Archive for the ‘Titus Andronicus’ 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

Read Full Post »

[DID NOT ATTEND: September 24, 2022] Frantic City 2022

When I saw this show listed, I knew that it would be a fun opportunity for my son and I to go to a Festival. Only one day, kinda far but not too far, and headlined by his favorite band Car Seat Headrest.

The whole lineup was pretty exciting, in fact,

  • Car Seat Headrest
  • Yo La Tengo
  • Snail Mail
  • Titus Andronicus
  • Superchunk
  • Rocket from the Crypt
  • Protomartyr
  • Murder City Devils
  • Shannon and the Clams
  • The Raveonettes
  • Samiam
  • Control Top

And Fred Armisen will serve as host, so you can expect his specific brand of musical comedy to move the acts along.

I wasn’t sure what time we were going to arrive.  I wanted to see Control Top, who it looked like would go on first, then I was kind of okay with not seeing some of the other bands.

I feel like I should know Samiam, but I don’t exactly.  I feel like I don’t like The Raveonettes.  I didn’t really want to see Shannon and the Clams.  I don’t know Murder City Devils.  I have seen Protomartyr, and would have been happy to see them again.  I liked the first Rocket from the Crypt album, but haven’t thought of them in years.  I have seen Superchunk twice in the last few years and don’t need to see them again, although they are great.  I have not see Titus Andronicus who I don’t love, but who I understand are amazing live.

I do want to see Snail Mail (who I was supposed to see in April, but didn’t).  I have liked Yo La Tengo for years and have never seen them.  And then there was Car Seat Headrest, whom we had both seen in April.

Then on September 17, Car Seat Headrest pulled out of the Festival because of Will Toledo’s health.

I probably should have turned in the tickets right then, but I didn’t want the Festival to crumble from people returning their tickets–I do hope it comes back next year.

But that really put the kibosh on my son’s desire to see the festival.

On the day of, he said he really didn’t want to go and honestly that was fine by me.



Read Full Post »

 SOUNDTRACK: WE ARE AUGUSTINES-“New Drink for the Old Drunk” (Field Recordings, September 5, 2012).

I have never heard of We Are Augustines (and I’m pretty amazed to see them referenced with Titus Andronicus as if they were big enough to be known back in 2012.  Were they?)

For this Field Recording [We Are Augustines: Somewhere Over The Mountain], the three guys are on top of a mountain outside of the Sasquatch! Music Festival (where it is very windy, they keep saying).

The singer starts singing a song (perhaps an improv) and the band joins in briefly.  Then with two guitars and a box drum, they move on to their song proper.

The Brooklyn band We Are Augustines wouldn’t seem to lend itself to windblown acoustic sing-alongs: The songs on 2011’s Rise Ye Sunken Shipssongs bellow and soar in the electric, anthemic spirit of, say, Titus Andronicus. But for this Field Recording, captured during the closest thing to a quiet moment at the 2012 Sasquatch! Music Festival, the trio strapped on acoustic guitars — and grabbed a box for percussion — long enough to perform a cover of Crooked Fingers’ “New Drink for the Old Drunk.”

This has a good raw powerful feel and their style suits an acoustic performance–of course, this is a cover, so I still know little about them.  They were able to drown out the actual Festival (not far away at all), which you can hear as the song comes to and end.

[READ: January 7, 2017] “Save a Horse Ride a Cowgirl”

I really enjoyed this story a lot although I found it hard to follow a bit.  This was primarily because the protagonist of the story is not the person who opens the story.

It opens with Sterne crashing his car into the car of two young girls, Heidi and Bree.  We stay at the scene for a few paragraphs and we soon learn that Sterne was not at fault–the girls had been texting while driving.

We find this out through Sterne’s brother, Bradley, a lawyer.  And this story s all about Bradley. (more…)

Read Full Post »

SOUNDTRACK: REAL ESTATE-“Beach Comber” (2009).

I found this song through a fascinating series of clicks.  Yesterday’s song from Real Estate was a pick for Fall.  And next to it was a link entitled Ridgewood, N.J., Why Here? Why Now? I grew up right next to Ridgewood and I spent a lot of time there as a kid.  So it’s pretty exciting to hear that there’s a mini-music scene happening there.  With Senses Fail, Vivian Girls, and Real Estate coming from Ridgewood and Titus Andronicus coming from Glen Rock, Bergen County is totally hip (even my hometown of Hawthorne seems to be considerably cooler than it was when I left ten years ago–there’s a coffee shop!).

Back back to the song.  I don’t enjoy this track quite as much as yesterday’s song from their new album.  It’s missing a little of the fuzz that I really enjoyed from “It’s Real” (I find the picked guitar a wee bit too clean for my tastes).  Indeed, for me, “It’s Real” is a small change but a giant leap sonically.  Neverthleess, the verses and chorus are really quite pretty.  And yes, the song does feel very summery and beachy.

Because they’re from my neck of the woods, I’m giving them the very curious distinction of having their song paired up with a letter from Issac Newton.  Imagine the search results that will bring people here.  Imagine, crazier still, that an image search for this Letter from Newton could produce their album cover.  Woah.

[READ: September 15, 2011 (three hundred and thirty-nine years after publication!)] Letter to the Publisher

What better way to start off a Sunday than with a letter from Issac Newton?  Yes, this is really an article from Issac Newton.  And it’s available pretty freely just by searching for the title words, although JSTOR has a nice searchable version of it available.  (This is the final JSTOR article for a while, after this it’s back to the 21st century).

What I especially loved about this letter was that the “long s” is used throughout the letter (like the word Congrefs in the bill of rights–see right).  It makes it a challenge to read, but that is by no means the only challenge.  According to the introduction, this letter contains “some more suggestions about his New Telescope, and a Table of Apertures and Charges for the several Lengths of that Instrument.”

And if you think that the wording of that is ungainly, try reading the letter itself.  (more…)

Read Full Post »