Puneet Varma (Editor)


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Also known as  The Morning Benders
Labels  Rough Trade Records
Record label  Rough Trade Records
Years active  2005–present
Website  www.popetcetera.com
POP ETC iidobiassetspost201510unnamed1jpg
Origin  Berkeley, California, USA
Past members  Tim Or Joe Ferrell Van Pierszalowski Tom Peyton
Members  Christopher Chu, Julian Harmon, Jonathan Chu
Genres  Indie pop, Indie rock, Baroque pop, Synth-pop, New wave
Albums  Big Echo, Talking Through Tin Cans, Souvenir, POP ETC, Grain Of Salt EP

Pop etc running in circles wushu lyric video

Pop Etc. (pronounced "pop etcetera"), formerly known as The Morning Benders, is an indie rock band from Berkeley, California, later based in Brooklyn, New York.



In 2008, they released their debut album Talking Through Tin Cans on +1 Records. The band has toured in support of Broken Bells (spring 2010), Grizzly Bear (fall 2009), The Kooks and Death Cab for Cutie (summer 2008), Ra Ra Riot (fall 2008), and has also played with Yo La Tengo, MGMT, Grand Archives, Yeasayer, Two Gallants, The Rosebuds, Au Revoir Simone, We Are Scientists, and White Rabbits. They also toured with Broken Bells and The Black Keys in 2010.

POP ETC POP ETC Talk Name Change New Album Pitchfork

In December 2008, iTunes deemed Talking Through Tin Cans the best indie/alternative album of 2008. Earlier that year, they also received the honor of "Editor's Pick". In March 2010, the popular music website Pitchfork deemed their 2nd studio album, Big Echo, Best New Music, and gave it an 8.2 rating.


On March 25, 2012, the band posted on Facebook and Twitter that the band's name would be changed to POP ETC.

POP ETC POP ETC Pop Etc Album Review Pitchfork

Pop etc running in circles official music video

Formation and Early Years (2005-2008)

POP ETC ALBUM REVIEW POP ETC quotSouvenirsquot Audiofemme

The Morning Benders started in 2005 as a solo-project for Chris Chu. During that time, he spent his days studying music at the University of California, Berkeley whilst spending his nights recording songs from a laptop. As time passed, he formed a band with friends who he had met in UC Berkeley.


The band did all they could to spread word about The Morning Benders; playing in local gigs, making lots of friends on MySpace, emailing bloggers and conversing with club promoters. This led to offers from various local independent labels. The Morning Benders had chosen +1 Records to support them in recording their albums.

The Loose Change EP (September 2006)

First EP of The Morning Benders which was released in September, 2006. The members at the time included Chris, Van Pierszalowski, Joe Ferrell and Tom Peyton. This EP had been recorded on a laptop.

Boarded Doors EP (2007)

In early 2007, the Morning Benders released a second EP titled Boarded Doors. This EP had been recorded in the basement of the band which was where they practiced. During this time, Chris started to work as a studio engineer to help to pay his band's recordings.

Talking Through Tin Cans (2008)

Their debut album "Talking Through Tin Cans" was both produced, engineered and mixed by Chris Chu. It was released on their label +1 records. People had called the style of this album to be "So-Cal 60's Pop". They had toured with various acts including The Kooks and Death Cab For Cutie. In December, iTunes considered this album to be the best indie/alternative album of 2008. The members involved in this album were Chris Chu, Joe Ferrell, David Perales and Julian Harmon.

Bedroom Covers (2008)

The Morning Benders had released Bedroom Covers EP, on their old blog called "Gigantic." The songs were covers of many bands and artists including Velvet Underground, The Cardigans, Fleetwood Mac and The Smiths just to name a few. The artwork of the cover was done by Kyle Lee.

Tours in 2009

In 2009, The Morning Benders toured with The Submarines around the US. They both covered each other's songs with The Morning Benders doing a cover of "1940's" whilst the Submarines did a cover of "Waiting For A War." During March, They also toured in the SXSW in Austin, Texas.

They performed with their friend John Vanderslice on May 19 at the Rickshaw Stop. On May 20, they did a show at El Rey Theatre with The Walkmen. The Morning Benders toured around UK and Europe in early August. In August 28–30, they played for Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco.

During October, they had toured with Grizzly Bear and in December they toured with Girls.

Grain of Salt EP and other releases (2009)

The Grain of Salt EP was released on February 24, 2009 which included songs such as "A Song" and "Your Dark Side." There was also a different version to "Grain of Salt" which is the bonus track for the album. On July 7, 2009 ITunes released a tribute album to Frank Sinatra called His Way, Our Way, which included The Morning Benders covering "Strangers in the Night". In December 15, 2009, The Morning Benders signed to Rough Trade Records to release their next album in early 2010.

Big Echo (2010)

"Shouting into a valley big shout: big echo small shout: small echo"

The album was produced in eleven days and was then mixed on the twelfth day in Brooklyn. Chris Taylor from Grizzly Bear had helped produce the album. This album was influenced by many contemporary bands and artists, including Phil Spector, who developed the "Wall of Sound" recording technique in the 1950s and 60s. "Excuses" which is the first track of the album, was given many positive reviews. The second song on Big Echo is "Promises" and they had made a music video which described children growing up too fast. It was released on March 9, 2010 on Rough Trade.

Post–Big Echo (2010-2011)

In 2010, Chris Chu's brother Jon replaced Joe Ferrell as the guitarist in the band. They had gathered with all their closest friends to play a live performance of "Excuses" on Yours Truly. The band moved to Brooklyn, New York, USA. In October 2010, They showed their new song "Virgins" in La Blogtheque in France.

They had earlier planned to have a tour in Tokyo but because of the disastrous Japanese earthquake and tsunami, they had to cancel and reschedule their gigs. They released Japan Echo EP earlier in 2011, which will support the people who experience devastation during the Japan floods. The EP included many artists such as Twin Sister, Star Slinger and Wild Nothing. In early August, the band were able to play at Summer Sonic in Tokyo and Osaka. In 2012, the band changed their name to POP ETC and released a self-titled album.

Souvenir (2016)

The band spent the past three years since the release of POP ETC writing material for a new record, later announced to be called Souvenir. They supported The Wombats on tour in 2015 and in January 2016, toured the Northeast with Oh Wonder.

Studio albums

  • Talking Through Tin Cans (2008)
  • Big Echo (2010)
  • POP ETC (2012)
  • Souvenir (2016)
  • EPs

  • Loose Change (2006)
  • Boarded Doors (2007)
  • Waiting for a War (2008)
  • The Bedroom Covers (2008)
  • Grain of Salt (2009)
  • Lipstick (2009)
  • Japan Echo (2011)
  • Singles

  • Promises (2010)
  • Go Grab a Stranger (2010)
  • Virgins (2010)
  • Running in Circles (2015)
  • Mixtapes

  • POP ETC Mixtape (2012)
  • Other releases

  • The Bedroom Covers (2008)
  • Lemonade - Skin & Bones (2009)
  • Compilation Appearances

  • His Way, Our Way (Sinatra Tribute)
  • STROKED: A Tribute To Is This It
  • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (soundtrack)
  • Zankyou no Terror (Original Soundtrack)
  • Contribution to other bands/artists

    In 2010, Chris had assisted in the production of So Many Wizard's album "Love Songs for When You Leave Me".

    In January 2011, Chris Chu had helped and produced Chloe Makes Music's debut "The Pupeteer" in which he performed "The Duel" with Chloe Makes Music.

    In April 2014, Chris Chu mixed the song "900 Hands" for the band Elskling.

    In popular culture

    The advertisement for Sony 3d Television in SEAsia featured the song Excuses from their album Big Echo.

    The advertisement for Reese's peanut butter cups candy in the United States featured the song Excuses from their album Big Echo.

    The song Excuses is also featured in the episode "Chuck vs. Phase Three" on TV series Chuck.

    Torey Pudwill's skateboarding part for Transworld's "Hallelujah" featured the song "Excuses" from Big Echo.

    Burton's 2009 "The B" snowboard movie features the song "Waiting for a War" from Talking Through Tin Cans.

    Top Gear season 17 episode 5 references the band in a discussion about the Aston Martin Cygnet & Colette.

    The intro of the song "Excuses" is now the theme song for The New Normal.

    Their song "Speak Up" is featured on the soundtrack in the final installment of The Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn Part 2.

    Shinichiro Watanabe's 2014 anime series Terror in Resonance features two original songs: "is", featured in episode 4; and "lava". The vocals of both songs are performed by Christopher Chu. Lyrics for each song were written by Christopher Chu. Additionally, Keisuke Tominaga contributed to the lyrics for "is".

    The track "Running In Circles" is included in a YouTube video uploaded by JonTron, in which Jon and his friend Ethan from h3h3 productions attempt to learn martial arts.


    Speak UpThe Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 · 2012
    What Am I Becoming?Souvenir · 2016
    Please - Don't Forget MeSouvenir · 2016


    POP ETC Wikipedia

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