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Archive for the ‘Heron Oblivion’ Category

[ATTENDED: October 29, 2022] Chris Forsyth

I saw Chris Forsyth a few years ago and have been wanting to see him again.  It didn’t really matter what he was playing, I knew I’d enjoy his improv-filled jamming rock songs.

I was pretty excited to see him at Johnny Brenda’s as I knew I could get up close to watch him play.  It turned out that this particular show lined up with the Philadelphia Phillies’ first home game of the World Series.  Which meant that a) it was impossible to find parking and b) hardly anyone was in the concert hall.  Which was fine for me.  And probably for him, as I’m sure he sold a bunch of tickets ahead of time.

After raving about Meg Baird, Chris came up on stage with some of the band that Meg had used.  Douglas McCombs (from Tortoise!) and my favorite new (to me) drummer, Ryan Jewell.

The show started with Chris on a guitar that he didn’t play for the rest of the night.  The song was quiet and a little trippy.  A simple guitar chord structure with very loud simple bass line from McCombs.  I thought I knew the new album pretty well, but I didn’t recognize this song.  Nevertheless is was clearly a Chris Forsyth song with an interesting riffs and a tasteful solo or two.   I enjoyed how after about three or four minutes of this quieter introduction, the band totally rocked out. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 29, 2022] Meg Baird

I saw Chris Forsyth a few years ago and have been wanting to see him again.  Having Meg Baird co-headline was a bonus.  As Chris said:

On this tour, Meg & I will each be doing a set with a great band (Douglas McCombs, Ryan Jewell, and Charlie Saufley, and if they don’t appear throughout your music library, how did you even get this email?). Although it’s very much a co-bill / co-headline thing, we’ve decided that Meg will play first and I will play second, mainly for volume/dynamic considerations.

Meg’s name sounded familiar to me and I realized that I have an album that she made with harpist Mary Lattimore.  But it also turns out that she is the drummer for the band Heron Oblivion whom I saw back in 2018.  Turns out that Charlie Saufley is also in Heron Oblivion.

For this set, Meg sat at a keyboard, although mostly she played acoustic guitar.  Saufley played lead and Douglas McCombs played bass.  I was also pretty excited to find out that Ryan Jewell was on the drum kit.  He is one of my favorite drummers to watch.

Meg sat right in front of me and I was enthralled by her voice (which can soar to incredible heights).  For Ashes she “oohed” rather than singing words and it was angelic.  She sounds like she could be singing with a Fairport Convention or another sixties British folk rock band.  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 31, 2019] Garcia Peoples

I saw Garcia Peoples about a year ago when they opened for Heron Oblivion.  I really liked them and knew I’d want to see them again.  The fact that this year they were on a bill with Chris Forsyth, who I also really wanted to see, and it was an after-party show after the final Phish show I’d be seeing of the year made it even more cool.

I was even willing to stay in NYC until 3 AM to see it!

I arrived at Le Poissin Rouge early enough to get a slice of pizza in the Village (yum) and even get a drink at LPR (the bartender assumed my change was a tip, apparently).

I parked myself on the right side of the stage (I usually prefer the left side, but it was a little crowded there).  I wound up being right in front of GP’s guitarist Tom Malach (who looked different since last time he wore a toque the whole night).

The big difference between these shows was that last time Andy Cush was on bass, but this time it was Derek Spaldo, who also sang lead vocals much of the time.  I understand Andy is still in the band–do they alternate venues?  Well, whatever the case, I thought Cush was great last time and I thought Spaldo was great this time.

This band is so much fun to watch.  Spaldo is often playing a great grooving bassline while Malach and other guitarist Danny Arakaki trade amazing licks. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 6, 2018] Heron Oblivion

I had tickets to a different show this evening, but when I saw that Heron Oblivion, whom I’d assumed was no more, were playing a show in Jersey City, I gave up on the other show and headed to JC.

I liked the Heron Oblivion album a lot–screaming guitars, catchy melodies–although I realized I didn’t know what any of the band looked like.  So during the opening bands, when a guy excused himself as he snuck by me to put some devices on the stage (Recording? I assume.  He took them away for his set), I had no idea he was the bassist for Heron Oblivion.

Heron Oblivion is considered a supergroup, although I didn’t know any of the bands that the musicians came from. I just knew that I loved the record–the washes of feedback and guitars, the great basswork and the way the band scaled down to let the vocals shine through.  I also hadn’t heard the term psychrock specifically before, but the band perfectly encapsulates it. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 6, 2018] Garcia Peoples

I had never heard of Garcia Peoples either and they may have blown me away more than Mountain Movers (who were amazing).

Garcia Peoples are from Rutherford, NJ and they played a kind of jam rock but with an awesome prog rock edge to it–time changes upon time changes, two singers and solos upon solos.  In fact, they also had a funky edge and a classic rock vibe,  Heck they could do it all.  I’m not sure if they played four songs or fifteen songs.

They are apparently friends with Mountain Movers and it’s always great to have bands who like each other on the bill.

Garcia Peoples are led by the twin lead guitars of Danny Arakaki and Tom Malach who both switch off lead vocals as well.  What I loved so much about these two guitarists was that they played at the same time.  Their soloing would often be slightly at odds with each other–not cacophony but two guys playing different solos that fit perfectly with the music…at the same time.

Their soloing styles were quite different, with I’d say Malach’s a little looser (except when he tightened things up).  And then every once in a while they would sync up and play the same concluding riff at the same time–usually in harmony.  It was magical the way the songs came together. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 6, 2018] Mountain Movers

I was pretty excited to see Heron Oblivion, although I had never heard of either of the two opening bands.

Turns out all three bands on the bill were awesome.  Mountain Movers absolutely blew me way with their excellent psychedelic stoner rock.  (I believe the term is now psychrock).  The soloing was outstanding.

Mountain Movers are from New Haven, CT and are the brain child of guitarist Dan Greene.  After four albums sometime in 2011 or so, they were joined by lead guitarist Kryssi Battalene and drummer Ross Menze to form the cohesive unit that I saw.  And they were amazing. (more…)

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