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Archive for the ‘Quarantine’ Category

[CANCELLED: October 24, 2020] Half Waif / Ian Chang [rescheduled from May 13]

indexIt sure seemed like five months of lockdown would be enough time to beat this thing.  The experts said it wasn’t long enough for live music.  And they were right.

I looked up this concert recently and there was no mention of it on the venue website. I wrote to Nandi Rose (thanks Instagram) and this is what she wrote back

yes I had a tour planned for this fall but with touring off the table for the foreseeable future, all shows are on hold 😦 We are still waiting to see when will be the right time to reschedule and perform safely. Thanks for your patience, can’t wait to come back to Philly.

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[POSTPONED: October 22, 2020] King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard / Leah Senior [rescheduled from May 22; moved to October 23, 2021]

indexI was bummed when KGATLW had to postpone a show in May. I mean, come on, Coronavirus, would certainly be over by May, right?  Well, now it’s October and things are still crazy.  I really hope they can do this again next year.

Of course, knowing them, they’ll have three more albums out by then.

I have become a huge fan of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (are there any other kinds of fans of them?) since I first heard about them a few years ago.

I’m sad that I missed them on the tour just before the first time I saw them (at a smaller venue when newbies like me hadn’t heard of them yet), but I have seen them twice since.

In both cases, the band overcame somewhat unpleasant (to me) situations (obnoxious capacity crowds and unreasonable heat) to change my mind from swearing I’d never bother seeing them again (before the show), to hoping they’d come back really soon (after the show).

I’m not at all surprised that this show was postponed and they have already rescheduled the new date.  So we’re all good.  I just hope the damned air-conditioner works next time.

The last time I saw KGATLW, the two opening bands were kind of doom/psychedelic–perfect matches for KGATLW’s more recent sound.  This year’s opener is a singer named Leah Senior.

Leah Senior did the narration on KGATLW’s Murder of the Universe album.  But her music is a completely other thing.  She sings gentle folk songs with delicate guitar playing and her beautiful soft voice.

I can;t imagine how well she would go over with a rowdy KGATLW crowd and I also wonder if that means that KGATLW would play their more mellow stuff?  Nah.

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[POSTPONED: October 12, 2020] Mountain Goats (solo) [rescheduled from June 4]

indexWhen this show was rescheduled there were still a few chairs left. Musikfest Cafe seems like  a pretty safe venue–lots of distancing available.  But I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to a show yet.  Having it postponed, made the decision for me.

I like The Mountain Goats quite a lot.  I think John Darnielle is a great songwriter.

I’ve never seen them (or him) live and I’ve often thought it would be an enjoyable night, but they’re usually just under my radar.

I’d usually prefer to see a band rather than its lead singer solo, but in this case, I don’t know if it would make that much of a difference to me.  Seeing him at the Musikfest Cafe would be pretty fantastic–a great venue with excellent acoustics.

The biggest surprise to me is how quickly his shows sell out.  If this one hadn;t sold it, it was very close, by the time it was postponed.

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[CANCELLED: October 10, 2020] Peter Bjorn and John / Methyl Ethyl [rescheduled from April 7]

indexWhen this show was postponed back in April, October seemed so long ago.  But it also seemed like a reasonable amount of time before we could see live music again.  Bigger bands postponed until 2021, but surely a small club would be ready by October.

Sigh.

I really got into Peter Bjorn & John a few years ago.  Then they fell by the wayside for me.  When I saw they were playing at Johnny Brenda’s I thought it promised to be a good show.  I have since heard that PB&J put on an amazing live show, so I was even more excited about it.

Methy Ethyl is a band from Australian who I don’t know anything more about them except that the solo show was going to be done by Jake Webb, the creative force behind the band.

On July 28, the band officially cancelled the tour

Dear PBJ-people and supporters!
It is with utter disappointment and sadness that we are forced to announce that the North American tour-dates supporting #endlessdream have been cancelled, due to COVID-19 and the uncertainty surrounding the virus.

The #endlessdreamtour has so far been but a dream and continues to be so for the time being. We hope, of course, to return as soon as it is safe to play shows again. In the meantime, refunds should start to process soon. If you have any questions, please contact your point of purchase.

We firmly believe “Endless Dream” is one of our strongest albums yet, and also ideally suited to the stage, so we can’t wait to get out there and bring those new songs to life. If you want to support the band until we can, purchase the beautiful vinyl-album or other merch-items.

All our best and talk soon!!
Peter Bjorn and John

 

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[CANCELLED: October 8, 2020] Soulwax [rescheduled from February 29]

indexAfter having this concert postponed for technical reasons back in February, I was quite interested in seeing it in seeing the rescheduled production.  So I’m pretty bummed that the whole tour has been cancelled.

I hope they decide to try again when it’s safe.

I haven’t thought about the Belgian band Soulwax in about 15 years.  I bought their 1998 album Much Against Everyone’s Advice and then really enjoyed brothers David and Stephen Dewaele’s side project 2ManyDJs (whose release As Heard on Radio Soulwax Pt. 2) was an amazing mash-up album).

I really had no idea they were still making muisic (and apparently putting on incredible shows).

BrooklynVegan said

If you’re never seen Soulwax live, David and Stephen Dewaele treat a live band show like a DJ set, with songs flowing into one another, and builds and drops. (Their 2006 show at long-gone Brooklyn club Studio B was one of the best shows I saw that decade.) You can get a feel for what to expect on their 2017 album, From Deewee which is a seamless one-hour set they recorded live in their Deewee studio in one take.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to go to this show, but then the show was inexplicably postponed.

As Brooklyn vegan put it

Dammit! Soulwax were to have started their first U.S. tour in forever beginning in February but they’ve just announced that it’s been postponed. It’s not visa issues, for once, but production design for the group’s new stage set:

We are always committed to delivering the best show we can and have designed a brand new set up which sadly just won’t be ready in time for March. We are working on new dates – please look out for an announcement very soon.⁣

We would like to thank everyone who bought tickets for these shows and look forward to seeing everyone later this year.

 

soulwax

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[CANCELLED: October 7, 2020] City and Colour / Katie Pruitt [rescheduled from May 16]

indexIt really seemed like October would be ample time for things to settle down and for concerts to start again.  It’s really disappointing to see that it’s not yet.  At least as of June, Green had cancelled his entire fall tour.

I’m also fascinated by the posters below.  This rescheduled date was not part of his original fall tour.  Katie Pruitt is not with him for any other shows–although he did initially reschedule the shows with her.

City and Colour is Dallas Green, the clean singer from Canadian band Alexisonfire.  I liked them a lot (especially his parts).  I’ve also enjoyed some of his solo stuff, which tends to be more folkie.

I’ve often thought it would be interesting to see him live.  He seems like a decent guy and I imagine is shows would be enjoyable.  But I have to say that i am shocked that he could headline Franklin Music Hall.  It just seems way too big for him.  Do more people in the States know who he is than I realize?

Anyhow, I had tickets for Tenacious D on this night, so I wasn’t going anyhow.

I’d guess he’d be more of a Boot & Saddle-sized performer.  So, good for him.  I wouldn’t want to see him in such a large place, but maybe someday he’ll come somewhere smaller.

Katie Pruitt is a folk/country singer from Nashville.  She has a wonderful song called “Loving Her’ that she released for National Pride Day (with a great video).  She veers a little too much into the country twang for my tastes, but if she can get country music to embrace the LGBTQ community, then, I’m all for her.

city color

city-and-colour

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[CANCELLED: October 7, 2020] Tenacious D / Wynchester

indexS and I saw Tenacious D and Wynchester together a couple of years ago and it was great.

Tenacious D sound amazing and are funny as hell.

Wynchester is some of the guys from The D with a different singer.  They are countryish but still rock out.

The crowd was mixed for me.  Tall and frankly obnoxious, but fun when they needed to be.  I thought it would be fun to see them again, so i was pretty happy to hear about this tour.  And to see that they were in a better venue–The Met Philly will be great for a band with a big visual component.

On July 8 The D posted:

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This concert was paired with 46 for 46.  What’s that?

With the Democratic campaign to unseat *** already well underway, a pair of music industry veterans-turned-activists are announcing a new initiative entitled 46 for 46, described as a “strategically planned series of 46 unique concerts in 46 different cities in the states that matter most during the lead up to the 2020 election.” The goal: to help launch the Democratic presidential nominee into the White House using the inspirational power of music.

This was supposed to be a big time anti-**ump concert.  One hopes that when the D come back around it will be a moot point and **ump will just be in jail.

ten d

 

 

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SOUNDTRACK: LITTLE BIG TOWN-Tiny Desk (Home) Concert #91 (October 6, 2020).

Little Big Town is a country band that has been around for a while.  I feel like I’ve heard of them, but I’m not sure.

Evidently the band is really the four main singers, but they have added more touring members for this Concert.

They open with “Nightfall.” It has nice folkie guitar and Karen Fairchild sings with a strong folksinger style. The snaps from Hubert Payne’s drums really ring out in a cool way.  Thee upright bass John Thomasson adds a nice anchor to the melody.

I thought maybe they weren’t all that country after all.  But as soon as the chorus jumps in and the accents start flying–especially the high notes from Kimberly Schlapman–the country has come into the house.  The song is catchy though.

Up next guitarist Phillip Sweet jokes is the “most profound thing” they’ve done.  “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” opens with a surprise trumpet intro from Jacob Bryant.  Although songs about drinking are about as cliché as they come, the stompin,’ dopey tone is quite fun and Jimi Westbrook’s lead delivery sells it well.

They apparently use some songwriters known as the Love Junkies who came up with “Girl Crush.”  There’s some nice harmonies on this track.  You really can’t hear keyboard player Akil Thompson on the other songs, but his chords ring through here.  Westbrook puts down his guitar while Sweet plays.

They end with “Boondocks” their first hit about where they come from.  I like the bowed bass and Evan Weatherford’s slide guitar lead, but the thought of thousands of people stompin’ along to these lyrics is a tad disturbing.

[READ: October 5, 2020] Parable of the Talents [an excerpt]

During the COVID Quarantine, venerable publisher Hingston & Olsen created, under the editorship of Rebecca Romney, a gorgeous box of 12 stories.  It has a die-cut opening to allow the top book’s central image to show through (each book’s center is different).  You can get a copy here. This is a collection of science fiction stories written from 1836 to 1998.  Each story imagines the future–some further into the future than others. As it says on the back of the box

Their future.  Our present.  From social reforms to climate change, video chat to the new face of fascism, Projections is a collection of 12 sci-fi stories that anticipated life in the present day.

About this story, Romney writes:

I’ve ended this collection with a meteor.  An African -America woman born with “hyperempathy” must navigate the 2020as and 2030s in a hellscape formed by climate change disasters…  The reader is introduced to a rising demagogue whose slogan in “make America great again.”  Did that send chills down your spine?

At the time she was writing, however, it’s more likely she was inspired by the past than by the future.  When Ronald Reagan accepted the presidential nomination from the 1980 Republican National Committee, he gave a speech in which he promised, “For those who’ve abandoned hope, we’ll restore hope and we’ll welcome them into a great national crusade to make America great again.  Butler perceived the problems behind that phrase and used science fiction to explore how such a mindset could lead to history repeating itself, resulting in story that is even more powerful today than when she first wrote it.

I first looked at the date of 1998 and thought it was so current, not exactly realizing it was 22 years (and a lifetime) ago.  Without even reading the story, just reading the above paragraph, it’s pretty easy to see exactly what Reagan wrought.  He really was the beginning of the end for the country.

And Butler could totally read the writing on the wall.

Not much happens in this excerpt.  A farm is burned and most people killed. the refugees take shelter with the narrator at their farm/commune.

It’s the details below that are so chilling. (more…)

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[POSTPONED: October 5, 2020] Waxahatchee / OHMME [rescheduled from April 14; moved to May 16, 2021]

indexI’ve seen Waxahatchee twice–once with a full band and once solo.  I like her, although I wasn’t sure I wanted to see her again.  She has a new album out and I’ve heard it’s much more mellow than her last couple, so that doesn’t really appeal to me.

Since then, though I have heard a few songs and really enjoyed them.  I would definitely consider going to this show now.

However, Ohmme is phenomenal live.  I saw them open for Jeff Tweedy and I have wanted to see them again.  I’d prefer a headlining show (but I seem to keep missing out on those).  However, this would have been a solid double bill.

wxa

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SOUNDTRACK: LINDA DIAZ-Tiny Desk Concert (October 5, 2020).

In the past I’ve been quite aware of the Tiny desk Contest winner.  But this year, with the pandemic , it passed me by completely.

So I don’t know anything about Diaz or any of the other competitors, except for what I just looked up now.

And I find it a little cheaty that she won because

Diaz actually made an appearance at the Tiny Desk last year, as a backup singer for Jordan Rakei.

However, she seems very nice and I’m happy for her that she won, especially after reading the blurb she wrote for this concert.

At one point, we finally had everything set and ready to go. Then, days before the shoot, I tested positive for COVID-19. I will spare you all the details (lots of tears, lots of phone calls), but I am so grateful for my band, the NPR Music team and the Javits Center for going above and beyond for me, the human as much as me, the musician.

That’s right, the Javits Center.  This set is filmed on op of the Javits Center fifty days before the election.  That’s September 15–potentially a chilly day to be on top of a New York City building.  Also, who knew the top of the Javits Center was green and lush?

But more important than any of that is this quote that she reiterates in the set and mentioned earlier this year, that “Black joy is radical.”

“I do think it is a radical thing to be like, ‘I’m happy and I’m focusing on my joy and I’m focusing on my purpose and I’m not necessarily focusing on an audience or what other people want from me,’ ” she says. “But truly, I am recognizing the things in my life that are good, and many of those things are coming from my community. I think in that way, it’s super radical to love yourself as a Black person in this time.”

She sings three songs from her Magic EP.  She says that the EP was inspired by her favorite book The Ten Loves of Nishino Paperback by Hiromi Kawakami.  I find it a little strange that he favorite book came out only last year but whatever.

I don’t know a lot about R&B (duh), so I can’t honestly see what would have set her apart from the 6,000 other entries.  Her voice is lovely.  Her songs, like “Magic” are gentle and sweet.  But I don’t find her any more memorable than many other singers.

Having said that, her Tiny Desk Contest winning song “Green Tea Ice Cream” is really catchy and of the three is the most musically interesting.  It opens (like the other two songs) with sprinkling of gentle keys from Jade Che and a mildly funky bass from “Fat Mike” Mike Fishman (who co wrote and produced the record).  Her backing singers, Bianca B. Muniz and Jacqueline A. Muniz (the only two who aren’t socially distanced up there because they are sisters) really shine in their backing vocals here.

Throughout the set drummer Andrés Valbuena plays some cool drums and percussion sounds, but they really stand out on this song.

After showing some of the personal effects she brought with her (I wonder if doing the Tiny Desk here instead of at the actual desk with the in house audience was less nerve-wracking), she encourages everyone to vote.

Then it’s on to the final song “Honesty” which is about “speaking your mind and talking about what’s important to you and communicating with others and how that’s a really scary thing to do.”

The set is pleasant and enjoyable, but far less memorable than past winners.

[READ: October 2, 2020] “The Forbidden Words of Margaret A.”

During the COVID Quarantine, venerable publisher Hingston & Olsen created, under the editorship of Rebecca Romney, a gorgeous box of 12 stories.  It has a die-cut opening to allow the top book’s central image to show through (each book’s center is different).  You can get a copy here. This is a collection of science fiction stories written from 1836 to 1998.  Each story imagines the future–some further into the future than others. As it says on the back of the box

Their future.  Our present.  From social reforms to climate change, video chat to the new face of fascism, Projections is a collection of 12 sci-fi stories that anticipated life in the present day.

About this story, Romney writes

In this story an imprisoned Black woman is forbidden to speak because her words are too powerful.  I’m including it here for two reasons. First, because it captures my central theme of predicting not just individual pieces so technology, but also what t feels like living in 2020.  I read this story an I recognized its truth: that a woman’s words can be powerful, but they can just as often be viewed as dangerous.  The second reason I included it is because it is really, really good.

Romney is right, this story is really, really good. It is also pretty simply summed up by her first sentence.

The story is written as a report for The National Journalists’ Association for the Recovery of The Freedom of the Press.

The report is from the journalist who was able to meet Margaret A. in prison. (more…)

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