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Archive for the ‘The Foundry’ Category

[POSTPONED: July 30, 2020] Flora Cash / Beau Young Prince

indexI was looking at upcoming shows and was shocked to see that Flora Cash was headlining The Fillmore.  (It makes a ton more sense that they were headlining The Foundry).

I saw them open for Aurora two years ago.  I’d never heard of them and then a few months after the show, one of the radio stations around here started playing their single “You’re Somebody Else,” which is a cool song.

I wouldn’t have gone to this (there were two other shows I would have gone to first), but it is neat to have seen someone long before they were big enough to do a small headline tour.

I’d never heard of Beau Young Prince.  He’s a young rapper and the first comment on the first song I listened to said, “No drugs, no money, no mumble…love it!” which pretty well sums it up.  He uses autotune and raps pretty well.  I’m pleased at the diversity of this line up.

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[POSTPONED: May 1, 2020] The Residents [moved to May 14, 2021]

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The Residents are one of the most famous obscure bands in the world.  Many people have never heard of them.  Many people who have heard of them know that they wear giant eyeballs on their heads, but don’t know much about their music.  And some of us who own a couple of Residents records have no idea what their full output is like.

They’ve been around since the mid 1970s and have released some sixty albums covering all styles and genres, with the focus on avant garde sounds.  They are also hugely influential to all kinds of musicians.

When they play live, each band member wears a costume (usually the giant eyeball, but not always) and aside from the main composer for the band who died two years ago, no one really knows who is in the band.

I’ve heard their live shows were amazing spectacles, so I thought it might be fun to see them.I didn’t even realize they were still touring, so I was quiet surprised to see them coming to Philly in 2020.  I’ve heard their live shows were amazing spectacles, so I thought it might be fun to see them.  Because they’ve been around forever, I kind of assume they can play a larger venue, but again, no one has heard of them, so it makes sense that they were playing The Foundry.  But how big of a spectacle can you have at t The Foundry?

I suspected that cancelling their show might be the end of the tour for them (If the recently deceased member of the band was nearly 80, how old are the rest of them?  Who knows, they could all be in their 20s).  I’m glad to see the show is postponed, as I might just have to see what they are all about live.

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[ATTENDED: January 24, 2020] Temples [rescheduled from November 10, 2019]

2020-01-24 22.38.08_previewTemples were supposed to play Union Transfer back in November.  For some reason, their show was moved to this month and moved from Union Transfer to The Foundry (this is quite surprising considering one venue is a Live Nation property and the other isn’t).  In fact even though my Union Transfer ticket was honored, I had to go through a rather laborious process to get it switched to an official Live Nation ticket (glad I got there early).

I’m still not sure why the show was moved or why it was downgraded to a much smaller venue because Temples was fantastic and the fans were totally into it.

I loved Temples’ first album and hadn’t quite realized that they’d put out two albums since that one.  Their new sound is a bit more keyboardy/dancey instead of the big retro sound of the first album.  But the overall vibe (and excellent riffmaking) hasn’t changed from album to album. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: January 24, 2020] Art d’Ecco [rescheduled from November 10, 2019, replaced Mattiel]

2020-01-24 20.43.21_previewArt d’Ecco is a band from Vancouver.  Well, technically, Art d’Ecco is the singer and it is his band.  Either way it is a fantastic name which perfectly encapsulates the look of he and style of dandies from the Pacific Northwest playing excellent garage glam.

I didn’t realize that there were going to be two opening acts.  So when The Retinas finished I assumed that Temples were coming out next.  (I also assumed I’d be getting home really early if the headliners were going on at 9:15).

I was surprised when Art d’Ecco came out because, while I didn’t exactly know what Temples looked like, I was fairly certain they weren’t a glammy band.  Plus, what happened to the singer’s big curly hair?

I was happy to discover that this wasn’t Temples because I didn’t think I could have been that off in my expectations.  But I was even happier to discover this new (to me) band who were fantastic. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: January 24, 2020] The Retinas [rescheduled from November 10, 2019, replaced Mattiel]

2020-01-24 20.04.27_previewThe Retinas are a Philly band. I hadn’t heard of them before this show.

They are a guitar/bass/drum trio with a great sound.  In fact sometimes there were sounds and I’m not sure where they were coming from–loops?, samples? pedals? who knows.

They opened with a synth line (from where?) while singer Tom McHugh sang an opening lyric in his distinctive voice.

I loved the way the song built with some really impressive drumming from Anthony Filgnitti–whom I was standing in front of.  I couldn’t really see bassist Andy Silverman because of the people next to me, but his low end was essentially to anchoring the overall sound.

McHugh had great stage presence.  It helped that there were a lot of people  there to see them (at least McHugh said there were–and I actually saw someone with a Retinas jacket in the crowd). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 14, 2019] Charly Bliss [rescheduled from June 6]

I really liked the first Charly Bliss album and was pretty excited when they opened for Death Cab for Cutie back in 2018.  They were hugely energetic, but they seemed dwarfed by the enormous stage (and from how far away we were).  Nevertheless, they were so much fun that I knew I’d want to see them again.

So when they announced a show in Philly on June 6 at the Foundry, I grabbed a ticket right away assuming they’d sell out.  And then a few weeks before the show, we received this email:  “Due to scheduling conflict at The Foundry, Charly Bliss‘ 6/6 show at The Foundry has been postponed to November 14th.”

I’m not sure what kind of conflict could happen two months before a scheduled date, but during the show, singer Eva Hendricks suggested it was their fault and they were glad to have finally made it back to Philly.

Whatever the reason for the delay, it certainly didn’t dampen the quality or excitement of their show.

Hendricks came out on stage wearing a body suit covered in feathers.  It was fun and silly and when she pogoed (which she did a lot) the feathers flopped around and pieces fell out all over the stage.  She was the most joyous and fun performer I’ve seen. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 14, 2019] Emily Reo [rescheduled from June 6]

I hadn’t heard of Emily Reo before this show.  She was supposed to open for Charly Bliss back in June when the show was postponed.  Reo opened on the rest of those shows so it was nice she was brought back for this extra show as well.

Emily joked about mid-way through the set saying she hoped she requested the day off from work…otherwise she might not have a job tomorrow.  Not sure what her job was, but that was certainly endearing.  It also made me want to buy a CD (or a cool shirt) from her, but the line was massive (good for her).

Emily Reo is a musician and recording engineer from Brooklyn.  She has been putting out music for ten years. and has about a dozen releases.  Most of the songs in this show came from her newest album, 2019’s Only You Can See It.

I don’t remember the names of her live band mates, (sorry guys), but they played a simple drum, bass and guitar foundation for the synths and vocals that made up the bulk or Reo’s sound.

Reo had a keyboard rack in front of her.  But I was really intrigued by her voice.  In addition to being powerful with a  decent range, she multi-tracked her voice throughout the show.   I couldn’t tell if the extra vocals were prerecorded or modified live, but her backing vocals often had some kind of processing on it (or just a simple echo) to make her voice seem huge.

You can hear some of the vocal tracking (and a nice guitar solo) on “Sundowning.”

I loved the drumming in “Fleur.”  In fact, I liked the drumming in a lot of the songs–a lot of toms and interesting patterns.  She has some really cool vocal melodies on a lot of these songs like the really fast chorus vocals in this song.  Although I can tell I was too close because in the videos you can’t really hear her vocals all that well.

Ghosting” has some great high notes that really showed off her range.  There some more complex drumming in the middle.  She also does a few different vocals styles in this song.

After a few songs I saw her pick up a keytar.  If you play a keytar I’m going to be pretty excited.  If you use it as a midi-controller, creating all kinds of interesting sounds while also playing the main keyboard lines, I’m going to be super impressed.  This happened in “Balloon.”  Many times, the vocals were all kinds of processed, giving the a very cool robotic sound.

She played one song from 2013’s Olive Juice.  “Peach” sounded very different, including using a programmed drum pattern (the live drummer did join in, but the dominant sound was the electric drum). It was also the simplest song of the night (the chord progression of the verses was so simple as to be almost a joke).  The bridges has some cool sound effects thrown on top, but overall it makes me think that this album isn’t as strong as the newer one.

Once again, though I am really bummed by the lighting.  That magenta–barf.  They had even brought their own lighting projector which sent shapes on the wall behind them.  But it couldn’t defeat the pink.

I loved the guitar riff and build up in “Candy.”   There were also some interesting vocal filters (and you can actually hear the vocals in this video) for this song.  The drums were quiet but were cool with lots of little clicks and pops.  “Strawberry” started with a sequencer playing a line of keyboard notes.  New sounds were slowly added as the song grew more complex. until it resolved in a simple melody with a prominent guitar riff and layered vocals.  The most memorable part of the song came at he end when, through a filter that sounded a bit like a megaphone, she sang lyrics that were almost like a cheerleader:

what do you deserve from me
n-o-t-h-i-n-g
why do you always have to be
so c-r-y-p-t-i-c
save the calls for my kitty
c-h-a-r-l-i-e
wish you had earned that PHD
in r-e-s-p-e-c-t
how many girls in this city
are getting t-i-r-e-d
finding a sense of security
through h-i-d-i-n-g
wish i could swim but i’m in your teeth
b-l-e-e-d-i-n-g
wish you had earned that PHD
in r-e-s-p-e-c-t

And who doesn’t love songs with lyrics that you have to spell?

Interestingly, the Charlie might be the person in my favorite song, the set ending “Charlie.”  The song was a slow burner with some big soaring vocals and terrific harmonies.

She was an enjoyable opening act and I ‘m glad to have heard her.

One observation about her voice.

On record she has a delivery that I’ve noticed a lot of women seem to have lately and I can’t decide if its an affectation or an accent or an age thing or what.  The women who do it are not from the same place, so it can’t be an accent).  You can hear it in the way she sings the first line of “Sundowning.”  From 30-40 seconds, the lines “something familiar caught in a smokescreen / locked in a mirror.”  The way she sings the word “mirror” is weirdly affected.  You can also hear it from 2:55- 3:00 in “Ghosting” (“from a hollow tree / I’ve been spirit hosting”).  Other singers who have this kind of delivery include Margaret Glaspy (who is from California).  At around 48 seconds in “You and I,” listen to the way she sings “out on parade” is that same delivery but so excessive it’s practically slurred.  And around 1:40 ” I think you might be harboring a heartache” is just full of that delivery.  What is is called?  Also SOAK (who is from Northern Ireland and may actually have an accent in her delivery), but the way she sings “B a noBody” has a lot ofthat delivery in the first lines and in the way she sings “c’mon c’mon.”  Perhaps it’s generational.

SETLIST

  1. Sundowning *
  2. Fleur *
  3. Ghosting *
  4. Balloon *
  5. Peach ⊗
  6. Candy *
  7. Strawberry *
  8. Charlie *

* 2019 = Only You Can See
⊗ 2013 = Olive Juice

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[NOT ATTENDED: November 10, 2019] Mattiel/Temples [moved to January 24, 2020 at The Foundry]

I don’t know how often bands postpone their shows/tours.  I know sometimes visa problems keep bands out of the country.

Back in September I received this email about this show

Temples have postponed their fall tour and have moved their Philadelphia date to January 24th 2020. The show will no longer be taking place at Union Transfer but at The Foundry (29 E Allen St).

It seems really unusual that they would trade venues for a show. Especially since (I’ve learned a bit about venue politics) it is going from an independent venue to one owned by Live Nation. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 29, 2019] Jay Som

A few years ago, I listened to a podcast on All Songs Considered, in which they talked about Jay Som, Japanese Breakfast and Mitski as being similarly-minded songwriters.

I made a point to try to see all three of them and Jay Som was my third.  I feel like her songs might be the most commercial-sounding (I mean, “Superbike” is awesome!) and yet she played in the smallest venue of the three.  But the fans were really into the show!

Jay Som is the creation of Melina Duterte.  She came out last after her band set up and checked out to make sure everything was cool.  When she came out on stage there was much applause and she thanked us for coming to her show while Sum 41 was playing downstairs.  he said that she and the band checked out a few songs before their set started.  Actually their set was so short, they could have easily gone down afterward and heard more.

Up on stage with her were Oliver Pinnell on guitar, Zachary Elsasser on drums and Dylan Allard on bass and keys.  There was also a fifth person on stage.  A woman.  And that’s all I really know about her.  I’m sure she was introduced, but I never caught her name.  And, because of the position of the keyboard rack, I literally never saw her face.  She played keys and bass.  When she stood in front of the keys, the upper keyboard blocked her face and when Dylan played keys, he totally blocked her.  So, apologies, unknown band member. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 29, 2019] Boy Scouts

I had heard a song by Boy Scouts on NPR and I was pretty happy they were going to open for Jay Som.

Traffic was a little heavy and I feared that since another band [SUM 41!] were playing in the main part of the building, that it would be tough finding parking. But I got a spot and made it up to The Foundry with no problem. I wound up right behind a short person who was against the fence.

Boy Scouts is basically the creation of Oakland-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Taylor Vick.  She writes delicate, harmony-laced folk and sings in a gentle tone.

I really enjoyed that the songs were simple but not obvious.  There was usually something unexpected in the song that kept it from being monotonous.  Whether it was an unexpected pause before a beat or just the way she stretched out a chord at the end of a line.

She also played some unexpected chords–or at least unexpected high on the neck of the guitar. (more…)

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