Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Islands, Man Man, Sun Airway and Michael Cera!

Posted by xneverwherex on January 30, 2011

Mister Heavenly
Sun Airway
Little Shalimar
Bowery Ballroom
1/16/10

Close your eyes. You can hear it around you – stars sparkling, a night that makes noise. It envelopes you – takes you somewhere. The only clue you have that youre not dreaming is your standing in front of a stage at Bowery Ballroom. The soft haunting vocals evoke a dream-like state. Everytime I hear Sun Airway – that is the feeling that overcomes me. Im not quite here, I’m floating off somewhere.

And then their music becomes a bit more pop-sounding – at times evoking Chris Martin (Coldplay) vocals and a big sound. Its only fitting that the wall behind them shows images of lights swirling, different colors, adding to the space-y feeling.

By now Ive seen Sun Airway quite a few times. Im barely able to count the times on one hand as they seem to be popping up everywhere in New York. Its not a complaint – I cant get enough of them and theyre the draw for a bunch of other bands – that I might not check out.

When they opened for Mister Heavenly – one of those new “super bands” – I saw their name on the bill and of course it was a much easier yes. Mister Heavenly surprisingly works quite well with Honus Honus of Man Man, Nick Thorburn of Montreal’s Islands and Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse. Theyve also recently added Michael Cera on bass. Yeah – one and the same – the actor who plays bass in Nick and Nora’s Infinite Wedding and the even more likeable Scott Pilgrim vs The World.

The band sounded excellent. Nick was quite talkative telling stories about being at airports, some anecdote about Chili’s and it being chilly, something about street corners in NYC (or maybe Brooklyn), etc. He seemed at ease and having a great time. He had amazing chemistry with Honus Honus who the crowd was going nuts for. I cant figure out if it was his birthday or not – but there was a bottle of Maker’s Mark on the stage and he was drinking it up and sharing with the band members. The 2 guys alternated on vocals and each sounded great. Having not been familiar with their music, aside for one or two songs, it was all a surprise for me.

I did know that Michael Cera might be making an appearance, but that wasnt even a certainty. He plays with a certain aloofness, never quite interacting with the audience and for the most part playing with his back to us. Nick tried to bring him out, leaning against him, playing their guitars facing each other. Either way – its Michael Cera and hes pretty damn cool.

Their music is very catchy and very pop-friendly. They’ve described their music as ‘doom wop’ which is oh so fitting. With lots of doo-wops of the 60’s sounds but lyrics about doomed love songs – theyre creating their own niche. Ill be expecting for them to blow up sometime very soon (regardless of if Mr Cera plays with the band).

Pics coming soon.

Setlist:
Mister Heavenly
I am Hologram
Hold My Hand
Harm You
Reggae Pie
Charlyne
Diddy Eyes
Hybrid
Pineapple Girl
Bronx Sniper
Yer Girl
Doom Wop
Wise Men
-Encore-
Tumbling
Bad Men

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