Archive for the ‘Shannen Moser’ 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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[ATTENDED: August 24, 2022] Kathleen Edwards

Back in 2019 Kathleen Edwards came out of “retirement” after spending five years running a coffee house in Stittsville, Ottawa called Quitters.  She has since sold Quitters and it is now something else.

She announced a few shows in 2019 and then a small tour in 2021.  I hoofed it into New York City to see what I imagined would be my only time seeing her.  (She was also opening for Jason Isbell, but I didn’t want to see her as an opener nor did I want to see Jason Isbell).

But then she announced a full tour in 2022!  I bought a ticket for her at SOPAC (I had hoofed it all the way to NYC and then she decided to play a place 40 min from my house!).  But she also announced a free show (FREE!) in Haddon Heights, NJ.  A place I’d never been and which I feared was too far away.

It’s a bit of a drive but not really worse than going to Philly and you avoid most of the Philly traffic. Plus, the venue turned out to be lovely.  A lot of people have played this summer concert series so I’ll be keeping an eye out for what’s going on next summer.

I probably could have sat on the lawn, but I decided to take the amphitheater seating that was provided  I relaxed in the full, but not packed crowd.  (I was concerned that no one would be there, but it was nicely crowded).

Kathleen came out on stage with a different set up than last time.  Last time it was guitar bass and drums, with the guitarist being Colin Cripps her ex-husband.  For this show she had a bassist Ryan Gavel and drummer Peter von Althen (same drummer different bassist) but she also had pedal steel guitar player Aaron Goldstein and Kinley Dowling who played keys and violin.  She said she was so thankful to finally have a woman on tour with her and that it brought a whole new energy to the show and the tour bus.

She told a funny story about how Aaron and Ryan were at the Toronto airport for six hours the day before but had missed their flight and had to fly into town early this morning–Aaron Goldstein a man with endless patience for your border services.  She also said that she forgot to introduce Aaron the other night and his whole family was in the audience.

I didn’t expect a hugely different set.  In fact, I didn’t know what to expect for a free show.  With people who were quite possibly there because they lived nearby and it was free.

She started with more or less the same few songs that she did in 2021, in a slightly re-arranged order. But they sounded different with this line up.  The electric guitar was gone and instead there were violin solos and a lot of pedal steel.  The pedal steel on “Options Open” changed the feel of the song but added some real depth.  As did Dowling’s backing vocals.

She seemed to think that there were not many fans there for he, but the crowd knew her stuff quite well, with a nice response for “Change the Sheets” (one of my faves) and “Hockey Skates.”  The new song “Glenfern” had a soaring violin riff which was a fun change.

Last time she told stories about some of the songs.  This time the stories were different, which was fun.  And nice to know she’s not on a script at all the shows.  She explained the origin of “One More Song the Radio won’t Like” as being a song she had to write to make her record a little longer.  She played it because someone said it was his birthday and he requested it.  She had come out to play a brief acoustic solo set (although Goldstein stayed for some lap steel accompaniment).  She also played “Empty Threat” in this style.

The band came back out and she played three different songs in the middle of the set which was fun.  She told us “Mercury” really won over people at rock festivals because it opens: “Want to go get high?/ Mercury is parked outside.”  I also enjoyed hearing “A Soft Place to Land” from Voyageur.

She then introduced Hard on Everyone with a lengthy story explaining that she had been living with someone who seemed to be angry and hard all the time–he was hard on things and things were always breaking.  She listened to a podcast called “Dirty John” and said “oh my fucking god, this is about me.”  She hoped that anyone in a similar situation could get out of it.  It really put a spin on this song that is dark but insanely catchy.  The song built and totally rocked by the end with a wicked solo from Goldstein.

She also later jokingly apologized for cursing so much at a family event.

She ended the set with “6’O’Clock News,” another fantastic song from her debut (this is the 20th anniversary of that album, Failer).

She left and the emcee for the night came out to say hat it was early enough that he was sure Kathleen would give us one more song.

She did, she came back out and played “Asking for Flowers,” a song I’ve always loved.

I really hoped she’d play “I Make the Dough, You Get the Glory,” and indeed someone did shout it out as a request, but she didn’t hear him.

This set was wonderful and it got me even more psyched to see her in a few weeks with S.

2022 SOPAC 2022 Summer Concert, NJ 2021 LPR, NYC
Simple Math ¥ Simple Math ¥ Options Open ¥
Options Open ¥ Options Open ¥ In State ⇐
In State Change the Sheets Simple Math ¥
Hockey Skates Hockey Skates Change the Sheets √
Birds on a Feeder ¥ Who Rescued Who ¥ Six O’Clock News ⊕
Glenfern ¥ Glenfern ¥ Birds on a Feeder ¥
Who Rescued Who ¥ One More Song the Radio Won’t Like ⊕ (solo w/ lap steel) Goodnight, California ∇
Evangeline (Emmylous Harris cover) Empty Threat √ (solo with lap steel) Empty Threat (solo acoustic) √
Mercury Mercury ⊕ Who Rescued Who (solo with mandolin) ¥
Hard on Everyone ¥ Fools Ride ¥ Glenfern ¥
Six O’Clock News ⊕ A Soft Place to Land √ Copied Keys ⇐
Asking for Flowers Hard on Everyone ¥ The Logical Song (Supertramp cover)
encore Six O’Clock News ⊕ Hockey Skates ⊕
Goodnight, California encore Hard on Everyone ¥
Moneytalks (AC/DC cover) (partial) Asking for Flowers encore
Comes a Time (Neil Young cover) Asking for Flowers ∇
Back to Me ⇐

⊕= Failer (2002)
⇐ = Back to Me (2005)
∇ = Asking for Flowers (2008)
√ = Voyageur (2012)
¥ = Total Freedom (2020)

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[ATTENDED: August 24, 2022] Shannen Moser

It’s funny how some artists wind up as opening acts quite often.  Shannen Moser has been listed as an opening act for several band that I was interested in seeing.  She’s also been on two Champagne Jams from The Front Bottoms.  This is only my second time seeing her though and I’m not sure when she was announced as the opener for Kathleen Edwards, because I didn’t find out until a couple of days beforehand.

Shannen is from Berks County, PA.  She plays a simple kind of open-tuned guitar (such that a capo is all you need to make a chord sound good).  Some of her songs have a finger-picking section as well.

Her lyrics are personal and often pointed.

She received a nice round of applause for saying that she played with Bernie Sanders a few days earlier at his Rally with Bernie Sanders in Philadelphia to fight back against corporate greed. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 10, 2019] Shannen Moser

It’s funny how some artists wind up as opening acts quite often.  In fact, there’s a number of bands that I could have seen many times because they opened for bands that I wanted to see.  I guess I haven’t wound up seeing all that many of these bands for whatever reason, but I do see the same opening bands popping up from time to time–especially if they are local.

A few weeks ago, Shannen Moser was scheduled to open for Girlpool, but I had to miss that show. And now a couple of weeks later, here she is opening for John K. Samson and Kevin Devine.

Shannen is from Berks County, PA.  She plays a simple kind of open-tuned guitar (such that a capo is all you need to make a chord sound good).  Some of her songs have a finger-picking section as well.

Her lyrics are personal and often pointed.

She told some amusing stories in between song–amusing stories that often led to rather dark songs.  She sings in a powerful style–with countryish inflections.

There were a few times when she sang so loud that I had to put earplugs in–which I did not need for the other two.  She had a song where she seemed to growl some of the lyrics as well.

It was a treat to hear her really let loose.

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[DID NOT ATTEND: April 26, 2019] Girlpool / Hatchie / Shannen Moser

I first heard Girlpool back in 2015.  I loved the way the two members of the band sang, but not in harmony–it was more like in unison.  It gave them almost a childlike quality that somehow made their songs really impactful.

Plus, their music was very spare–it was unusual amid a field of similar sounding bands.

I had wanted to see them live since then.  When they came around in 2017, I had a ticket and then a last minute plan meant I couldn’t go.

Now they came back, but we were on vacation.

Since that first album, though, Avery Tucker has transitioned and now their voice is much lower than it was.  So they can’t sing the songs the way they did.

I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to see them now. But the issue was moot anyway.

Hatchie is a singer that I want to see.  I was supposed to see her in 2018 but that show fell through.

Shannen Moser is from Berks County, PA.  She plays a simple kind of open-tuned guitar (such that a capo is all you need to make a chord sound good).  Some of her songs have a finger-picking section as well.

I’ll actually be seeing her open for John K. Samson and Kevin Devine in a few weeks.

There’s a full review of the show from 34th Street.  I’m posting some highlights.

I did not have high expectations for the first opener, Philadelphia local Shannen Moser. She, however, blew me away. Supported only by a cello, Moser filled the cavernous venue with her powerful voice and haunting lyrics. ָAlthough quite different genre–wise than the following acts, she still managed to win over the gathering crowd. It was not a large group at this point, but those who were there were very engaged.  …  folk simplicity at its finest.

Next came direct support, Hatchie, the project of Australian singer and bassist, Harriette Pilbeam. Pilbeam and her band exuded an effortless cool on stage without taking themselves too seriously. Her sultry vocals sounded natural and graceful. The music itself felt like an amalgam of surfy pop–y summery grunge.  What surprised me the most, however, was how many people came out just for Hatchie. I talked to several fans after their set who said they didn’t even know who Girlpool was—they had only come for Hatchie. All of them had a similar story: they found her on Spotify through their Weekly Discover playlist. Regardless, Hatchie now has a growing and devoted American following.

Girlpool is the project of Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker, but their touring ensemble swelled to include a second guitarist/bassist, a drummer, and a keys player.  Throughout the set, Tividad, Tucker, and the guitarist/bassist switched instruments in a rather comical display of sharing. They focused their set on their newer material, especially their latest album, What Chaos Is Imaginary. This makes sense, given that Tucker came out in 2017 as transgender (Tucker now uses they/them pronouns), and has been undergoing hormonal therapy, which lowered their voice a full octave. As a result, they are now unable to sing many of Girlpool’s early hits.  Tucker’s transition marked a sort of transition in the band’s sound. What was once sparse DIY has become a more ambiguous, effortless, ethereal soundscape that permeated the venue and delighted the crowd.

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