The endlessly enjoyable “At the Farm” frantic, sprawling and more epic than ever live. Excuse me while I gather my brains from the Bowery Ballroom’s floor.


Formerly known as The Morning Benders, Pop Etc’s Mixtape is to The Morning Benders’ previous discography what Discovery’s Discovery was to Vampire Weekend’s and Ra Ra Riot’s older albums. A simpler way of saying that is Mixtape is an electro-pop left turn for this formerly jangly, rock band. The vocal effects on Chris Chu’s voice offer some highlights and there are some neat arrangements, but all in all, this collection of songs pales in comparison to 2010’s Big Echo.

Why Pop Etc, you ask? Being the nice fellows they apparently are, the band changed their name upon hearing “Bender” is a gay slur in parts of Europe. Stream it below:

I fear Monday mornings. The pain that awakens me at 7:15 on the first day of the work week is a feeling that I dread, and physically begin to anticipate come Sunday afternoon. But I have devised a new remedial strategy to end this misery. I have decided I will awaken 15 minutes earlier than usual on these tragic mornings, take an extra-long, extra-hot shower, and afterwards have time to do something that creates a happiness of sort within myself, before I head off for the soon-to-be suffocating L, pile into a little box on wheels with hundreds of other little workers, and stroll on over to Broadway, where I get to spend the best five minutes of my day, arising at the top of a metro stair with an ever-too-quickly five minutes to breath that crisp 8 a.m. oxygen as I walk the dividing line of Manhattan, a few kind tunes in my ear and a blissful morning light that carries me down to 9th street…to a much larger box where I devote the rest of my morning, afternoon, and a portion of my evening, five days a week.

If you hadn’t guessed already, this morning’s treat was a couple of Classic NKOTB music videos, paired with a few sleepy dance moves to get the blood flowing on what made out to be the most beautiful day of spring New York has seen this year.

These videos are for you B. May they bring a light to your many late nights at the office.