DRESSING FOR SUCCESS The Sleepovers no longer involve pajamas.
It’s just after 7 pm on February 15, and I find myself alone, locked in, trapped after hours at Jamaica Plain vintage-clothing store 40 South Street. I do not work here.
Minutes earlier, trusting owner Hilken Mancini offered to let me wait inside. She locked up and left, and now here I am, waiting for Rob and Kelly Ribera of Sleepover Shows, who will soon film Banditas and transform the shop into the latest set for their live-music-series website. After a good 15 minutes, just as I entertain the idea of trying on some threads, 40 South Street employee and lead Bandita Haley Thompson-King unlocks the door, walks in, and laughs at my situation.
Twenty minutes later, Banditas are performing, with guitarist Thompson-King and singer Molly Maltezos each tucked inside an orange-painted dressing room and belting out an unnamed new song, wearing clothes pulled right off mannequins. An hour later, it’s a wrap.
No one’s sleeping over at 40 South Street, but that’s no longer the point. Two years ago, the Riberas teamed with Pray for Polanski’s Aviv Rubenstein for sleepovershows.com, shooting video of stripped-down three-song sets from touring bands who were in Boston for the night. Rubinstein made a habit of crashing with friends while on tour, and to return the favor, he’d let bands in town crash at his Brookline pad. “And that quickly turned to us playing music in the middle of the night.” Now, the trio are branching out, shooting locals and touring bands in various locations around the city, retaining the project’s personality and intimacy but no longer requiring pajamas. Two days after the Banditas shoot, Sleepover was nominated for Best Music Blog in our annual “Best” poll alongside Boston Band Crush, Bradley’s Almanac, Playground Boston, Ryan’s Smashing Life, and Clicky Clicky.
The site already features the David Wax Museum, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, and OK Go. And more are on the way, including Destry, Amanda Palmer, and Marissa Nadler. “We’ve shot enough bands to put out one a week until September,” says Rob. “It started as a little blog, ‘we’ll film a few bands and hang out,’ but it’s getting bigger.