By Ariana Hwang
Normally I wouldn’t be sitting inside some lofty bar waiting for an indie band to play a set. Some girl furrowed her brow and asked me who was playing because she had expected jazz from what she’s been told before. Streets of Laredo— I typed it onto her phone because there was a loud mix of songs and conversations going on around us from people sitting at small round tables, each with individual bottle service.
Inside, Gramercy Park Hotel’s Rose bar, the high wooden ceiling room looked like a rustic castle. Throughout the night, I sipped on my free glass of water and watched Streets of Laredo perform below a curious looking medicine cabinet (an interesting art piece for a place like this). They were a Brooklyn-based quintet hailing from New Zealand and to my prior knowledge, I knew there was a married couple in the band (Dave and SarahJane) and that the singer and drummer, Dan and Dave, were brothers.
One highlight from the night might have been the trumpet playing (Andrew McGovern), because there was one point the trumpet was programmed to sound like a harmonica, and the solos were just epic. Combined with impressive drumming, tambourine shaking, and raspy vocals, the music sounded like a grand mesh of ska, funk, electronic, and folk. And so then, it made me reflect on the conversation I had with Dave over the experimentation of modern music using more technology.
Miss anything from Auckland?
Retreat from Brooklyn to Auckland to record?
Collaboration during shows?
Song inspiring the band name?
Playing with wife and brother?
Pros/Cons working with family?
Experimentation in songwriting process?
Respect to art/artist?
Your modern sound—where from?
Pros/Cons of using Tape Loops over instruments?
Modern music using technology too much?
Song written on a napkin?
Streets of Laredo Spotify Session?
Breaks helpful to musicians in the creative process?