Music on the East River

Saturday was a great day for an outdoor show; the rains stayed away and the day wasn’t too hot. The bands, though, were like a house afire.

Tigers and Monkeys started the set, with songs inspired by blues and Southern rock. T&M, a project of singer Shonali Bhowmik, is currently touring with Ted Leo, Saturday’s headliner.

Next up, Brooklyn-based Sea Ray, a sort of wispy-rock combo with shades of The Polyphonic Spree, Belle and Sebastian, and Brit-pop bands like Travis. Sea Ray, however, blows the Coldplay types away by not being whiny navel-gazers. Jen loves ’em for their prog-rock tinkering with chord progressions.

After Sea Ray came The Natural History, a pop-punk trio out of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Ordinarily, I’d suspect Upper East Side “punks” as poseurs, but Natural History has chops.

Finishing the afternoon: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists (or Ted Leo/Rx or Ted Leo and the Pillbox Hats or whatever he’s calling his band these days). Leo and his band played a tight set, of Clash- and Jam-influenced punk-pop.

Leo is a rock hero in New York, playing a legendary South Street Seaport show during the blackout last August. When the power failed, Leo convinced the barrista inside a nearby Starbucks truck to loan Leo his generators. Leo and band plugged in and treated the crowd to a latte-powered jam.

All four bands have MP3s officially available, as all good bands should, so dig ’em out and have a listen. Jen has pictures from the day, here.

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3 thoughts on “Music on the East River

  1. Loved Sea Ray. LOVED. Them.

    And yes, their off-time riffs tickled the proggie inside me, but I loved their sound in general – very evocative of Ride and MBV and the beautiful noise they put out back in the day.

  2. Jen, have you discovered the Secret Machines yet? They might well tickle your inner proggie.

    (They are, however, a crap choice to listen to in the gym, as I’ve discovered. PJ Harvey works much better!)

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