Archive for the ‘Old Maybe’ Category

[ATTENDED: October 29, 2022] Nina Ryser

Nina Ryser is a member of Palberta (I love that name) whom I saw live a while back.  I recently also saw her bandmate Lily Konigsberg solo, so that’s 2/3 of Palberta I’ve seen solo now.   (Clearly Anina Ivry-Block will be opening for someone in the near future).  I have also seen Nina Ryser play drums for Old Maybe.

Like the rest of her Palbertans, Ryser is a prolific songwriter who is classically trained but who likes to push the boundaries of what music should do.

For this little set, she and her husband played keyboards (and all manner of gadgets).  The set sounded improvised, but I’m sure it wasn’t.

Most of the songs were built around a beat and a simple chord pattern.  There was a droney component to it and Nina’s vocals were kind of deapan.

I know she played “Shelf the Trophy.”  She played another song that reminded me of a lo-fi Stereolab.

My favorite parts of the show occurred between songs where Nina would mess around with looping pedals and make these interesting collages out of bits of the song she’d just played.  There was definitely some improv in here and I enjoyed watching her manipulate the sounds to create something cool.

She ended the set with the catchiest song.  I don’t know what it’s called but there was a repeated refrain of “you never looked better.”  It was simple, but the vocal line complemented the music really nicely.

There’s so many interesting Philly-based musicians and so many places to play.  It’s quite a rich scene.

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[ATTENDED: July 18, 2018] Old Maybe

I had never heard of Old Maybe before this show, although I understand that they have been playing together for a while. (Their earliest demos are from 2014).

The band consists of Jazz Adam (guitar and vocals), Ricardo Balmaseda (bass and vocals) and Nina Ryser (drums).

The only person I knew in the band was Nina Ryser whom I had seen on this very stage when she played with Palberta a year or so ago.

But this band belongs to Jazz Adam on vocals and guitar.  She invited anyone of color or non-cis to the front of the audience before the show began.

I didn’t know much about her, so I have learned that

in 2015 Adam began playing solo shows, performing most songs a capella, creating vocal layers with looping and effects pedals.  Adam attributes her lack of stage fright to her background in theater and stand up comedy. “I am able to be myself onstage,” she says. “And I am aggressive.” [Quote from The Spark).

Adam has been pushing that belief in Philadelphia via All Mutable, a booking collective she started with Nicki Duval and Robin Meeker-Cummings. The mission of the collective is to “diversify lineups sonically and racially,” she says. “Our focus is to book lineups that represent and attract those who are under-represented in this music scene, including (but not limited to) POC, queer identified, trans identified, and those who identify as non-binary. We also hope to sonically diversify lineups, and represent genres that are not often recognized in this culturally homogenized city.”


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