PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.

The Morning Benders + Wild Nothing + Freelance Whales: 19 June 2010 - New York

Brian C Reilly

The show at Governors Island will be remembered by many as something that probably cannot be topped -- or at least not until the next Governor's Island show.

Converse, the American footwear manufacturer, first produced their flagship sneaker, the "All-Star", in 1917. Converse's attempt to capture the basketball shoe market. Now, 93 years later, the sneaker manufacturer is looking to capture the younger market and is doing so through music. "Gone to Governors" is a summer concert series held on Governors Island in New York City and features bands such as Neon Indian, Dr. Dog, Lucero and most recently the Morning Benders.

Logistically, having a concert on an island can be messy. Three thousand concert goers took advantage of the free concert and the incredible line-up and departed from three different locations (two locations in Manhattan and one location in Brooklyn). The island venue fully equipped with a sandy beer garden and picnic area, hit capacity an hour before the show had started.

Wild Nothing, originally a solo project turned "surfer rock" act with several supporting band members, came on and played to a crowd that was anxious for the show to start. With the sun still beating down on the island early in the evening, the band played a youthful brand of indie rock that was able to get the crowd ready for the next time and also able to stop time, only if it was just for a handful of songs.

Freelance Whales, a poppy folk rock band from Queens, then took the stage. The band was able to transform the concert atmosphere within the first minute of their first song. The sun was beginning to set over the New Jersey skyline as the band used non-conventional instruments (waterphone, glockenspiel, harmonium), gang vocals and textured layers of sound created by synthesizers to create very catchy and unique songs. The crowd seemed to be into Freelance Whales, singing along with some of the songs later in the set. The band was high energy and fun to watch, trading instruments and still being able to harmonize with one another.

The Morning Benders, California's finest low-fi and uber-nostalgic indie band, took the stage and played to a crowd of 3,000. Some fans stood at the edge of the stage, some sat at picnic tables underneath neon palm trees and others sat with loved ones in the sand on blankets. The band kicked off the set strong - Chris Chu, front man for the band, mentioned under his breathe that the next song they would be playing would be "Excuses" off of their new album, Big Echo - the crowd erupted. That type of energy was sustained throughout the band's set.

The show was then over and it was not even midnight. Concert goers and island dwellers now had to find a seat on the ferry back to the seaport. The show at Governors Island will be remembered by many as something that probably cannot be topped - or at least not until the next Governor's Island show.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.





The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.


British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.


Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.


​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.


The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.


Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.


How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.


Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.


CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.


Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.


While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.


Peter Frampton Asks "Do You Feel Like I Do?" in Rock-Solid Book on Storied Career

British rocker Peter Frampton grew up fast before reaching meteoric heights with Frampton Comes Alive! Now the 70-year-old Grammy-winning artist facing a degenerative muscle condition looks back on his life in his new memoir and this revealing interview.


Bishakh Som's 'Spellbound' Is an Innovative Take on the Graphic Memoir

Bishakh's Som's graphic memoir, Spellbound, serves as a reminder that trans memoirs need not hinge on transition narratives, or at least not on the ones we are used to seeing.


Gamblers' Michael McManus Discusses Religion, Addiction, and the Importance of Writing Open-Ended Songs

Seductively approachable, Gamblers' sunny sound masks the tragedy and despair that populate the band's debut album.


Peter Guralnick's 'Looking to Get Lost' Is an Ode to the Pleasures of Writing About Music

Peter Guralnick's homage to writing about music, 'Looking to Get Lost', shows how good music writing gets the music into the readers' head.


In Praise of the Artifice in George Cukor's 'Sylvia Scarlett'

George Cukor's gender-bending Sylvia Scarlett proposes a heroine who learns nothing from her cross-gendered ordeal.


The Cure: Ranking the Albums From 13 to 1

Just about every Cure album is worth picking up, and even those ranked lowest boast worthwhile moments. Here are their albums, spanning 29 years, presented from worst to best.


The 20 Best Episodes of 'Star Trek: The Original Series'

This is a timeless list of 20 thrilling Star Trek episodes that delight, excite, and entertain, all the while exploring the deepest aspects of the human condition and questioning our place in the universe.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.