Ting Tings Rule the Pool, MGMT Not So Much

Despite the inclement weather at the beginning of the afternoon (thunder–check, lightening–check), an enormous line fully wrapped around McCarren Pool by 2:00pm today for the free Pool Party show starring the Ting Tings and Brooklyn-rock darlings, MGMT. It was pretty nuts.

Once inside, it was just as insane–a sea of umbrellas and ugly DELL freebie towels littered the crowd. Around 2:45, the audience burst into uproarious applause as the Ting Tings took the stage. The dynamic duo of Jules De Martino (drums, guitar, vocals) and Katie White (vocals, guitar, bass drum) blew through their set with such enormous energy, enthusiasm, and elegance, they were by far the best thing to take the stage the entire day.

Hit songs “That’s Not My Name” and “Shut Up and Let Me Go” (you know, that iPod commercial song) stirred the crowd into a delicious tizzy, with the later featuring an extended ending that allowed for three double dutch jump ropers to perform tricks as Katie White banged on a bass drum emblazoned with the band’s name.

This guy could not hold it in long enough…he had to V.I.Pee against the brick wall…immediately.

By the time MGMT hit the stage, the venue was at full capacity, with folks peering behind the gates around the side of the pool, trying to get a glimpse (and a listen) of the happenings inside. The sky had cleared up, and the umbrellas collapsed, and the ponchos were put away.

The concrete pool is always greener from the other side, ain’t it?

I’d been quite excited to see MGMT, after falling in love with their two big singles, “Electric Feel” and “Time to Pretend,” but after hearing a little bit about their weird backstory, I knew that this performance had the potential to be amazingly awesome, or amazingly horrible. Well, it was neither–but it was far from amazing. A bit mundane, with little to no surprises.
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Native Korean Rock Says “Ahoy” to Brooklyn, NY

Tonight I headed over to Union Pool in Williamsburg to catch the early show of Native Korean Rock and the Fishnets (aka- Karen O’s new side project).

The stage was set up like a kid’s school production of “South Pacific”, with a nautical extravaganza situated on the stage. A ship bow dead smack front and center, silver cellophane covering the floor, reflecting the blue and purple clear cellophane positioned by the monitors and drum kit–giving the impression of a dreamy sea. A foamy seascape hung as a backdrop.

When the band came out, they were all clad in white, with little sailor’s caps donning their heads. As the ship’s leader, Miss Karen was decked out in a checked button down shirt, black poofy skirt with pockets, and a captain’s hat with “Native Korean Rock” written in the band.

The subdued, 30-minute set was charming way to spend the evening. The songs were quiet, sweet, and whimsical–perfectly showcasing Karen O’s uncanny ability to sing songs with an intimate vulnerability that always rings true.

Here’s a video I took of the band performing part of “Day Go By,” by far the most “festive” song of the night. If NKR had an anthem, it would be this little ditty:

Although she was subdued in her stage mannerisms–mainly standing at the front of the stage, swaying back and forth with her eyes closed–Karen O broke out in an enthusiastic dance, and unleashed her familiar ear-to-ear grin during the song.

Before the encore, Karen declared, “I BELIEVE IN SUMMER LOVE!,” then launched into a song called “Indian Summer.”

No fellow YYYs sightings for the early show (but apparently were in the balcony for the late show), but frequent collaborator/personal costume designer Christian Joy was also on hand.
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