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Live Review: The Postelles and Fort Lean at U Street Music Hall, Washington DC – 23th March 2012

 
By on Thursday, 29th March 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

You might be able to chalk it up to the unseasonably mild weather we’ve been having in this so-called Washington ‘winter’. Or the fact that the show was on a Friday night. Make no mistake, the Postelles descended on Washington DC like gods from heaven and their show just further emphasised their loyal fanbase in the Nation’s Capital. I can scarcely believe that I first saw them as relative newbies to the scene in March 2010, opening for the where-are-they-now Portland band Hockey, and how far they’ve come in just 2 years. Touring with the Futureheads in the UK and then with the Wombats more recently on American soil last autumn, they’ve proved their worth as an engaging support act. But it’s headline gigs like this one at the U Street Music Hall – co-built by famed local DJ Will Eastman to have a monster sound system worthy of the best song spinners and with a cork-reinforced floor to lessen punters’ foot pain after hours and hours of dancing – where the New York band prove their mettle. I imagined I was in for quite a night when I arrived 30 minutes before showtime to the entire front of stage teeming with underage girls dressed in their clubbing best.

The opener was Fort Lean, who hail from that NYC borough that seems to be the place Where All Indie Bands Are Made These Days, Brooklyn. I don’t know if it was a purposeful gimmick, but their lead singer has whacked out, platinum blonde hair going all directions…and he’s male. I mean, he’s the kind of guy who would stop traffic on what’s on his head alone, described by Billboard as “a reverse mullet”. Make of that what you will. with the these days’ typical indie band line-up of guitars, bass, keyboards and drums, you’d be hard-pressed to distinguish them from most other bands.

They’ve released a 7”, rather appropriately titled ‘Sun Sick’, that was produced by Ayad Al Adhamy of Passion Pit (you remember them); listen to it below. Slower songs like ‘Dreams (Never Come True)’ seemed to go over with the underage, rabid Postelles fans who had shown up early to stake their spots down the front, but they shine brightest– when you’re not staring at the singer’s hair – on their upbeat, sunny numbers like ‘Beach Holiday’. Definitely one you’ll want to check out for this summer. They’re also guys who don’t take themselves too seriously. Take, for example, this comical exchange with a heckler:

Punter: Hey shirtless…’Freebird’!
Singer: I’m gonna fuck you up! ::laughter in club ensues::

I’ve gotten to the point where I’m not really sure what else can be said about the Postelles. I mean, they just keep getting bigger and bigger. I’ve seen them as a support band, I’ve seen them play tiny places like DC9 and Red Palace (twice), and now they’ve hit the big time with scoring a gig at the way cool U Street Music Hall. (As alluded to in this SXSW post, over the last couple months in a partnership with the folks that own 9:30 Club, U Street has been hosting indie bands like Fanfarlo, so the club is going beyond its original intention of hosting just dance acts and DJs. Which is great for us locals, because that opens up another potential venue to see indie bands.)

The band started off their set with ‘Sound the Alarms’, which I laughed a little at; when I was in Austin for SXSW, I heard this song come on in the background of a weight loss company tv advert in which people are ripping off their clothes in the middle of a stadium. There was no wardrobe malfunctions to be had at U Street, but you could just feel the amazing vibe, as people crammed in to see these guys from New York City tear it up.

The show was epitomised by the four-song encore: ‘Boy’s Best Friend’ always goes down a treat; new song ‘Sweet Water; and crazy versions of ‘Stella’ and ‘White Night’, in which Danny Balk grabbed girls’ hands and pulled them up onstage to dance along. You would have thought this was the most amazing thing to ever happen in their lives, judging from the wideness of their grins. It reminded me of the mayhem when I saw Friendly Fires in Brooklyn 3 years ago, except more orderly. But only slightly. Are stage invasions the way forward for Postelles shows? Quite possibly. Keep on trucking, guys. You’ve only just begun.

 

Live Gig Video: Go behind the scenes for the Postelles’ ‘Sound the Alarms’

 
By on Friday, 20th January 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

The fun guys in the Postelles have made a part behind the scenes / part performance video for their song ‘Sound the Alarms’, the last song to be added to their self-titled debut album released last year. Enjoy the video below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5aykWWiJjg[/youtube]

 

Live Gig Video: The Postelles play ‘123 Stop’ for ‘Honey I’m Home’ (The Wild Honey Pie)

 
By on Thursday, 1st December 2011 at 4:00 pm
 

New York City’s the Postelles performed a special version of ‘123 Stop’ for “the Wild Honey Pie‘s series ‘Honey I’m Home’. Watch the live session below. And one better, you can download this version of the song, along with another version of ‘Hey Little Sister’, directly after.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8JBEZ-AtQk[/youtube]

 

MP3 of the Day #442: The Postelles

 
By on Friday, 18th November 2011 at 10:00 am
 

Editor Mary may not be at home, but we’re still bringing you a bit o’ America to you this Friday. This is a special acoustic version of the Postelles‘ ‘White Night’ courtesy of the Nylon Magazine blog. (If you recall, Nylon was pretty cool 2 years ago when Mary went up to Boston to see a little band called Friendly Fires and their then-unknown in America support act the xx…read more here)

 

Live Review: The Wombats with Static Jacks and Postelles at 9:30 Club, Washington, DC – 21st October 2011

 
By on Monday, 24th October 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

Months ago when the Wombats autumn North American tour was announced, I was even more incredulous when I saw the entire bill for the second gig in DC as the 9:30 Club. The openers were to be the Static Jacks (who I’d seen open for Futureheads and Biffy Clyro last year) and one of my personal favourites, New York’s Postelles. So I already knew with three bands that I love playing on one night was going to be an event of epic proportions. I just didn’t know how big the Wombats were in Washington. The show wasn’t sold out, but I think a lot of curious people showed up last minute, because the venue felt rammed. The ratio was definitely in favour of screaming teenage girls, but it turned out that it worked in favour of the openers.

The Static Jacks were on first. I was sure few people there had heard of them and they would have their work cut out for them. This was the first time I’d seen them since they became signed with American indie label Fenway, where they are labelmates with Doves and the Cribs. It could have been part the great soundsystem at the 9:30 but they sounded so amazingly tight. Just brilliant. It was one of those moments where I felt proud to be a fan early on: to be able to see them progress. There’s no way but up, up and away for this band now. Sing-song ‘Blood Pressure’, a song about the very real angst of growing up, was the highlight of the set for me, though ‘Girl Parts’, with its punk sensibility, got everyone dancing along to singer Ian Devaney’s powerfully delivered vocals. After the show, teenage girls were clamouring to get photos and CDs of their new album ‘If You’re Young’ signed. That was a tearful moment.

The Postelles have a pretty large and vocal university kid-age following in DC, but on this night they probably gained a load more younger fans. After a blinding set from their New Jersey little brothers on this tour, they had to rise to the challenge of getting the crowd on their side. I shouldn’t have worried: the Postelles are consummate performers, singer Daniel Balk getting the whole audience involved with the final refrain ‘Hey Little Sister’, a song which was dedicated to me. (That was all kinds of awesome.) They previewed two new songs, one of which is called ‘Tidal Wave’ and fit perfectly alongside songs from their self-titled debut released this past summer.

And then came the Wombats. This was the first time they’d come to our town but it was obvious as I was waiting in the queue before doors that they had a lot of teenage fans. This was one night where I didn’t have to worry about beer on my shoes. I always wear earplugs to gigs but they were requisite this night, as girls screamed every time bassist/keyboardist Tord Øverland-Knudsen jumped around with his Fender. That man probably sweated off his body weight as he bounced across the stage. (I had an interview with Tord before the show, and the interview is coming soon to TGTF.) In comparison, Matthew “Murph” Murphy was more stoic, the words of songs so beloved to so many of the gig-goers crossing his lips to manic screams of delight. ‘Girls and Fast Cars’ and ‘Techno Fan’ went down superbly, kids pogo-ing as if their lives depended on it.

I should note that the 9:30 Club has a strict crowd surfing policy. Usually. So crowd surfing is unheard of here. After the 10th crowd surfer was carried above and over the barrier and then shooed back into the crowd, I stopped counting. Murph commented they’d never seen crowd surfers at an American show, so I think it’s safe to say that the Wombats are never going to forget this night in Washington. Ladies and gentlemen, I think I’ve found my best gig of 2011.

But the night was not over. Tord and drummer Dan spun tunes at nearby DC9 (where I explained to Tord I’d seen his countrymen Casiokids just the past Monday) and not only did they play some great tunes (M83, Blur, Rage Against the Machine, and Passion Pit, just to name a couple), writer Cheryl square-danced with Dan on the DC9 stage. You can’t make this stuff up, kids. Just a really good night out, the likes that are likely not to be repeated anytime soon.

After the cut: more photos and set lists.
Continue reading Live Review: The Wombats with Static Jacks and Postelles at 9:30 Club, Washington, DC – 21st October 2011

 

MP3(s) of the Day #365: The Postelles

 
By on Tuesday, 26th July 2011 at 10:00 am
 

Last week we alerted you to a free download of the Postelles‘ cover of the Smiths’ ‘Ask’. What we didn’t know was that they were going to offer up an entire EP of covers called ‘Summer Undercovers’ for free download, otherwise we would have clued you in to this bundle instead. It includes:

‘Ask’ (the Smiths Cover)

‘California Sun’ (Joe Jones Cover)

‘Whole Wide World’ (Wreckless Eric Cover)

‘Beat on the Brat’ (The Ramones Cover) – Recorded live at the Postelles’ album release show at the Mercury Lounge on the 8th of June 2011

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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