We had a few contributors out and about Brooklyn this weekend. Each one will spend some time showing and telling about their experiences. Today we check in with Michelle Geslani.
6/24 - Jen Lyon and Ruth Heronemus present: "Crush" @ Public Assembly
Mixing some Afro-pop and sweet harmonies, Dinosaur Feathers's contagious and danceable music quickly won over the local crowd. It also didn't hurt that the trio were all smiles and engaged with the audience in the form of charming stage banter. While the bassist re-tuned, the rest of the band offered advice (in response to a woman asking why God hates people, they answered with a laugh, "God doesn't hate you, he just loves irony.") and funny anecdotes regarding their electronic drum kit which sat inside a suitcase. The band's frontman Greg Sullo was like a Mexican jumping bean, hopping and popping all over the stage while singing and swinging his guitar. They played an impressive set of songs from their latest album Fantasy Memorial
6/25 - Myopenbar and Tammy Hart present an 826NYC Benefit @ COCO 66
Brad Oberhofer (whose group goes under just the moniker "Oberhofer") is a fresh faced indie-rock troubadour for our times. The 19-year-old New Yorker, dark curly hair bouncing like that of a Jonas Brother, wore a multi-colored button down shirt featuring Aztec-like patterns and hippie-esque technicolor blends; it hung loosely off his thin build and it swayed about him cooly. His music, much like his clothing, has an air of chilling honesty, as though he's let every hidden secret, every tender thought hang out for all to see. Songs like the saddening, yet catchy "Away FRM U," show Oberhofer at his best. Although its structure is simple (power chords and sing-a-long chorus), it's the meat of the song the oomph in how it's sung and what it's about that's moving and relatable. While the seemingly never-ending angst of youth is apparent, at the end of the day he sings and laments loss, separation and distance. And who doesn't have a little bit of that stuff in their lives?
Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche is not your typical troubled and brooding guy with a guitar. He's quite the opposite. The artist, who's most famously known for his latest (and excellent) album Heartbeat Radio as well as for composing the musical sore of the film Dan in Real Life (with Steve Carrell), has such a personable and friendly glow to him.
His eyes were exhilarated, yet tender, as he looked out into the crowd of mostly swooning women, and his face bore a wide and boyish grin every five minutes or so. His songs, most of which barely resemble anything close to a whiskey-swilling angry ballad, are upbeat, lighthearted and recall poetic anecdotes and love stories.
Each are also so intricately woven together; complex chords, jazzy arrangements and a voice that soars beautifully at high octaves and croons delicately during slowed down intimate moments. His fingers must take a serious beating, as he is a beast on both the electric and acoustic guitar strumming down hard like there's no tomorrow, fingers whizzing up and down in a dizzying blur.
Lerche was also a charming and gracious host, constantly showing his appreciation of the crowd, introducing and explaining songs, discussing new material that he's been working on, modestly poking jokes at himself, and even offering to play a Michael Jackson cover (he didn't, but he did insert some of Jackson's vocal stylings into his own tunes to the amusement of the audience). He said that he's vowed to cut down on his stage banter, but has found it difficult to do so, often completely losing track of time. But it's hard to wag a finger at him or dare ask him to stop talking or singing (or smiling); he is as talented and genuinely sincere as they come. -michelle geslani