Archive for the ‘Union Transfer’ Category

[POSTPONED: October 15, 2021] Waxahatchee / OHMME [rescheduled from April 14 and October 5, 2020 and May 16, 2021]

indexOriginally this concert featured support from OHMME, which was half the reason I wanted to see this show and not one of the other shows.  For whatever reason, OHMME was no longer at this show, and support was now from Katy Kirby, who has a very catchy song called “Traffic!” and plays some lovely folk songs.

This show has been postponed so many times it is ridiculous.  It was finally rescheduled on the night before a special day in our house.  So, although I had two tickets, S. wasn’t going to go.  Then on October 15, just hours before they were supposed to go on stage for their first sold out show at Union Transfer, they forwarded this message:

Waxahatchee has postponed the last few shows of their tour including the Philadelphia dates on October 15 & 19.

We are confirming new dates right now and will send out those details in a few days.

Your tickets will be good for the new date (no need to do anything). If you cannot make the new date, we will be happy to refund you, however, we ask that all requests be made after the new date is announced.

From the band: “This morning, a member of our touring party tested positive for Covid. The rest of the band/crew have tested negative, but out of an abundance of caution, we have to postone these last 4 shows of our 6+ week tour. We hope to be able to reschedule them for early in the new year.”

Thank you.

— xo UT

This one worked in my favor.  And I’m looking forward to that rescheduled show next year.


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[ATTENDED: September 26, 2021] Osees

I didn’t really know the Osees very well when I bought tickets to this show (which had been rescheduled, but I didn’t have tickets to the original show).  I knew them more from knowing their history of names changes.  [They have recorded as OCS, The Ohsees, The Oh Sees, Thee Oh Sees, Oh Sees and now Osees].  And also from the Levitation/Reverb Appreciation Society live stream/quarantine shows.

Because of this, and because of the chill nature of the opener, Mr. Elevator, I never expected the show to be as wild, raucous and mosh pit filled as it was.

The first indicator should have been when the two drummer set up at he front of the stage (nods to King Crimson, there).  But it wasn’t until main Osees guy (the only one who has been in all iterations of the band) John Dwyer came out on stage (off to the left as we faced the stage).  He noted that it was Sunday, the Lord’s day, then he started playing “The Dream” and the crowd went apeshit.

Within minutes I was pushed pretty far to the side of the crowd, safely out of the way of flying feet.

Their set covered albums from 2011 (their twelfth album) through to last year’s Metamorphosed (their 23rd album).  It was glorious. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 26, 2021] Mr. Elevator

I had I had never heard of Mr. Elevator and really didn’t know what to expect from them.

It turned out that they are a fun, retro-sounding psychedelic band.

I was immediately blown away by their drummer Jesse Gorman Conlee who was metronomically precise and playing complicated rhythms.  Which seemed at odds with, but which worked perfectly with the synthy grooves the rest of the band was making.

It also turned out that the keyboardist and main singer Tomas Dolas is (as of 2018) the keyboardist in Osees.  They started out as Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel, but droped half of the name after releasing their first album Nico and Her Psychedelic Subconscious.

The show started with them spread across the stage–drums on the left, bass (Jon Tattleman), keys (Dolas) and more keys on the right (Justin Ruiz).  They played a series of mellow, but still rocking songs.  There were lots of cool trippy synths and some solid basslines.  Dolas has some lengthy jamming keyboard solos that were very retro. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 19, 2021] Bob Mould Band

I saw Bob Mould play a solo show last year (just before the pandemic).  I had seen him 24 years earlier and thought it would be fun to see him again.  And it was.

When he announced this new tour, I didn’t feel like I needed to see him again.  However, since he was with a band, I thought it would be a different experience.  And it was.  Not radically different, but different enough to make it more fun.

Last time he played 22 songs in about 80 minutes.  And, in what I understand is true Mould fashion, a song would end and he would jump right into the next one.  He took a break every few songs to chat and then off he went.

It was much the same at Union Transfer, although this time he played 24 songs in 80 minutes.  Having the other two guys Jason Narducy on bass and Jon Wurster on drums added a much appreciated low end.

Plus there are some songs (especially Hüsker Dü songs) where the bass and or drums play something distinctive and it was nice to hear that part.

In 2020, Bob had not yet released Blue Hearts, although he did play four songs from it.  For this show he opened with four songs (two were different, like the appropriately angry “American Crisis“).  And then he was all over his lengthy discography (dating back to 1983). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 19, 2021] Kestrels

I had not heard of Kestrels.  They are a trio from Halifax with several releases out.

According to the new release

Since 2008, Kestrels has been the primary project of singer/guitarist Chad Peck, who spends his time offstage as a high school English teacher.  [Do his students know that their English teacher rocks?]

They played an excellent mix of loud and soft, with ripping solos, an excellent bass sound and cracking drums,

When they first started playing I actually couldn’t hear Peck’s voice at all.  I was right up against the fence in front of the stage and assumed I was too close to hear the voices (that’s not a nice audio trick to play on people in the front).  I backed up a few steps and could hear him better (they may have turned up the vocals, too).

Peck’s guitar playing was really fun–big distorted chords and then pulling back for some quiet guitar picking.

One of the more amusing moments was when the bassist (whose name I didn’t catch) asked if they could change the lights (they had been on that terrible red for a couple of songs).  He said “I’m a ginger, anything but red.” (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 18, 2021] Soccer Mommy [moved from March 30, 2020]

I was supposed to see Soccer Mommy open for Phoebe Bridgers a few years back.  I felt sick on the way down to the show so I wound up coming home instead.

S. bought me her CD for some holiday in 2020 and I thought it would be fun to see her live.  I was supposed to see her back in March of 2020, but the show was pushed back until September 2021.   And in that time, something big must have happened to her because this show sold out! And the crowd was really intense about her.

As soon as Sophia Regina Allison (who is Soccer Mommy) came on stage, the crowd went bananas.  It was kind of funny because Sophie is so low key.

She had a pretty full band with her. I stood in front of her lead guitarist who really made some outstanding noises –a component that made her songs even more interesting to me).  Her new bassist (this was his first tour with them) had an amazing sound–buzzy and noisy but groovy at the same time.  Guitarist-keyboardist Rodrigo Avendano on the far side added some great textures and drummer Rollum Haas whom I could not see because I giant cymbal was in the way, played some amazing fills and really added a lot of intensity to these songs.

What I’m saying is that the album is good, but live, the songs were amazing.

Soccer Mommy only has two albums out.  Most of the songs came from the new(ish) album Color Theory.  I have to say that I was really surprised she played “Circle the Drain” second because I thought it was her big hit and would come at the end.  She must have a lot of hits that I don’t know about.

I had a hard time getting clips of Julian Powell because of the way he was hiding behind the carboard TVs, but I loved the way that he and Sophie harmonized the guitar licks on “Crawling in My Skin.” (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 18, 2021] Squirrel Flower

I had heard of Squirrel Flower from All Songs Considered and I was interested in seeing her live.  So I was pleased when she was announced as the opening act for Soccer Mommy.

Squirrel Flower is the stage name of Ella Williams who has been releasing music under this name for about six years.

The show started a little late, so when Ella and her band came out, we all cheered, until we realized they wee just setting up the gear and setlists.  A few minutes later Ella came out by herself and sang “I’ll Go Now.”  It was a remarkably slow song.  She payed stretched out chords and sang slowly over them.   A few minutes in, she bent down and did something at her feet and a looping melody began–I couldn’t tell if she played it live, but it did have a not that was a slightly off.  The song ended and everyone cheered.

She apologized for the “fake out” earlier and then started “Desert Wildflowers” in that same slow style. (more…)

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[POSTPONED: September 12, 2021] Andy Shauf / Faye Webster [rescheduled from May 1 and December 17, 2020; moved to March 31, 2022]

indexThis show appeared and then disappeared.  In May, Andy’s own website it was still an active date until you clicked on it and the ticket sales said March 2022.

Maybe in 2022 Andy will come back around.  He was supposed to play a show in NJ as well, but there was none listed in May.  We’ll see.

Postponing shows until December seemed like a safe bet.  My calendar was pretty free and I was hoping to see shows by now.  I’m not sure if I’d rather have gone to Philly or Asbury Park, though.  Well, next year will held me decide, I’m sure.

Andy Shauf is a Canadian singer songwriter.  He sings quiet, introspective songs.  He was playing at Union Transfer at the beginning of Mat and then in New Jersey in the middle of May.

I was introduced to his music from a Tiny Desk Concert in which he never really moves.  He has very long hair which also never moves.  His songs are really very pretty and well constructed.

It’s his voice that I find utterly fascinating.  He enunciates in such an unusual way.  The way he emphasizes certain vowels defies his Saskatchewan upbringing.  He sings not unlike Margaret Glaspy and other newer sings who stress their vowels in an unusual to me way.

I really enjoyed his Tiny Desk and I enjoyed reading about the album The Party which sounds like the worst party ever.

Since then he has cut all of his hair and looks totally different–I wasn’t even sure it was the same guy.

Faye Webster is a singer from Georgia who actually has a similar singing style to Andy, which is fascinating.  She sings low key torchy ballads and would be a perfect opening act for him.  I’m going to have to listen to a bit more from her.

He’s the kind of musician that I would think about going to but probably wouldn’t, and then I’d wish I had.  Well, now I have two more chances.

His initial itinerary fascinated me:

Boston, Brooklyn, Philly, D.C., North Carolina, Atlanta, New Orleans, Alabama, Indiana, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, upstate New York.

The rescheduled shows keep the same basic set up except that now Philly is the day before NJ–I wonder what changed that plan.


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[POSTPONED: August 19, 2021] Ty Segall and the Freedom Band [rescheduled from October 2, 2020; moved to June 24, 2022]

Another postponement, but in the meantime, Ty has released at least one album, and there will probably be more by next June.


Ty Segall is one of the more prolific artists out today.  He’s in about a dozen bands, and he releases a solo album (or two or three) a year.  He plays a garagey rock that has lots of energy and fuzz.

I can’t say I like all of music mostly because I haven’t even heard most of it. But everything that I have heard I’ve enjoyed.  And every live videos I’ve seen of him makes me think that his live show is not to be missed.

I was hoping to see him playing with his band Fuzz also this year, but that was postponed as well.  It’s interesting that Fuzz was going to play at the tiny Underground Arts while Ty and his Freedom Band were going to play at the much larger Union Transfer.

I hope both shows go on as planned–it would be a fun co


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[ATTENDED: June 3, 2018] Japanese Breakfast

A few nights before this show, Union Transfer sent out this message

Japanese Breakfast have requested that all attendees for the remainder of their tour be vaccinated OR have tested negative for Covid in the 48 hours prior to attending a show.

And nothing made me happier than reading that.  We arrived especially early thinking that the vaccination process would be slow, but the UT staff were efficient and friendly and I think everyone was pleased to feel safe and secure.

And anyone not vaccinated?  Well, fuck em, they can stay home.

I saw Japanese Breakfast three years ago and found the show to be a lot of fun.  I also bought a fun poster that proudly adorns our breakfast area.  Since then, they have released a new album and S. has really gotten into them.

When it was announced that Japanese Breakfast would be playing the first post-pandemic show at Union Transfer, I knew we’d want to go.  I grabbed tickets immediately and it sold out almost as fast.  They added a second show and then a third show.  One of those shows was actually BEFORE our show, which meant we didn’t get to go to the venue’s inaugural show, which was a tiny (very tiny) but disappointing.

She ultimately wound up selling out five nights in a row–a Union Transfer record.  Go Michelle!

She also noted that the folks on our night were “spicier” than the Friday night crowd.  No doubt because we were the big fans who grabbed tickets right away.  Or she was just saying that. (more…)

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