July 29, 2011 § Leave a comment
Columboid, Mattress, L.U.N.A.R. Revolt, and Dirt Weed Revue played @ Marvelous Records 7/29/11 at 9pm
Dirt Weed Revue, a Philly based band, came on first. They played tonight as a three piece with 2 guitars, many effects pedals, a 4 string electric cigar box guitar, and a korg keyboard. Their set was approx 20 min long. Dirt Weed Revue makes improvisational type psychedelic noise & space rock w no vocals. There was also a very strong drone tendancy as well. The cigar box guitar was interesting to me, and sounded more like a sitar, and was very prominent among the crunchy guitars- one of which was being played with screwdrivers. It was wonderful to hear the development of sound as they played, and as it was 20 min different layers were allowed to develop and kind of sit for awhile. I am listening to their cd now, made up from a similar session, and it’s really good. Def. see them when they play around, and pick up their material too! Very thoughtful music. Bands the members are also in include Empty Shapes and Caterpillars.
L.U.N.A.R. Revolt was after, they are a three piece- bass, keyboard, and drums, also from Philly. Their music came on strong, it was almost like metal at points. The guitar was real metal sounding- and the drums were heavy, the drummer did main vocals with the keyboardist as backup. The guy on keyboard also played I want to say bass too. What was cool about their songs was that sometimes the drummer and guitarist would be doing completely different things, the timing or something with a delay effect, so you end up trying to figure out what both instruments are doing- or maybe why are they doing that? I’m only trying to describe this because I haven’t a reference point for them which is pretty awesome. I feel like listening to them on a recording would be a great experience too.
Mattress was up next. This was a guy from Portland with a red sequined shirt and a mic, a boombox for tape effects, a drum machine. Watching Mattress was like watching an odd lounge act, stumbling into a disco, with wiring on the fritz at the club. But then also noisy- eerie- He would croon into the mic and dance seductively around the place with eyes shut, while pulsing beats and spastic noises crept out of his electronics. One of his songs begged you to return him, with the receipt.
Columboid wrapped things up. I looked it up and it’s not a real word, I thought it might be like trapezoid’s cousin or something. They are a three piece from NYC. They have a bassist, a drummer, and a vocalist who also played guitar, keyboard, and an electronic sax, I am not sure what kind, it was on the small side but had a very distinct sound. The drummer would also pitch in w vocals, which were incoherent and sounded mostly tribal, although I don’t know how he had the breath because he was playing like I’ve rarely seen. Very very fast and concise. Smart music. When the bassist warmed up a bit it was nice. The vocalist played guitar for all but 3 songs, then 1 w keyboard and 2 w sax. A very talented group. I had the vibe that I was watching jazz but of a totally different sort, it was very rhythm centered material, but dark occasionally, like it would get super low frequency.
Mattress and Columboid are touring now- so go see them if you can. This was a well put together show, I would say progressive- these are bands that aren’t looking up to anyone for a particular sound, and for a rainy Thursday night it was nice to see people out at Marvelous Records, which is an intimate space and has nicely controlled sound management. The staff is friendly there too.
July 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
Nobunny, TV Ghost, Joe Jack Talcum, and The Pussy Dogs played @ Kung Fu Necktie 7/4/11 at 5pm.
The Pussy Dogs played first. I actually missed their set. boy and don’t try and google their name…weird stuff… They had some 7″ and cassettes for sale though.
Joe Jack Talcum of the Dead Milkmen came on next. He had a nice acoustic guitar with cherry red coloring and a harmonica around his neck. His set was really simple, normally I don’t like acoustic punk stuff but he had a good stage presence and his songs were really good. His voice is snotty but not obnoxious. He did Alcohol, and a bunch of Dead Milkmen stuff like Punk Rock Girl and Life is Shit, had the audience singing along too. Dead Milkmen are playing around in Sept. But Joe Jack Talcum has a decent solo thing going so good for him.
TV Ghost from Indiana came on next. Whoa they blew it up. When they first started I swear I was wondering if they had a drum machine the drumming was so intense. They have such a deep rhythmic sound. Even the vocals are low. On stage was a bass player, with an I Love Drugs button, a drummer, a korg keyboard, and vocalist with silvery glitter guitar. Their vocalist is about 12 feet tall and was rolling all around like a maniac, he was on stage then off then knocking shit over and I thought that’s why dude has a missing front tooth. He stuck the whole mic in his mouth several times. The drummer’s cymbals kept needing adjustment prob because he was banging the shit out the set. They reminded me of Distorted Pony but with different vocals, these ones were almost grungey in a way. Also like Twin Stumps. That kind of low ugly drenched sound. Fantastic noise punk shit, so good.
Nobunny came on last. They have a bassist, drummer, guitarist, and vocalist. Fucking Nobunny came on wearing a small leather jacket and underwear, a bunny mask, and was covered in glitter. When I shook his hand later I too became covered in sparkles. The guitarist had an elvis christ vest, apparently it was his birthday! They were so much fun I was actually laughing a lot at how bizarre it was to watch him dance and spin around. The band was solid and they played all the “hits” like Boneyard, Mess Me Up, I am a Girlfriend, Motorhead With Me, and Hippy Witch. It felt like their set was short but I think that’s because their songs are like 1 min long. EVERYONE was dancing, it was impossible not to. Some people were moshing and crowd surfing, doing the pogo, I felt bad because dude someone was actually slammed to the floor, looked like face down, but oh well. All that aggressive movement in the crowd was awesome though cause you could tell people were really enjoying their set. And singing along that was cool. Great garagey punk sound. Nobunny is one of my favorite bands and so cute I was really happy I got to see them. And saw a bunch of people buying their records.
This was a damn good show and the artists that played complemented each other well. Great time!
July 3, 2011 § Leave a comment
Group Doueh performed to a sold out crowd @ Johnny Brenda’s on 7/2/11 at 10pm.
Group Doueh played guitar music from the Dakhla, Western Sahara. They are a muslim group from Africa on Sublime Frequencies records, which is based out of Seattle. Introducing the set was a rep from Sublime Frequencies. It is unknown at this time if members of the group are english speaking as throughout the set they just focused on performing, I’d guess they speak arabic however. Very Loud but not ear splitting. There were 5 members onstage upstairs at Johnny Brenda’s. 3 women and 2 men in Hijab. The women took care of most of the vocals, which were strong and deep, and also the movements, which were very seductive at points and calculated, not just some random shimmying here. Lots of robe flirtations. They also had a few harp type instruments with them down on the floor (when they weren’t up and moving about.) The older man, Doueh aka Bamaar Salmou, played an African banjo, name unknown, for the first portion. The younger Doueh was on the keyboard/synth, a Yamaha model with beats preprogrammed and very danceable. The second portion had Doueh wailing away on an electric guitar. In typical African fashion the men made little to no facial movements, though the younger Doueh did move a bit rhythmically. The women however, surprised me in how much they carried the show. What with the disco ball rotating and the strobe light occasionally flashing the robe’s fabrics carried me away to another world, far away from Fishtown and the body odor of the man in front of me. I know I was drunk because I was asking for dogfish instead of lion’s head at the bar. but we can’t all be perfect. I am very much into psychedelic sounds and studied guitar playing, so when Doeuh played that solo where he threw the guitar up in front of him like Hendrix I was well pleased. The women cavorted with the audience and bellydanced their way into our hearts, grasping hands of the multitude of ecstatic followers in the front, all of whom seemed to be near albino. I know the audience sure loved them with lots of applause and whooping, had a brief encore and then waves goodbye…
For $15 I was very much so entertained, and thankful also that many recent shows I’ve attended were free. I wish them the best on their first US tour. I encourage anyone who went out there tonight or anyone interested in African music to pursue said interest. I am very into Western African music, mostly featuring Kora, another instrument, but really any African music I’ve heard has been incredibly soothing and fulfilling on a basic level.