Jeff the Brotherhood @ The Bookspace


Jeff the Brotherhood, Dry Feet, @ The Bookspace 9/24/11

Everything about this show confused me. I want to tell you about it. I was excited to hear Jeff was coming back to town. this time i had extra knowledge about them, like that they were brothers. but they don’t look alike. I kept reading different things on the internet about where and when the show would be, i figured it out but then i couldn’t find the venue. i  was walking around that one block radius off the girad el for a stupid amount of time, asking directions 3x before i found it (also had been there before) and was completely sober. 

So anyway don’t remember what the first band was, missed it. Heard people outside going mad for them though.

then i saw Dry Feet, and they are surf punk, sorta greasy garage and also just rockin. From Philadelphia beach they said. They have a bass player and a guitar and drums. some vocals too by guitar player. it could have been louder. people were moving around to it and then there was a mini pit for a second. they had a song called hard working woman which i liked. and seems like new music out since last time i saw them.

the bookspace is a warehouse space some art hanging around and books crammed on shelves and tables everywhere. bigger turnout than i expected but weird vibe in the crowd.

jeff the brotherhood played on a stage. the guitar has the monogram JTB in the neck and is clear, that’s new. people were singing along and dancing up front but a lot of people were calmly watching. the kick pedal broke during the set but luckily they used Dry Feets’. Noo Sixties is a great song and they played it, played U got the look, Heavy Days, Diamond Way, bunch of others.

These guys are on tour together so see them.

*comment if you know the other band or i’ll look it up and add later


White Hills

White Hills, from Brooklyn, are one of my favorite bands. They are heavy psychedelic with a garage rock sound and lots of distortion fuzz and climbing riffs. The first track I heard was three quarters, whose vocals tell us that he don’t care, she don’t care, no one cares. Then I heard Be Yourself, a metal space rock winner, on a split with Acid Mothers Temple. Their split with Gnod is worth hearing too. They have several full albums out, I’ve mostly heard the self titled and Hp-1. Do yourself a favor and listen to Hp-1, and then do it again. This 17 min song kicks the shit out of most psych/space rock I’ve heard in awhile. It’s so groove ridden and smart, a total protest anthem. I want to see them play live!

Six Organs of Admittance @ Johnny Brenda’s

Six Organs of Admittance, Donovan Quinn, and Curanderos played @ Johnny Brenda’s 8/15/11 at 9pm.

Curanderos were on first. This band features members of Bardo Pond; Michael & John on guitars, Jason on drums for tonight, as well the 2 Scotts from Kohoutek on drums and electronics. Their set was extreme to say the least. I found myself overwhelmed, and engaging in several contradictory emotional states… later I learned that the name of the band is an invocation to the medicine man with his healing techniques. This kind of improvised droning, psychedelic rock music can be very powerful! Just a massive set- two drum kits- two great guitars and the delicate balance of the electronics- starting off slow then letting it grow louder and louder til you couldn’t hear the noise in your own head anymore. I believe someone described as a vacuum of sound- and I totally agree there.

Donovan Quinn is from CA and also in Skygreen Le0pords. played a beautiful 12 string guitar. His was a solo acoustic folk music set. The poetry and lyrics were nice to hear but there was a certain lack of emotion behind what was going on and I don’t mean in a Jandek way- he seemed distracted almost. He was joined by Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance too.

Six Organs of Admittance, on Drag City Records, came on last. By this time there was a nice sized crowd. He was dressed in all black, nothing extra here just a spotlight, and a man with a 6 string electro acoustic guitar. The set was very pleasing and featured mostly fingerstyle playing in a classical sense. His fingers moved so smoothly over the strings, looked like they barely touched them even. Just very smooth, relaxed playing. Although his body did not look as relaxed as he sang. The songs he sang were nostalgic almost, his voice is lower and I was reminded of a gothic country sound- but not as dark.

Kohoutek, Gondola, Circuit des Yeux, Names Divine, Palindrone @ The Mansion

Kohoutek, Gondola, Circuit des Yeux, Names Divine, Palindrone played @ The Mansion 8/13/11

Palindrone was playing as i first came in . heard about three songs and they have a great drummer. don’t recall much else but i knew it was goin to be a great psych music night.

Names Divine from Chicago were described by my friend as being kind of hillbilly the dead c let’s see they had a girl playing guitar with a really low and strong voice that sounded like rough gospel singing, a guy on the electric violin sang too while they played they all hunched over- two people were sitting in the back on top of the couch with a clairnet and trumpet and the one guy would do some vocals too. it was way intense bluesy, sometimes dark music with an older feel to it.

Circuit des Yeux is a trio from Indiana with a female on vocals. her style was different. Their guitar player had great stage presence too it was interesting watching them play. Didn’t know what to expect from them but it was  fast rock n roll with like pretty hot vocals. Real cool people.

Gondola was fierce as fuck. their music can get complicated. the drumkit moved on the rug across the floor from the intensity  i shouldve asked about records, cd or whatever I’d like to hear them again.

Kohoutek were on last. they had someone on electronics making noise, then drums and various other percussion like beads and reminded me of stomp the musical in an awesome way. then a guy with a guitar, or bass ? who rounded out the sound. their set was one long free jazz improv with lots of psych leanings and a bunch of noise. varied in intensity. strong music that filled up the room and the night ended on a nice note.

bit short review but i was really just enjoying the music too much to focus on details. it seemed like each band got alloted a decent amount of time to play which was nice. great show put together by Alabaster Tongue.

Bardo Pond @ Johnny Brenda’s

Bardo Pond, William Hooker String Trio, and Many Arms played at Johnny Brenda’s 8/3/11 around 9pm.

Many Arms from Philly took the stage first. I arrived for the last three songs of their set. They were made up of a guitarist, bassist, and drummer, no vocals. Their sound was loud and chaotic, on the jazzy metal spectrum. Kind of proggy with the bass. The trio worked nicely together, there were times when it seemed like all three were playing completely different songs, but then they’d come back together. The guitarist was doing a lot of solo stuff, very fast high notes which gave me the metal feel. The drums were somewhat choppy, less traditional jazz playing there, sort of sharp. Many Arms was real intense to listen to, the sound wasn’t so much loud as just urgent and frantic. I don’t know why but I kept wondering about their rehearsals and how they must be deaf afterwards. There was some sheet music on stage but I’m not sure anyone was following it. They had some cds for sale & I believe a 3″.

William Hooker String Trio was on after. William Hooker on drums began the set solo. Eventually the guitarist leapt on stage along with the bassist. For a jazz trio it sounded tribal, although maybe that’s a redundant statement considering the focal point was the drums. William Hooker was fascinating to watch and had great control of the sound, signaling to the other performers and steering the song this way or that. William Hooker has a very peaceful, affable personality that really comes across with his playing.  I felt like this was a very intimate performance, that the audience was drawn in and allowed to participate mentally with the ins and outs of the trio’s playing.

Bardo Pond completely made the night.  I’ve never heard them sound so heavy. The bass was realll low and had a deep crunching sound like a thunderstorm. The two guitars were just singing in their own language, I don’t know how it happens that they are able to create such intricate sounds. Once they started the set there was no backpedaling and the intensity just increased throughout. The bass and drums together at several points created a doom metal sound that absolutely crushed. I felt like I was sinking into the floor feeling the sound. The vocals were so pure and beautiful it was hard to look directly at the stage at times. I hope someone recorded the set because it was a totally unique experience.

an interesting night of music, saw a bunch of people buying records too.

photos of the show by dan cohoon here