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January 2014

Teen Girl Scientist Monthly Heats Up Mercury Lounge

by Jordan Teicher

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Unapologetically fun and fearlessly indie, Teen Girl Scientist Monthly launched its new album, We Run with Gangs, at Mercury Lounge on Monday night, bringing a refreshing jolt of youthful energy to the freezing cold Lower East Side. With songs that evoke summer days, adorable romances, and totally epic indie adventures, the Brooklyn-based sextet play the sort of indie pop that, in other hands, might seem over the top. But with Teen Girl Scientist Monthly, you never get the sense that they're anything less than genuine.

On Monday, their love for pop was palpable—Morgan Lynch was a dynamic leader on vocals, moving gracefully and naturally as she sang; Matt Berger, likewise, was a force on guitar and vocals. Only once, on "Deborah," was the line between child-like earnestness and cloyingness nearly breached. With lyrics like "Sugar in the sunshine! Rockets in the night sky! Never ever gonna go home again!" the song pushed cutesiness to its limit.

But just when you think things have gotten too twee, the band surprises you with its range and depth. A few songs later they played "These Days," a hummable tune with a simple but powerful lyric about growing up and managing expectations."Well everybody's telling me what I gotta be these days / Not sayin' that they hold me down / Just thinking that I hear that sound," Melissa Lusk sang before the song crescendoed to a repeated chant of "It's all right!"—a sort of anthem for the 20-something crowd getting its act together (or not).

The set ended with "Summer Skin," the runaway single from the band's first album, Modern Dances. With its driving beat and joyful chorus, it was a reminder of all the sun-soaked fun that, even in the depths of winter, actually didn't seem so far away.

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More pics after the jump.

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Carnegie Hall Announces 2014-15 Season

Carnegie Hall 2014-15 Season Announcement

What can I say? I'm a sucker for a free lunch.

Continuing the parade of performing arts institutions eager to trot out their offerings to members of the scribbling class, Carnegie Hall announced its 2014–15 season today in their posh Rohatyn Room. Mind you, I still don't know what I'm doing next month, much less next year, but this was a well organized, thoughtful presentation by Carnegie's charming and eloquent majordomo, Clive Gillinson, now entering his 10th season as Executive and Artistic Director. 

Since Clive's arrival in 2005, Carnegie has hosted one major festival each year, and next year's "UBUNTU: Music and Arts of South Africa" promises to be the most ambitious to date. Dedicated to the late Nelson Mandela, the three-week festival (October 10–November 5) will encompass popular and indigenous music, dance, theater, film, and the visual arts. Among those scheduled to appear are Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Abdullah Ibrahim, and Hugh Masekela, along with a wide variety of artists never before seen in New York.

Opening the season will be the Berlin Philharmonic, who will perform four concerts at Carnegie—including the opening-night gala with Perspectives artist Anne-Sophie Mutter. In an unprecedented display of cooperation with Lincoln Center, the Berliners will also appear on the White Light Festival for two performances Peter Sellars' acclaimed production of Bach's St. Matthew Passion at the Park Avenue Armory.

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FREE TICKETS: Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

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NOTE: This contest has ended.

Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra come to Carnegie Hall this Monday at 8:00 p.m. for an electrifying program of Smetana and Dvořák, as well as Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 3 with Romanian virtuoso Radu Lupu.

Catch the show with a pair of free tickets, courtesy of FoM! (Five winners will be chosen.)

For your chance to win:

1. Email [email protected]    -OR-

2. Tweet #FreeTickets @philaorchestra @feastofmusic (and don't forget to follow us!)   -OR-

3. Head to our Facebook page and COMMENT on our giveaway post! Note: "Likes" on their own will not be considered valid entries.