Hanging Around … Alison Brie’s Girls and Jones Street Station

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While fans online were going wild on Saturday over word that creator Dan Harmon would be returning as Community‘s showrunner for season five, star Alison Brie spent the evening on stage at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City with her musical trio, The Girls. Brie, along with friends and fellow actors Julianna Guill and Cyrina Fiallo, served as the opening act for folk rock band Jones Street Station. It was a show that felt oddly Community-esque, shifting between genres and tones seamlessly the way Harmon’s show has always done at its best.

Brie, Guill and Fiallo performed an eclectic mix of songs that included The White Stripes “We’re Going To Be Friends,” Hall and Oates “Rich Girl,” Alabama’s “Dixieland Delight” and Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend.” With Jones Street Station accompanying The Girls, all of the songs took on the band’s signature folk and bluegrass sound, which gave the music a wonderfully timeless feel. And while the accompaniment was top notch, the greatest strength of The Girls is in their beautiful harmonies, which shined through once again.

Temperatures were in the 80s on Saturday and the small club was packed to the gills with sweaty, enthusiastic fans. In spite of the heat, The Girls managed to stay upbeat and radiant. And, according to the actor, the warm, dark club setting filled Brie with love for the crowd.

“It’s hot in here and I can’t see everyone’s faces. That’s how I do love,” Brie quipped.

It was in April of 2012 at (Le) Poisson Rouge that The Girls had their debut performance. Brie’s costar Danny Pudi is friends with Jones Street Station and is the star of the video for their single “The Understanding.” After coming on-stage with Pudi to sing a few songs with the band in Los Angeles in 2011, Jones Street Station extended an offer for Brie to open for them in New York with Jones Street Station serving as her band. And thus, The Girls were born.

At that show, Brie told HoboTrashcan: “We’re really just doing cover songs, so we’re not delusional in thinking we’re like this band now. My album is not dropping anytime soon. I think it’s just that we love singing, we had this opportunity, we felt like we had to take it. We’re really excited. Then we’ll go from there.”

The Girls have continued to mature as a group over the past year. They’ve also expanded past just doing covers. On Saturday, they debuted “Closer to the Moon,” an original song written by Fiallo. They also performed back up vocals on “Little Things,” one of Jones Street Station’s new songs recorded as part of their Perennials project. The song, which can be downloaded on the band’s website, is the first official recording to feature The Girls (which may put them one step closer to actually having an album drop).

Perennials is an incredibly ambitious project Jones Street Station has undertaken in the name of charity. The band has decided to release a new song every week on their site for free for a year. In exchange for the free tracks, fans are encouraged to donate to one of 12 charities the band is endorsing. “Little Things,” which was released on May 28, is the 39th track in the project.

As if committing to record 52 new songs in a year wasn’t difficult enough, making Perennials even more challenging is the fact that the band is now spread out across the country. With members currently living in Boston, Chicago, Brooklyn and Los Angeles, Jones Street Station records these weekly tracks in their home studios using modern technology (Dropbox, Evernote, Google Hangouts and Logic) to coordinate everything and to edit the tracks together. It’s a complicated process, but one the band feels is necessary to keep them together as a group now that they find themselves scattered across the United States.

And while they may not get to see each other face-to-face as often as they’d like to, it was clear on Saturday that the guys haven’t missed a step. Even though the show was marred by a few technical glitches – most notably a few non-working microphones – Jones Street Station was as crisp as ever.

They closed the show out by inviting The Girls back on stage for a few more songs. They ended their set by having the entire group standing together with their arms intertwined singing an a capella version of their song “Tall Buildings.” Then, for their encore, continuing the genre-bending vibe of the night, they performed a lively cover of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” complete with synthesized vocals.

Photos and article by Joel Murphy. You can listen to all of Jones Street Station’s Perennials tracks at their official website.

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