Beer Gardening: Real Estate played a release party at the Bohemian Hall Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens in honor of their new album “Days” which came out this week on Domino Records. They used only social media and the label’s website to advertise the event.
Since last Saturday (Oct. 15) afternoon was a gorgeous fall day, Retail Track decided to visit a local establishment for a beer, food, and people watching at the Bohemian Hall Beer Garden, in Astoria, in the New York City borough of Queens–and inadvertently stumbled into the release party for Real Estate‘s second album, “Days,” due out from Domino Records the following Tuesday, Oct. 18. To celebrate the release, Real Estate played a surprise performance at the Beer Garden’s band shell, using only social media and the label’s website to advertise the event. Yet, the Beer Garden was rewarded with overflowing business, something that used to happen daily, but is a not-so-common occurrence since the Studio Square beer garden opened at the other end of the neighborhood.
In another fortuitous move, the empty picnic table Retail Track chose to sit at was soon occupied with three other people, two from the Seattle music industry. In yet a third good turn of fortune, former Seattle native, Pat Riley a Domino Records North American sales director, happened to come by and recognized two of the others at the table, Michael Stephens, the membership manager for the Pacific Northwest Chapter of The Recording Academy, and Josh Ayala, a video game graphic designer and Riley’s former coworker at Sub Pop. In short order, Riley (whose wife Jackie McCarthy is a former Billboard copy editor), Ayala and Stephens, were soon regaling Retail Track with stories about the early days of the Seattle grunge scene, including Riley’s claim that he saw the first Nirvana show, a claim later amended to the band’s “first show in Seattle.” The conversation, alas, was about six weeks too late for Billboard’s grunge issue.
While Real Estate was supposed to play at four that afternoon, they came on late, yet still managed to play during the “day” part of Saturday, as was their intent in honor of the name of the new album. They turned in a 75-(or so)-minute set, which was well received by the Real Estate faithful, even if the Beer Garden’s sound system was a little muddled.
Afterwards, the band came out to chat with their label and distribution staff about the event.
Real Estate Conglomerate: Back Row from left: Ryan Gies, Alternative Distribution Alliance, Real Estate band members Jonah Mauer, Martin Courtney, Matt Mondanile, Jackson Pollis and Alex Bleeker, and the band’s lawyer, Matthew T. Kaplan, Esq. Front row, from left: Domino Record staffers Pat Riley, licensing coordinator Ashley LaFond, communications manager Mona Dehghan.