Tag Archives: Stanton Street

Mind The Gap While Shopping for Groceries

31 Aug
Mind the Gap; Downtown Los Angeles, CA (Chinatown)
Quick update on my power situation…there is still no power in my house! We are going three days strong and the playful novelty of living like those during the pre-electricity days has started to wear thin. It is rapidly being replaced by vexation and anger. Okay, maybe not. I think everyone in my house is taking it well, but, there comes a point when enough is enough. This is that point. Anyway, before I do not have access to power or cable for the rest of the night, I must bring you needed content. And boy do I have a good post for you today folks. Not good because of my witty writing, but instead good because of the artist being featured. But, the writing, it isn’t too bad. Just kidding. Do not let my fake arrogance get in the way of the extreme humbleness and talent of Mind the Gap.
Mind the Gap may sound familiar to some readers. Back in July, I profiled the Los Angeles foursome and concluded that, “Mind The Gap stands true to their band objective. They are skillful mashers of acoustic instrumentation and electronic sounds. They are definitely a band to follow.” Click here if you want to read the original post.
On August 20, I put Mind the Gap up against the ultimate band test…a live show. This is where some bands shine and some fall off as uninspired imitators. Yes, you can learn a lot about a band through their studio releases, but true character can only be encountered in person. Think of it this way. Imagine you meet a guy/girl on Match.com. The person seems to be exactly your type. He/she shines with pulchritude. They like dogs. They listen to that music that you love. He/she is the one. Well, then you meet for dinner and he/she shares these interests, but is a total snob or bore. It happens. But I can assure you, Mind the Gap aced the test.
On the 20th, Rebecca, my girlfriend, and I journeyed to Arlene’s Grocery on the lower east side of Manhattan (Stanton Street), a funky, variegated former Puerto Rican bodega, turned bar in 1995. Since then, bands like Guster and R.E.M. have played at the venue. Mind The Gap took the stage at nine to a strong crowd of buzzed NYC hipsters, thirsty noctivagants and Mind the Gap fans (myself included). The 10-song set-list flew by so quickly it almost seemed that one could have missed the concert. And, I don’t mean this as a bad thing. This only happens if the band’s performance envelops listeners in such unbridled enjoyment.
The tight performance was fun for both the crowd and the performers. The band performed with an emotional urgency juxtaposed with, however seemingly contradictory, a laid-back Los Angeles summer afternoon at the beach coolness. The sultry vocals of Greg Cahn were spot on all night and it was refreshing to hear that his exciting album vocal range equalled his live chops. Ozzy Doniz effectively kept  rhythm with keeness. Ruwanga Samath infused modern beats into the band’s indie/pop melodies, something I enjoyed a lot in my initial review. And, Alex Yang’s lead guitar was spot-on throughout the night.
As for best performances, I was swayed by my favorites.
“Smile Back at You” can be an indie hit on mainstream radio stations today. I say this because it combines the popular lazy day rhythm with an exceptional catchy chorus, infectious harmonies and intriguing key work.
Though, I believe my favorite song was the concert’s sober conclusion “Remember When.” There is an innate beauty in this song’s picked rhythm and lyric. Cahn nailed the vocals. He sang the song like it was his last ever. And, this is so exceptionally important for any singer to do. Such passion can be emitted from one’s voice and Cahn is knowledgable of this information and he takes advantage of his voice. The song can be heard here:
Interested in seeing Mind the Gap? Check out their concert schedule by following this link. Currently, they have a show planned in Los Angeles in September and one back in NYC for CMJ in October.
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