Secret Garden Video Series

Mini music documentaries by Hooves on the Turf.

Sunnyside drizzle with TEEN

NYC-based Teen have been playing together for about a year now. They’re fronted by Teeny Lieberson, formerly of Here We Go Magic; who’s teamed up with her sisters, Katherine and Lizzie, and two other female musicians, Jane and Maia, to form an all-girl harmonizing powerhouse. I met them in Sunnyside, Queens, to film a few songs; featured here are: “Why Why Why”, “Come Back”, “Charlie” and “In Limbo”. They have some songs up on bandcamp, and you can keep in touch via Facebook.

photo: sarahana

secret garden video series November 28, 2011

Saturday Morning with Nurses

Met up with Portland trio Nurses for some morning voice over iced-tea, and the piano at Piano’s (!). They played stripped-down versions of some songs from their new album Dracula (while someone diligent cleaned the crap out of that place); included here are “New Feelings” and “Trying to Reach You”. Sounds pretty good…

Revival Times: a Secret Garden short

A long time ago, before I went on an indefinite hiatus, I visited Revival Times at an incredible residential space in Bushwick, Brooklyn, converted from an old school gym. Here’s a song off what I filmed then (2 and a half years later!): a more laid back version of “Ear to the Ground”.

ps. I wrote the date the European way. It was filmed March 1st.

Bedroom songs with Brazos

Brazos is Martin Crane. They’ve got a full-length from 2009 (Phosphorescent Blues) and two EPs, that I know of, from 2007 (Feeding Frenzy and A City Just As Tall).

The 18-minute video, filmed in Bushwick, Brooklyn, features five songs, three of which are new.

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Motel Motel's super secret garden in Staten Island

The day before filming, Timo Sullivan from Motel Motel told me that the Staten Island beach he wanted to takes us to was the same distance as Coney Island. That was entirely untrue. It was a while to get there. But it was the most fun we’ve ever had making a Secret Garden video, and his super secret spot was so worth the trip that I made sure he dropped a pin on my google map before we parted. To this day I only know it by this pin as the Motel Motel beach.


(Photo by Sahara)

Included in the video are stripped-down versions of four songs: “Harlem”, “Cowboy”, “Forest” and “Coffee”. Drummer Jeremy Duvall, owing to a day job, was absent.

Chasing the wind with The Tallest Man on Earth

Here it is: a four-song edition of a Secret Garden mini-movie with Sweden’s The Tallest Man on Earth. It was shot the last time he was in New York (he returns this weekend for two shows!). Kristian Matsson was barely up when we infiltrated the Brooklyn apartment he was staying at. His tour manager, Ryan, led us to the stairs that was, who knew, the perfect spot for Kristian to sing “This Wind” and a cover of Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces” (the best versions of both that I’ve ever heard). And you know how it is with a perfect hint of reverb: you cast aside your head and pull your heart out your neck (that’s right). We wandered around to the windy rooftop for “Over the Hills” and locked ourselves in an old-fashioned elevator for “Steal Tomorrow”.

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the tallest man on earth

Check out all of our previous posts on The Tallest Man on Earth.

Ólöf Arnalds' secret garden was under a tree

Before heading over to Sycamore to play a show that night, I met with Iceland’s Ólöf Arnalds and her equally impressive friend Davíð Þór Jónsson, who had played a fantastically whimsical show with her at Union Hall the previous night. As we walked past a large tree towering over a mound, Ólöf’s head turned, and we decided she might as well sing under it. First song is the catchy “Klara”, which she wrote for her younger sister, the second is Caetano Veloso’s “Maria Bethania.” Before singing this song, she realizes she is missing her lyrics notebook. Davíð keeps company with a short bout of singing and dancing. One more song in Icelandic follows.

olof secretgarden

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A Times Square experience with Middle Distance Runner

middle distance runner

When Washington DC’s Middle Distance Runner was in town to play The Annex, they were staying at their friend’s hotel room at Times Square, though they told us it was really their label who’d put them there. In preparation for songs they were going to play for us, they’d recruited a few things lying about the room, including a towel, an ice bucket (?) and a tray. We decided to leave the TV on, though muted, to faithfully honor the Times Square hotel room atmosphere. Between gulps of coffee and screwdriver, the band also gifted us with an impromptu song that involves wearing a skirt and stealing a checkbook, amongst other things. All that and more in the video we bring you here. The band will be playing Union Hall with Pretty & Nice on May 14th.

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Morning songs with Cotton Jones at a fountain and a park

When Maryland’s Cotton Jones showed up at Grand Army Plaza the morning after their short set at Le Poisson Rouge, the only thing they’d grabbed from their van was an acoustic guitar. Despite the inevitable traffic noise, we decided it’d be worthwhile to have Michael Nau and Whitney McGraw jump into the empty fountain and try a song there (for an opportunity to see Whitney sit on the lap of some frozen Greek hunk, if nothing else). We then headed to Prospect Park across the street, where they played several more songs, and the rest of the band lent doo-woops and finger-snapping while drummer Chris Morris settled on a pair of sticks, of different dimensions, to use for percussion.

cotton jones secret garden

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Fanfarlo plays outside someone's house

While we were in Austin for SXSW, we swung by the Red House Pizzeria for a pizzastic breakfast one morning. Out in the backyard a host of bands were readying to kickstart another day of endless music, and England’s Fanfarlo, who was scheduled to go on later, had prepared a few songs for our mini-musical-documentary series: the Secret Garden. We walked a short distance away from the venue and halted outside someone’s house, where I was drawn towards a white garage and the entire British crew towards a car draped in a car cover behind a chain link fence. They played three songs there —”Finish Line”, “Luna” and “Comets”, all from their new album, Reservoir. Plenty of bird chirps were available for accompaniment!


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  • Aqua: Love TEEN. Man they can sing. Cool. Different.
  • Suraj Joshee: Sarahana, Loved the video. You captured the simple raw essence of the music and band really really...
  • Kevination: I love infectious songs.
  • Jipes: Another great post, I love the voice of this artist. Every time I come here I’m surprised which is...
  • Jipes: Not at all, I’m really sorry if my comment seems odd but compare to people like Tallest Man on Earth,...