On a warm fall Sunday in Manhattan's East Village, 20 or so people gathered in a backyard to eat french toast grilled cheese and listen to two acoustic sets from up-and-coming acts -- Boy Without God (the surprise opener) and Lady Lamb the Beekeeper.
The event was part of a series called Backyard Brunch Sessions, which started last summer and just wrapped its second season. The series has showcased acts such as Givers, Pearl and the Beard, Oh Land and The Loom in previous sessions.
In the brunching audience were Jordan Frazes, publicity at Atlantic Records; Paul Dryden, project manager for ATO Records; Vanessa Wheeler, publicist with The Chamber Group; David Chaitt, distribution manager at Big Fuel and founder and producer of Backyard Brunch Sessions and blog editor at SoundCTRL; Arkadiy Kukarkin, lead back-end developer for The Hype Machine; and Eric Horn, creative director of West Egg Productions and director of Backyard Brunch Sessions.
Not surprisingly, the conversations revolved around the food, the locale's incredible duplex apartment in the East Village (owned by the absent Big Fuel's Associate Creative Director Michael Lander) and the upcoming acts.
Aly Spaltro (Lady Lamb the Beekeeper) spent much of the pre-show time in the kitchen, chatting with session founder David Chaitt while he prepared the food. But she stepped out to the backyard to catch Boy Without God's set before going on stage for her performance.
Spaltro let the crowd in on her thought process between her first and second songs, telling the audience that she had "smoker's brain" as she had just quit smoking and noticed her voice cracking on her first song. Many in the crowd chuckled, seeming to sympathize with her mindset about smoking and how it affects a performance.
CMJ was a hot topic of conversation during this session. Showcase dates for artists were swapped and plans were made to keep various people updated about shows going on and must-see artists.
There was also a bit of chatter about MTV's upcoming Online Music Awards, since two nominees for the same category were in attendance: Arkidy Kukarkin and this writer [Note: Billboard's Social Media Manager Katie Morse was nominated for the "Music's Hottest Nerd I'd Like To Friend" award].
Set list for Lady Lamb the Beekeeper:
Up in the rafters
Between two trees
Crane your neck