Fucked Up, JEFF the Brotherhood, and Dry Feet performed @ the First Unitarian Church 6/26/11 around 8pm.
Dry Feet came on first and i had no idea who they were. I walked in when they had 3 songs left to play. They were dressed in a mix of tye die and surf clothing and had a drummer guitarist and bassist, 3 dudes up there. I think they are somewhat local. There music was upbeat and surfy, some people were hardcore dancing and i thought that was inappropriate. a good song was “I Can’t Sleep at Night”. they had some 7″ shit for sale.
JEFF the Brotherhood came on next. They are a drummer and guitarist, ain’t no white stripes shit here tho. That drummer is boss, heavy on snare and bass, the guitarist also rocks but I’m not sure that’s what makes them so good. Together they put on a great live show. Perhaps I am biased because I really enjoy their recorded music. They played “Bone Jam” and “Diamond Ways” and “Shredder”, stuff off of Heavy Days and also a few newer songs which were actually longer in length than the normally punkish 2min songs, one song was almost sludgey in it’s sound. The guitarist had shoulder length hair that looked like it was partially dyed w kool aid and a Boston Celtics jersey the drummer reminded me of being on a trampoline he was bouncin so much, he was thinner w blondey hair. They had some weird thing with the lights like sometimes the room would be dark for no reason and then the lights would come back up. The crowd loved them and was rockin out a bunch. I hope they were able to convert some people to their music because it’s awesome and different from a lot of the other shit comin out these days that calls itself punk rock or whatever. They are from Tennessee which I also find really appealing. They tour all the time with various bands, usually as a supporting act so check their website for when you can see them. Apparently they played a show at Glenn Danzig’s house which i find hard to believe but also an obvious thing.
Fucked Up as the headliner came on last. They had 5 members on stage, vocalist, (female!) bassist, guitar, guitar and drums. Everyone contributed to vocals minus drums. Fucked Up are a hardcore punk band from Toronto. They’ve released a ton of material, have a concept album and everyone in the band has a stage name. I’m not too familiar with their music but I really enjoyed their set. They do a lot of nice things with the vocals so it is quite an atypical hardcore band. The audience loved them, people were moshing, stage diving, piggybacking on the lead vocalist, some dude felt up the vocalist’s tits, pretty weird but also fitting. Lots of people were singing along. Musically they were very professional and you could pick put the progressions, they weren’t sloppy at all which I sometimes find when i see live hardcore. Very dedicated crowd. They played “Generation” and a song with a chorus of “Dying on the inside”, I wish i knew more of their stuff but they did play for awhile and had an encore. One song was dedicated to people being overweight in summer. Fucked Up seemed to really enjoy being in Philly and you know appreciating one’s audience always gets you points. They are critically acclaimed and have even won an award, Matador put some of their stuff out but go to their website to be on top of what’s happening.
Sun Ra Arkestra performed on a stage set up at the grassy field between Walnut and Locust on 40th St. for a few hours.
On stage were 14 musicians, 3 sax players, multiple percussionists, flute, maracas, bongos, trombone, (+ many other instruments) different guys would have the mic at times for the vocals too. This was a nice big jazzy set up. Everyone on stage was wearing a funny hat or a sequined type shirt. Now this band has been playing since the 1950’s. Not with all the original members but I mean that’s a long time to have a band going. They are led by Marshall Allen. Personally, jazz music doesn’t age. And the way that Sun Ra Arkestra played demonstrated that. Everyone was full of life, very energetic, lots of head boppin and jumpin around, like feelin the vibe of it. A few of them left the stage to groove around the crowd during a song. They did “We Travel the Spaceways” and “Space is the Place” and a ton others that I couldn’t remember because my dog was going crazy with excitement throughout the set. It was a beautiful afternoon, the sun was going down so it wasn’t too hot and there was a really upbeat feel to the event. The crowd was a good mix of people, and there was a pretty big turnout too. Most people sat on chairs or blankets with their families or friends and just relaxed to the music.
If you haven’t heard much jazz music Sun Ra’s music is highly recommended and easily accessible.
Bobb Trimble’s Flying Spiders @ The Rotunda 6/17/11
There was a projection on the wall above the stage playing a kaleidoscope of images, the swirling color kind but also feet tapping and baby faces, random video clips. 2 guitars, 1 bass, drums and other percussion/vocals. deep heavy psych at times but then lighter country type stuff. Bobb Trimble is an older guy now but that doesn’t come across at all when you hear him. some of his songs had a real intense feel and others were almost sweet. they played a lot of stuff off their new record, but also a bunch of stuff from the first couple albums. to me it was totally bizarre because i was expecting a folksy type thing but they rocked out hard. Bobb’s voice is great and there were some nice harmonies with the female vocalist. She has a really melodic voice and is in another band called 28 degrees taurus. the bass player, who had his own cool song, also plays with/is in a bunch of other bands. a dude who sat in front of me stood up to clap after each song and at one point approached the stage to look at the set list beneath Bobb’s feet while he was playing. really awesome music and you could tell people there were fans or at least familiar with his music which is always a nice feel. great psychedelic rock. and this guys album covers are out of control. they are on a mini east coast tour so bring money if you go see them!
There were also 2 other bands that played, Brother JT and Kuschty Rye Ergot
Kurt Vile and Pissed Jeans and Meg Baird played at The First Unitarian Church 6/13/11.
Totally sold out, long long line of people hoping for tickets. because it was the local PA bands and pretty decent line up I’d gotten mine ahead.
First of all it was hot down there. moist. everyone’s smells.
Meg Baird played first. She had a harp and long blonde hair a shirt that said ‘huh?’ Was singing. I couldn’t see her, she was sitting on the stage i think. People were really into her. it seemed like she played or did whatever for awhile because i had time to go down the street and buy a drink and come back and the lights were on so I didn’t even know if she was really doing stuff or if a cd was playing. It’s like folksy type. She is also in Espers.
Pissed Jeans came on next. Wow so I’ve tried to get into them, but you know something skeeved me out. i think i heard they were like jesus lizard and i don’t like them. but i was really surprised how they fucked shit up. they’re too complicated to be punk, they’re kinda hardcore, they’re….noisepunk. people were crowd surfing the main guy was dancing a ton and with real good rhythm it made his songs almost reinterpreted to me. like mad sassy attitude. he looked normal walking around but on stage he let shit loose. he put on a damn strip show and was soaking in sweat it was pretty hot. couldn’t see too much of the band but they were well controlled. i like their drumming. pissed jeans were real exciting to watch. not that i’m comparing musically to these guys but the frontman’s ‘persona’ reminded me of perhaps early michael gira or shannon selberg. go to their website, browsing around i got a different feel for them aside from previous reviews i’ve read. I’m totally psyched to have a new band to check out and I’m sorry i waited this long to do so!
I don’t really want to write about Kurt Vile except his voice really irritates me. enough that i had to leave. Kurt Vile came on last, and maybe after the intense energy of pissed jeans it was a poor follow up. The Violators, his Philly band, were decent though. The drummer occasionally used maracas to play which was a cool effect. Kurt had the sound men adjust his amp or whatever stuff more than a few times while they were on stage plus he had to tune his guitar and everything was such a process i got bored. The sound of his music is not garage rock. I mean it was an interesting sound but not garage-y. The music felt very rehearsed and it seemed like Kurt’s voice was lagging behind or there was an awkward delay/disconnect with the band’s sound and his singing. i felt like i was listening to some bad country crossover thing. i don’t get the big deal. Sometimes a band is not great live but their music is awesome but even recorded songs don’t do it for me.
Bardo Pond headlined the Dock Street Philly Beer Week Music Festival. They played at 4pm on 6/12/11 to a decent sized crowd on that grassy triangle right in front of Dock Street Brewery and the firehouse bike shop where i bought a real expensive lock. I wasn’t that close but it seemed they were all wearing black. The sound was great considering it was outside, sometimes the trolley going by would add in nicely to their lower frequencies. The drumming in particular stood out today. And I was pretty happy they played “Don’t Know About You”. Isobel Sollenberger’s voice was spot on throughout, I don’t think I’ve heard it as powerful before. Lots of people groovin, hullahoops and the playground with families right there. I ate a cupcake midset it was banana with nutella frosting and sprinkles.