On any given night, there are about a million and one things to do in NYC. Usually the pressure to choose gets to be too much and you find yourself bunkered down at someone's apartment, playing competitive Rock Band and drinking a $3 beer from the corner store. But other nights present a clear path to a well-rounded event like the one that took place at Littlefield in Brooklyn on Saturday.
The BUST-sponsored event was part of the second leg of Jessica Hopper's book tour for her 'how-to' opus, The Girl's Guide To Rocking. Coming all the way from Chicago in a Honda (which was later broken into that very night, sadly), Jessica brought along some musical accompaniment in the form of bands These Are Powers, Ghost Bees, MNDR, and Katie Stelmanis. There was also a feminist craft bazaar there with various tables selling baked goods and oddities, and a BBQ up by the bar area which pretty much just looked like a frying pan on a hot plate.
After allowing time for everyone to mingle and get settled, Jessica started off the night by giving a reading from her book on the venue's main stage. Prior to the reading, she had to slip some green tights on under her dress, as she feared that the stage lights would cause the sheerness of the fabric to make the reading a little more intimate than she would like. She read a few passages dealing with touring, how to find the perfect band mate, and how she was told as a youngster that she couldn't possibly play bass because she was a girl and her hands were too small.
Following Jessica's reading, Ghost Bees played a quick set while sitting Indian-style at the front of the stage. Ghost Bees are from Canada and is dually fronted by twin sisters Romy and Sari Lightman. Their voices, both separate as well as combined, are spooky and pretty at the same time. They sang mostly about bogs and haunted spider webs and stuff like that- the audience was into it. After their set, MNDR (aka Amanda Warner) played some bass heavy booty jams that had everyone up on their feet and doing that awkward electronica dance. From afar, the dancers in their height of bliss looked similar to the Peanuts kids doing their dance segments in a Charlie Brown holiday cartoon.
A few hours into the evening, while contemplating whether or not I should buy a brownie from the feminist bazaar before they sold out, a cute girl with short hair walked by my friend and I and said, 'Come watch us, we're gonna play now.' We followed her back to the stage area and five minutes later were both having emotional moments and having our minds collectively blown by the sheer wonderment of Katie Stelmanis. Katie Stelmanis is a band, fronted by Katie Stelmanis (makes sense, right?) and they sound like roller-skating at God's birthday party. Katie sings with such skill and beauty that I at one time found it hard to believe that the noises she was making were coming from an actual human being. Katie Stelmanis is from Canada as well, and is backed by Thom Gill on guitar and Maya Postepski on drums. Maya for sure holds her own in the band as a jaw dropping, crush-inspiring drummer. I'm also pretty sure, having seen her up close later on, that she has adult braces, which is super cool.
I didn't stick around for These Are Powers, but I'm sure they were amazing because everyone loves them.