Archive for the ‘Riverby’ Category

[DID NOT ATTEND: December 17-18, 2022] Champagne Jam 2022

Every year for quite some time, The Front Bottoms have been doing a Champagne Jam at the close of the calendar year.  Brooklyn Vegan talked about in 2019:

The Front Bottoms‘ annual holiday concert Champagne Jam has taken place in NYC and NJ in the past, and this year it moves to Philadelphia. It happens December 21 (the Saturday before Christmas) at The Fillmore Philly Complex.

2022 saw them return to Philly, which has three venues all more or less connected.  I don’t know how the set times are structured–if there’s any way to see everyone (probably not).  But then again, I dind;t want to see everyone.

I bought my son and I tickets to the Saturday December 17 show figuring it was one last opportunity to see The Front Bottoms (since we kept missing them for one reason or another).  Then we wound up scheduling our own holiday jam for the same night.

So we weren’t going to go to the Friday night show anyhow, but here’s the full lineup:

Friday, December 16, 2022 in the Lobby

  • DJ Spicy Brown

Friday, December 16 2022 at The Foundry 

  • Flycatcher are from New Brunswick, NJ  According to The Deli
    • Flycatcher are a four-piece rock combo hailing from New Brunswick, New Jersey, three of whom have immaculately sculpted facial hair (well ok one of them has a bushy beard but still it’s neatly trimmed and shaped). On the musical side of things Flycatcher carry on in the fine tradition of immaculately sculpted extremely catchy power-pop-that-rocks made in the Tristate Area with oft-witty lyrics and a distinctly que será, será attitude as established by such legendary acts as Fountains of Wayne, The Feelies, The Smithereens, and the ripe-for-revival Cucumbers.
    • They sound like they are worth checking out–the one song I’ve listened to is pretty slackery.
  • Sweet Pill is an emo band from New Jersey. The band consists of vocalist Zayna Youssef, guitarist Jayce Williams, guitarist Sean McCall, bassist Ryan Cullen, and drummer Chris Kearney.  The video I watched for High Hopes was super catchy (and set in a bowling alley).
  • Another Michael is a band who have opened for a bunch of shows I haven’t gone to.  They play a kind of mellow indie rock with lead Michael’s vocals veering into R&B styles.  Not quite my thing.  But that’s only one dud in a bill I didn’t even think about going to.
  • Slothrust are from Boston.  In a review from The Revue (in Canada) from 2021, they talk about an evolving band:
    • In the 8 years we’ve been covering Slothrust, we’ve seen the band change a lot musically. They’ve shifted from the early days of jazz-infused grunge, which eventually grew into much bigger and less easy to classify sounds. Each record feels like a rebirth, from Everyone Else having a fine polish on that distinctive Slothrust sound but expanding on it at the same time. The Pact felt like an even more diverse records, with the band diving more into electronic sounds and even diving into poppier sounds. It set up any future releases nicely to dive even more into the trio’s widening approach. Their latest record, Parallel Timeline, heralds yet another rebirth of the band.  “Cranium” kicks off the record and immediately sets the tone. This is a slower Slothrust, as the chugging basslines and heavy drums are nowhere to be found. All the things that make Leah Wellbaum stand out as an artist, however, are on full display. Her voice, her surreal lyrics, and, at about halfway through the song, her guitar work. “Once More For The Ocean” hits a bit harder, kicking of with a ripping guitar solo, but it stays a bit in that pop realm with a bunch of sections that just beg to be sung along with.

Sounds like a really good night and some bands I should be on the look out for.

Friday, December 16, 2022 at Fillmore Philadelphia

  • Lunar Vacation I saw Lunar Vacation open for The Beths and they were great.  I’d happily see them again.
  • Emperor X is from Louisville, Kentucky (and presumably not the Emperor X from Berlin).  He plays a kind of low-fi pop that I see is described as a “bummer jam” which is absolutely not my thing.
  • Joyce Manor is a punk band from California who I always think are someone else.  Their latest album 40 oz to Fresno was described by The New York Times (!!!) as “relentlessly tuneful 17-minute collection of all-killer, no-filler power-pop.”  I rather like their clean punk sound.
  • The Front Bottoms are the stars of the night and the main attraction.  They were, no doubt fantastic, and I love that they give a lot of other New Jersey bands a platform.

Saturday, December 17, 2022 at Brooklyn Bowl

  • Shannen Moser I’ve seen Shannen Moser twice.  Her intense folk songs are quite good
  • Shane Henderson was the singer of Valencia and now does mostly production.
  • Tom May has “lived the dream” of being a full time, working, self-supporting folk musician.  Tom is also the founder and host of the nationally-syndicated live radio program, River City Folk.
  • Kevin Devine is someone I love and I was really looking forward to seeing his set–and hoping that it didn’t conflict with any of the other headliners.

Saturday, December 17, 2022 at The Foundry

  • Riverby are from Philly.  They are a fun indie rock band with a loose sound (and a cover of “Walk Through the Fire” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • Hotline TNT is the shoegaze/indie rock project of singer-songwriter Will Anderson (a.k.a. Flip Sandy). The project began after Anderson moved from Vancouver to Minneapolis. Now based in New York, Anderson still handles the songwriting himself and has played live shows with several different lineups.
  • Kid Sister is a rapper who has appeared with Sault.

Saturday, December 17, 2022 at Fillmore Philadelphia

  • Prince Daddy & The Hyena is an American rock band from Albany, New York, formed in 2014 described as indie rock with punk and “slacker” influences
  • Soul Glo is a band I really want to see. They are an extreme punk band and will probably scare the heck out of me.  It would have been safest to see them amid all of these other bands
  • Titus Andronicus is a band I should probably love, but I just can’t get into them.
  • The Front Bottoms headlining a second night.

This seems like a really fun festival.

Jordan Norris nicely posted a video of The Front Bottoms from both shows

Friday night:

Saturday night


Also, The Flycatcher review had these two videos (because of a song called sodas in the freezer)

And a Shasta commercial

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[DID NOT ATTEND: October 10-15, 2022] Philly Music Fest 2022

Every year since 2019 I have participated in Philly Music Fest in some way.  But this year I wound up giving the whole thing a miss.

Philly Music Fest is a non-profit endeavor focused exclusively on local bands, with all proceeds donated to local music education charities. Philly Music Fest features both established and up and coming artists, showcasing the diversity of the Philadelphia music scene.

It wasn’t because of a bad lineup or anything, it was that I had tickets to other shows every night.  I wound up not going to all of those shows anyway, but basically I was already booked for the whole Fest.

This year’s line up was even bigger than last year’s

October 10, 2022 at Ardmore Music Hall 

  • Marielle Kraft is a poignant indie pop singer-songwriter
  • Electric Candlelight is a heavy psychedelic band that I was supposed to see open for Fuzz
  • Mt. Joy is a band I’ve heard on the radio a bunch who I don’t particularly like, so not so great in the headliner here.

October 11, 2022 at Ardmore Music Hall 

  • Stereo League is apparently impossible to describe using concrete words as I can’t figure out what their music sounds like from the blurbs I’ve read.
  • Salika is an R&B singer
  • Mt. Joy of the two nights I wouldn’t have picked this one anyhow.

October 12, 2022 at World Cafe Live

  • Perpetual Motion is described as dynamic acoustic jazz who play blues, rock, jazz, and world music
  • Kayleigh Goldsworthy is a folk singer who I saw open for Frank Turner.  She was great.
  • Ron Gallo is not Vincent Gallo, which is what I think every time I see his name.  Ron is an indie guy who I’ve never heard but who must be pretty popular or interesting if he keeps popping up.
  • Lady HD is a kind of psychedelic pop band whose name reminds me too much of that Lady A fracas that bubbled up a few years ago.
  • Low Cut Connie is one of the bigger bands at the festival.  I’d never want to see them, but I like some of their songs.

October 13, 2022 at Johnny Brenda’s

  • This was the night I would have gone to
  • The Ire is a four-piece goth-tinged post-punk band.  I like their overall sound.
  • Ghosh is a band I’ve wanted to see: they’re pissed off, informed, and ready to party.
  • Screaming Females are terrific and even better live.  I thought this would sell out in a second.

October 14, 2022 at REC Philly

  • This was a free show.  A night of hip hop and beat curated by Working on Dying who I’ve never heard of of

October 14, 2022 at The Dolphin

  • The Dolphin is a new-ish venue that I’ve yet to check out.
  • Max Swan is saxophonist, vocalist, and producer influenced y likes of Stevie Wonder, James Blake.
  • Echo Kid is two guys from RFA.  This is a hazier, no-holds-barred, psychedelic reimagining of the way they’d approach their songwriting process with a languorous sense of ease, effortless genre-blending, and an amalgam of intentional recorded conversation
  • Shamir is an artist I’d like to see live.  They keep popping up as an opening act and then something happens and I don’t see them.  Here’s another miss.

October 15, 2022 at Underground Arts

  • This would have been my pick for show of the Fest, if I hadn’t already been overbooked.
  • Justmadnice is blues-dipped psychedelic jazz.
  • Riverby are a fun indie rock band with a loose sound (and a cover of “Walk Through the Fire” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • Empath is a band I was supposed to see open for Fucked Up but the couldn’t make the rescheduled date.  They are kind of noisy and poppy and punky and are probably very fun live.
  • Mannequin Pussy is one of my favorite new(ish) bands.  They are amazing live and are always worth seeing.

The 2023 Fest is bound to be great too.

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