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Archive for the ‘Union Transfer’ Category

[POSTPONED: December 18, 2020] Andy Shauf / Faye Webster [rescheduled from May 15, 2020]

indexPostponing 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.

shuaf

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[POSTPONED: December 17, 2020] Andy Shauf / Faye Webster [rescheduled from May 1]

indexPostponing 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.

shuaf

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[CANCELLED: November 24, 2020] Squarepusher

index

Squarepusher is an electronic musician (Tom Jenkinson) who has been making weird glitchy electronic noise beats since the mid 90s.

I have an LP and an EP.  I really haven’t listened to him in a very long time.  In fact, I didn’t even know he was still doing stuff.  But his new stuff seems to be just as weird and glitchy and cool as his earlier stuff.

He hasn’t toured the States in five years and hasn’t been to Philly in eight years.

His North American tour was originally in April and was basically Boston and New York on the East Coast.  He rescheduled his shows and added Philly to the tour.  I asked my friend who introduced me to them so long ago if he would consider going.  He said he was never that big a fan and that the man is full of himself.  Not a ringing endorsement.

Since I’ve never been to a show like this–noise and glitchy “dance” music, I would be interested to see what it’s like.  It might also have been a fun first show to return to, although it was officially cancelled.

I do hope he decides to come back in 2021.ca

EUgZB4fWoAEle91

 

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[CLOSED: November 11, 2020] Boot & Saddle

COVID-19 has officially closed one of my favorite clubs of all time.  I hoped beyond all reason that all of my favorite clubs could weather this storm.  And hope in the back of my mind that they are able to resurrect it somehow if this Pfizer vaccine comes to fruition.

The official word:

After seven years and 1,500+ shows, we are now forced to close Boot & Saddle.

With Covid-19 cases back on the rise in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and around the country, the thought of having 200 people standing shoulder-to-shoulder in our small indoor bar early next year has faded. After eight months without a show, and without a clear reopening date in sight, we no longer have the luxury of paying the bills and expenses for two closed venues. And so, we have made the difficult decision to close Boot & Saddle for good. We hope that this decision will assure that our sister venue, Union Transfer, can survive well into 2021.

We sincerely appreciate all the support over the years. From everyone who saw a show, had a drink, or played on our stage. We are proud of having provided a stage on which local Philadelphia artists can develop and grow alongside national and international touring acts.

It has been a fun and enjoyable experience from start to finish: transforming an old country & western bar, which was shuttered for eighteen years, into a bustling, live music venue with its iconic neon sign lighting up Broad Street. Boot & Saddle was where the likes of Lizzo and Sam Smith made their Philadelphia debuts. It is also where legendary icons like Thurston Moore and Psychic TV performed for intimate crowds. Where gigantic local bands like The War on Drugs, Circa Survive, and The Menzingers played unforgettable, secret shows. We like to think that over the last few years we helped contribute to the best music scene in the United States.

None of this would have been possible without all the hard work of our entire staff, past and present, especially Gina, Andy, and both Jeffs, who did an incredible job in making South Philadelphia’s first music venue in 30+ years into an incredible success.

In memoriam, we will be creating an R.I.P. Boot & Saddle Benefit T-shirt, if you feel inclined to support the venue one last time. Portions of the proceeds will go towards continuing to pay our full time staff’s health care during the pandemic, as well as keeping the lights on at Union Transfer (for which we very much intend to not have to make an R.I.P. Union Transfer Benefit T-shirt). Check our social media channels in the coming days for that!

We would like to take this final opportunity to remind everyone that local independent venues in our city and across the country are in grave danger. Live Music Venues were the first businesses to close and they will be the last to re-open. As other restaurants, bars and stadiums begin to re-open, our doors remain shut. We cannot sell you a contactless takeout or curbside delivery concert. Without some form of assistance, our local music scene right here in Philly, along with countless others across the country, may collapse. We will keep our socials active, so that we can from time to time pass along news and actions that you can take, to help ensure that the remaining venues in Philly stay open.

For the next week, we will keep the neon lights on at Broad Street to remind everyone of what was. Grab a pic while you can and tag us.

Thank you for the memories, and we hope to see you at Union Transfer.

– xo B&S

Here’s the shows I’ve seen there [with many more planned for 2020/2021, sigh]

11/7/2016 Dilly Dally
11/7/2016 Marge
11/7/2016 Palm
12/4/2016 Jason Anderson
12/4/2016 Strand of Oaks Winter Classic II
5/10/2017 Family Crest
5/10/2017 Oh Bree
9/28/2017 Torres
9/28/2017 Aphra
3/8/2018  Jessica Lea Mayfield
3/8/2018 Mal Blum and the Blums
3/12/2018 Active Bird Community
3/12/2018 We Were Promised Jetpacks
5/9/2018 Sloan
7/26/2018 Japandroids
7/26/2018 Mannequin Pussy
12/7/2018 Strand of Oaks Winter Classic IV
12/7/2018 Carl Broemel
12/7/2018 Joe Pug
2/1/2019 claud
2/1/2019 SOAK.
4/15/2019 Big Heet
4/15/2019 Gurr
4/15/2019 Priests
5/10/2019 Kevin Devine
5/10/2019 John K. Samson
5/10/2019 Shannon Moser
6/5/2019 Ages and Ages
11/18/2019 Blushing
11/18/2019 Lovelorn
11/18/2019 Ringo Deathstarr
12/12/2019 Strand of Oaks Winter Classic V
12/12/2019  Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner
2/7/2020 Garcia Peoples
2/7/2020 Suffacox Mach 2
2/21/2020 Sloan: Navy Blues tour

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[POSTPONED: November 4, 2020] Diet Cig / Sad13 / Thin Lips [rescheduled from May 14 Union Transfer]

indexI was really bummed when this show was postponed.  I was even more bummed when it was moved to the Church. I really liked the venue when we first arrived, but by the end, I was hot and sweaty and crowded and worn out.

Then back in September, the venue sent out this message

We that brief note of optimism, now for the bad news: The rescheduled show w/ Diet Cig has now been officially “canceled”. When we rescheduled this show a few months back, we thought we would be in a much different place than where we are currently.

Exactly NOT what I wanted to experience in a club.  So this postponed makes sense to me.  Maybe next time they’ll move them back to a bigger venue.

I have wanted to see Diet Cig ever since I saw them on a Tiny Desk Concert–they are a bundle of energy and the duo play super catchy pop punk.  I wanted to see them before they lost their energy.

I missed them the first time they came around and last time around they played at the First Unitarian Church, a venue I dislike.  So when they announced this show at Union Transfer I was so excited.  This cancellation was a major bummer for me.

Especially since now that they rescheduled it is apparently being moved to the Church again (does this mean sales are really poor?)

Sad13 is the solo moniker of Sadie Dupuis the singer of Speedy Ortiz.  They were wonderful live (and I was right in front of Sadie to watch her terrific guitar work).  I don’t really know much about the Sad13 songs but I assume they will be great if she is behind them.

I saw Thin Lips at the Philly Music Fest and they were absolutely fantastic.  I loved them and was looking forward to seeing them again.  They play catchy pop punk with pointed lyrics.  Outstanding.

So, I sure hope all three can come around for the postponed date (and I hope it sells better and has to get moved out of the Church into a bigger venue).

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[CANCELLED: October 31, 2020] Einstürzende Neubauten

indexEinstürzende Neubauten are infamous–they have been making noise (their name means collapsing new buildings) for forty years.

It never even occurred to me that you might be able to see them live.  Apparently,

The last time the Berlin-based band attempted a tour across the Atlantic was back in 2010.

Unfortunately, Blixa Bargeld and Co experienced heavy losses when their ten date 30th-anniversary tour of the US was held up by bureaucratic red tape.

Neubauten had two cancel the tour just two days before the first gig at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, at the time stating:

“While the US Department of Homeland Security did issue approvals for the band’s visas, it was not done in time to secure the appointments at the overseas embassies and consulates that represent the necessary final step in the process.”

Their earliest music was largely noise and mechanical sounds. They have morphed over the years (Blixa Bargeld played with Nick Cave for many years).

What began in 1980 in the Berlin Wall City in impetuous noise constructions went through countless metamorphoses and can still be called the avant-garde today. To avoid the impressive work outstripping the band, Blixa Bargeld, NU Unruh, Alexander Hacke, Jochen Arbeit and Rudolf Moser always set new artistic goals.

I wonder who was going to open for them.

I would really enjoy seeing them live. However, I would never be going to a show on Halloween night–I have kids after all.

It’s a shame that this whole tour was cancelled–I would imagine they would never try coming back to the States. But if they do, I will certainly try to get there.

eineilish

 

 

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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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[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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[POSTPONED: October 2, 2020] Ty Segall and the Freedom Band [moved to August 19, 2021]

indexTy 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 comparison.

tysegall

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SOUNDTRACK: JAPANESE BREAKFAST-Live at Philly Music Fest @Ardmore Music Hall, Philadelphia PA, September 25, 2020).

I saw Japanese Breakfast back in 2018 at Union Transfer.  It was a really fun show.  Since Michelle Zauner is from Philly she really made the show personal. 

During the introduction to her set for Philly Music Fest, the announcer said that he’d been trying to get Japanese Breakfast to play this festival since it began.  So one good thing about the pandemic was that the band was still in Philly and not world touring.

We got to watch the band come out from back stage, take up their instruments and start “Diving Woman.”  This song has a wonderful, memorable bass line and a jamming guitar solo from her lead guitarist.

For this show she had the addition of Molly on violin.  Molly added so much to the upbeat and poppy “In Heaven.”

Michelle put down the guitar for “The Woman That Loves You,” a shorter song that was followed by the funkier “Road Head.”  This song is really catchy and has a very interesting slide sound from the bass.

It was funny to see her not playing the guitar because usually when she just had the microphone, she would interact with the crowd some.  But she only had the video monitor to look at.  Nevertheless, after the song she said “it feels great to feel like you have a purpose again.”

They played a new song–the first time the band played it together–called  “Kokomo Indiana” which is from the perspective of a love-lorn 17 year-old boy whose girlfriend moved to Australia for a summer exchange program.  It was a slower song with a slide guitar melody.

Michelle returned to the guitar for “Boyish” the catchy song from her old band Little Big League, with the chorus

I can’t get you off my mind
I can’t get you off in general
so here we are we’re just two losers
I want you and you want something more beautiful

Up next was “The Body is a Blade” with some slinky guitar lines.  After the song, someone triggered a sample of a crowd cheering, which was fun to hear and made Michele laugh.

Michelle put the guitar down again for “Essentially,” with a dynamite bass line that runs through the song.

Then she sat at the keyboard for the next song.  A new one called “Tactic.”  This is the first time she’s sat at the keyboard, “I feel very professional.” Her guitarist also played keys for this slow song.

She commented that it was lovely to see The Districts play–they are rehearsal space buddies and she felt it was surreal hearing them practice for the same show that her band was.

Then it as time for an old classic, the bouncy “Heft,” with a really nifty guitar line after the chorus.

During the quarantine, Michelle made a quarantine music project with Ryan from Crying.  The band is called BUMPER, and they released an EP called Pop Songs 2020.  She did a countrified version of the song “Ballad O” which was a look at both perspectives from Kenny Roger’s “Don’t Take Your Love To Town.”  Peter plays the slide guitar and the drummer sings the male parts.

She announced that her bass player Devon was going to get married (cue the fake cheers from the sampler) and so she was going to play a sing about marriage, “Til Death.”  This is the first song I’d heard from Japanese Breakfast many years ago and it always sounds great live.  The opening verse feels even more poignant today:

all our celebrities keep dying
while the cruel men continue to win

Then came a surprise cover: Tears for Fears’ “Head Over Heels.”  Musically it sounded spot on and I enjoyed her vocal take on it–not unusual or weird, just very differed with her voice instead of Roland Orzabal’s.  Then for the “da da da da” part at the end, three of The Districts came out (with masks on) to sing into one of the microphones.  It was a wonderful moment of live spontaneity (or not, but still) that is what makes live shows so much fun.

They followed that with a ripping version of “Everybody Wants to Love You.”  The drummer sang the backing vocals on this part to good effect.

Michelle took a moment before the last song to use her platform and say that of course “Black Lives Matter.  Not just saying it, it means marching and fighting.  Please vote.  We must work to defund the police and invest in our communities.”

That’s another thing I’d missed about live shows–bonding over good causes.

They ended with a “goofy” cover of a “Taste of Ink” by The Used.   I don’t know the song or the band, but it was a jangly bouncing song and the most rocking song of the night.

And then it was over.   While it was nice not having to drive an hour to get home, I still would have preferred to be there (although maybe not right now).

Diving Woman [§]
In Heaven [¶]
The Woman That Loves You [¶]
Road Head [§]
Kokomo, Indiana [new]
Boyish [Little Big League song]
The Body is a Blade [§]
Essentially [newish]
Tactic [new]
Heft [¶]
Ballad 0 [BUMPER song]
Til Death [§]
Head Over Heels [Tears for Fears cover]
Everybody Wants to Love You [¶]
Taste of Ink [The Used cover]

[§] Soft Sounds from Another Planet (2017)
[¶] Psychopomp (2016)

[READ: September 24, 2020] “Sultana’s Dream”

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 first learned about Muslim Bengalese feminist and writer Begum Rokeya through a massive landmark anthology: Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s The Big Book of Science Fiction published in 2016. …  The story was first published in The Indian Ladies Journal in 1905…. She simply switches the roles of men and women in her Muslim society.  This may seem like a simple trick, but … writers of science fiction have long known that sometimes a switch on perspective is all it takes to illuminate truths that are otherwise obscure.

This story is pretty simple and straightforward.  A woman, Sultana, falls asleep.  She dreams (or is it real?) that a woman named Sister Sara has come to walk her through the streets of Darjeeling. (more…)

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