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Beans & Bagels Steals Scene in Local Band's Music Video

By Patty Wetli | February 4, 2013 3:43pm

LINCOLN SQUARE — Java fiends can get awfully attached to their favorite coffee house. Sarah Snow went one step further and cast hers, Beans & Bagels, in a music video.

Snow, a member of the indie pop band My My My, used to live and work near Beans' Montrose storefront, so when the group's latest video called for a coffee shop scene, her old haunt came to mind.

She approached manager Adam Snow (no relation), who was happy to grant the request.

"I make documentary films myself, so I know how hard it is to get access to locations," he said.

His lone caveat: Take a look at Beans' sister shop on Rockwell Street, which boasts two distinct spaces — one that would work for the coffee scene and the other for a planned restaurant scene.

"He was great through the whole process," said Sarah Snow. "He told us, 'Whatever you guys need. Plates, forks, water glasses,'" and worked his connections with neighboring businesses including Pizza Art Cafe to nab props such as candles and those ubiquitous black folders waiters use to hand customers the check.

One never know what's going to end up on the cutting room floor from a video shoot, but Beans & Bagels features prominently in the finished product of "Starting to Change," My My My's latest single.

The six-member band has been together nearly six years and is giving "Starting to Change" a big push as part of a Kickstarter campaign, aimed at funding the recording of a full-length album.

"We have more material we've been writing," said Snow. "We have all these new songs we want to record and get out."

The band, which Snow said is often compared to The New Pornographers — "It's not really a mainstream sound, but it could be" — spent $15,000 on their previous album, in large part because their layered approach eats up a lot of studio time.

"We'll have up to 80 tracks" for a single song, she said.

Through Kickstarter, My My My's goal is to raise $8,000 by Wednesday. Pledge $1 and receive a free digital download or chip in $500 and the band will write a song for you. As of Monday morning, they'd received commitments for $3,800.

"I don't expect anything," said Snow, 34, who came to music later than most of her peers.

When she moved to Chicago nine years ago from her native Cincinnati, she was originally focused on sketch comedy. Guitar lessons at the Old Town School of Folk Music pushed her in a different direction.

"That's really what inspired me to start a band," she said. "My guitar playing wasn't that great but my voice was good."

While she appreciates the life experience she acquired prior to My My My, she admits it's more challenging to chase success as an "older" band.

"All of us do have jobs," said Snow, who writes online training material for North Shore University Health Systems. "We're not 22. A couple of guys in the band have kids. We can't just pack up and say, 'Road trip!'"

Like any musician, Snow dreams of being able to earn a living pursuing her musical passion but is realistic about My My My's prospects.

"There's no control over that," she said. "If it happens, it happens. Just to enjoy it ... that's the expectation that I have."