice of drummer drummer Rebecca Mitchell.

MP3: One Happy Island – Temporary Tattoo

Other bands on the bill included the ukulele stylings of Dent May (who I'm guessing probably listens to Jens Lekman); twangy Boston indie rockers Hands and Knees; and the slightly fratty (but master of self-depricating stage banter) Steve Goldberg and the Arch Enemies.

The band I was actually looking forward to were Glasgow's The Hermit Crabs who are purveyors of the loveliest folk-pop in Scottland this side of Camera Obscura. Comparisons to that band abound, but The Hermit Crabs are a little more country, and a little more subdued. Maybe a bit too subdued after a long day in the hot sun drinking beer, which is totally not their fault. Singer Melanie Whittle seemed like the nicest person on the planet and performed with her shoes off. I'd love to see them again under cooler circumstances.

I shot video of The Hermit Crabs doing "Friends Folk Festival"…



MP3
: The Hermit Crabs – Friends Folk Festival

So ended my Popfest 2008. A few more pictures from Sunday after the jump…

One Happy Island
Onehappyisland

The Hermit Crabs
Hermitcrabs

Besties working the grill
Besties_bbq

Steve Goldberg and the Arch Enemies
Stevegoldberg

2 Comments

  1. "Oh boy. I was pretty sure he was talking about this site."
    Emmy@Pianos all over again. Squirm, motherfucker, squirm.

  2. My band's name in high school was Dogs on Fire. They must have been fans!

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