A Month of Music

Admittedly, Brooklyn According to Jana has been rather quiet lately. Summer in the city is in full swing, and I’ve spent most of June enjoying a month of music among other exciting things (wink!).

Living in NYC has spoiled me in certain ways. I have access to some of the world’s best entertainment at little more than a train ride away. One of the problems with having access to all of this entertainment is finding out about it too late. Such is the story when it comes to my favorite bands playing shows here.

At some point in May I decided I wasn’t going to miss out any longer. I spent a good two days scouring the blogs, searching tour dates for some of my current fave bands on Facebook and checking out the extensive show list on The Bowery Presents. Suddenly, I had show after show lined up. Here’s a snapshot of the bands I saw last month:

  • Governors Ball at Randall’s Island: I snagged a free ticket to Governors Ball thanks to my job. COVERGIRL recently launched a program called Own the Weekend, which highlights summer makeup and fashion trends each week based on a theme. As part of this initiative, I was tasked with trendspotting at this awesome 3-day festival with a photographer. Unfortunately, mother nature wasn’t too kind, and it poured non-stop all day Friday, the very day I was scheduled to attend. Ian (the photog) and I braved the weather and managed to capture some cool trends regardless. Despite the rain and ultra-muddy conditions, it was a successful trip. We heard Swear & Shake (my third time!) and saw Bear Mountain and The Knocks but left before some of the sets that I really wanted to see like Beach House.
  • The Secret History at Glasslands: Laura, an awesome girl with whom I used to work and also share similar musical tastes, invited me to her husband’s band’s record release party, and there’s nothing I love more than to support local bands, especially my friends’ bands. Glasslands is a super cool Williamsburg venue; one that’s within walking distance from my apartment. A little side note: the last time I was at Glasslands, I dropped my brand new iPhone 5 in the toilet and had to spring for a new one (thank you Apple Care for saving me!) so I was pleased to see they have since renovated the bathrooms. We all got dancey, and our pic ended up on the Brooklyn Vegan blog the next day. (OMG I’ve officially made it!)
  • Cruiser at Mercury Lounge: I  love exploring, and shows that enable me to check out a new venue are a-OK in my book. My friend Jon is in a fun dream-pop, surf rock indie band from Philadelphia, and I’ve seen them play in both NYC and Philly a handful of times now. It’s been fun seeing the band progress and play new venues. It’s always extra special running into friends I haven’t seen in awhile.
  • The Walkmen at Northside Festival: On a very hot and sticky Saturday afternoon, I met some friends at McCarren Park to see The Walkmen for free. There are few things better in life than a free show! Not only that, but we all got free create-your-own artisan ice cream sandwiches featuring alcohol-infused ice cream (yum!) courtesy of SOSH. I was truly surprised by the small crowd, but it could have had something to do with it being Father’s Day weekend.
  • CHVRCHES at Webster Hall: Every now and then I’ll do a solo show. This was one such show. A former crush introduced me to CHVRCHES, an electropop group from Glasgow, and I’ve been hooked on their sound ever since. Lauren Mayberry’s dreamy voice was SPOT ON. I’m not even kidding. I was in awe not only because she’s adorable, but because their set was an enticing sneak peek into their much-anticipated forthcoming album. In the meantime, I wish they’d release more songs on Spotify. The only thing that annoyed me about the show was they turned on bright yellow-y, blinding lights after each song to talk to the crowd. I kind of just wished they’d sing a few songs one after another and then address the audience. Oh, and Still Corners opened, which was a treat. Tessa Murray’s incredible sparkly blazer was a show-stopper.
  • Austra at Music Hall of Williamsburg: I can’t remember the exact moment I first heard Austra, but Katie Stelmanis’ voice simply gave me chills. I was truly enraptured. I was in awe hearing her sing live. The band just released “Olympia,” which I’ve been listening to on repeat since I first heard it on NPR a few days before the drop.

Phew! It’s been a busy month. I’m always seeking new music suggestions, so feel free to leave them in the comments section. Also, Spotify Premium was hands-down the best decision I’ve made this year. Thanks, Dad, for the awesome birthday gift!

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