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This Seattle Quartet Plays At The MoMA July 31, 2014.  (LEFT TO RIGHT: Lena, Shana, Alice, & Marian) Photo by Zoe Rain

The Seattle indie band La Luz is playing at the MoMA  this Thursday at 6:30pm  as part of the museum’s summer series MoMA Nights (doors at 5:30).  We will be posting  a feature on the history of MoMA Nights tomorrow, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you about the music that you can go see right now.

La Luz is a four-piece band that epitomizes dreamy summertime surf rock with modern bass lines, graceful vocal melodies, jangly keyboards, and  taut drumming.  They’ve received accolades for their witty, and charming live performances and are truly not to be missed.  Untapped Cities asked them a few questions about how the urban spaces they inhabit affect their music and what the cities of New York and Seattle mean to them.

How does your city/location influence your music?

Shana:  The constant drizzle that blankets the city for most of the year makes it easy to spend long hours inside noodling on the guitar.

What songs of yours best reflect your city and why?

Lena:  For me it’s You Can Never Know.  The slow intensity of it reminds me of a muggy Seattle summer day.

Shana:  It’s Alive, an ode to Seattle’s creeps.

Marian:  It’s Alive, because Shana and I shared eerie experiences in the same place at different times.  Seattle has its creepy moments.

Alice: Clear Night Sky.  I guess only because it’s my favorite.  And Seattle doesn’t have a clear night sky.  But I dance to that song in my living room a lot.

What songs of other artists you like best reflect your city and why?

Lena:  I’m a big fan of driving through the city at night, and I think Seattle has one of the most beautiful skylines with all of the bodies of water surrounding it to reflect the city lights.  I like listening to Washed Out in times like those.

Shana:  Nirvana 4ever.

Marian:  Seattle is a contender for being one of the prettiest cities ever.  But when it’s grey and dreary for 8 months, The Beach Boys’ In My Room is a pretty indicative song of how the general population is feeling.

Alice:  When I moved here, I’m pretty sure I drove in listening to Death Cab for Cutie.  I think Ben Gibbard has put his stamp on this town.

If your band designed a building or urban space, what would it be and what would you put in it?

Lena:  Is this a public space?  I suppose I would build something that has numerous reverberated rooms.  I would put voices and microphones in there.

Marian:  Lena, your building sounds kinda scary.  I haven’t spoken to the band about it, but my guess is that if we really went for it, our building would include a ping pong table, a room full of instruments and equipment, a fully realized ice cream shop, a bar, a taco stand, and a stage to play shows at.  To start.

Lena:  I take mine back. Marian, let’s build THAT!

Alice:  I guess we are taking this to be a room for US.  Which means there’d be a buffet of every kind of food desired.  Plus I request a giant nap room.  Like cotton candy pillows.  So much sleeping.

What’s an Untapped City Secret for your city? 

Shana:  There’s a really good Ethiopian Restaurant in a strip mall in Lake City called Enat.

Alice:  Seems like my favorite untapped places keep getting torn down….(ahem). I think it’s closing, but there’s a place on 45th in the U-district called The Moon Temple.  Some of my friends and I call it Johnnny’s because that’s the main bartenders name.  But it’s a great divey spot with stiff drinks, good Chinese food, and a jukebox.

 Marian:  My friend recently introduced me to a taco stand sitting in the parking lot of the Home Depot on Aurora and it’s divine.

What are your favorite places and things to do in NYC?    

 Lena: I like walking around Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Shana:  Happy Hour at the Cake Shop is nice.  The Museum of Natural History  The movie theater in Times Square with the giant golden hand on a smoking deck several stories up.  Cafe con leche and breakfast sandwiches from Brooklyn bodegas.

Alice:  I’m terrible with names, but I’ve had so much good food in NYC.  I ate at a delicious meatball restaurant in the Lower East Side.  And I just love Central Park.  All the time.  Always feels good.

Marian:  I recently was walking around Williamsburg looking for a bathroom and came across a mindblowingly beautiful restaurant called Juliette.  I basically ran out of the bathroom to tell my brother and friend to come inside to check it out, the place is a picture perfect oasis.  The roof of the Metropolitan on a sunny day is pretty great, too.  Oh, and I can’t forget about the corn at Cafe Habana.  I also dig any bar that doesn’t have outrageous drink prices.

Catch La Luz on their East Coast Tour

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