Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Union Transfer’ Category

[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

Read Full Post »

[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

Read Full Post »

[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

Read Full Post »

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…)

Read Full Post »

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

I was supposed to see The Districts play at Union Transfer on March 12.  COVID-19 had just found its way into New Jersey and Pennsylvania and I was being very cautious so I decided to skip the show.  It was a safe decision, but one that I now regret as it would have been a pretty great final show of the year.

Last year I went to one night of the Philly Music Fest and it was terrific.  This year, the Philly Music Fest was all virtual.  The live shows were played at Ardmore Music Hall and there were some prerecorded shows as well.

If this were a show I could have attended (apparently, some “golden tickets” were given out to a few people, but I have no idea how), the two live bands are exactly who I would have wanted to see.  The Districts opened for Japanese Breakfast.  And in the live stream, Arnetta Johnson & Sunny played before The Districts and Zeek Burse played in between them.

So here was my chance to see The Districts playing live.  I’m actually not sure if I would have gone had I gotten a golden ticket (I have read that 25 people were in the place including the band).  When they played Union Transfer, they played 26 songs in what must have been quite a long show.  For this show, they only had about 45 minutes.  So they played 10 songs from their last two albums and a new song.

They opened with “My Only Ghost,” which opens the new album.  It’s a quiet song with a nifty bassline and a lot of atmospheric keys.  It’s an unusual song for them, with a lot of gentle falsetto singer.  But it works as a good opener.

Up next was “Nighttime Girls,” a 2018 single that I didn’t know.  It rocks with echoing whammy bar guitar chords.  The band really started having fun with this song.  When the song ended a slow drum beat thumped as they prepped for the next song.  They thanked everyone for coming out and talked about how excited they were to play live again.  a

Then they launched into “Fat Kiddo” from Popular Manipulations.

The camera came up behind them to show that there was a video monitor in front of them where they could see the people watching online.  After shouting out to a few people, they started the ripping “Sidecar” with the really fun “hoo hoo hoo” singalong part.

After some more chatting with more of the “zoomers” and acknowledging the few people in the audience whom they cannot see, they play the wonderful new “Hey Jo.”  It was great to hear this live.

As the band tuned up there were samples of tweeting birds and a slow rumble of bass and drums.  Singer Rob Grote says, “someone’s putting on quite the show on zoom,” before jumping into a great sounding “If Before I Wake.”  The band sounds really tight as they jump between the quiet verses and the loud ones.

Then one of them looks at the screen and says “hey that’s my apartment!  that’s my girlfriend.”  She says “you guys are great. Love you!” It’s nice they unmuted her for that.  They play the moody “And the Horses All Go Swimming” (which they did not play at UT) and there’s some wild soloing at the end.  I think the band would have been bouncing around if there was an audience, but they are pretty animated.

Up next was the slow whistling opening of “4th of July.”  It was followed by the faster “Salt” complete with gang vocals during the chorus.

The set was nearing the end and they played their fantastic new song “Cheap Regrets.”  This is one of my favorite songs of the year.  I love that it’s totally retro sounding but not retro at all.  It’s got a great bassline and keys.  They rocked this out to a roaring ending.

They ended the show with a new song that is quiet and pretty with a flute-like keyboard and mellow guitar.  There’s some great changes in the song and some really cool guitar parts.  It might be called “Do It Over.”

And that was it.  Was it as good as being at a live show?  Not really.  But it was still petty great seeing them play live and have a good time.

My Only Ghost [¥]
Nighttime Girls [single]
Fat Kiddo [¶]
Sidecar [¥]
Hey Jo [¥]
If Before I Wake [¶]
And the Horses All Go Swimming [¥]
4th of July [¥]
Salt [¶]
Cheap Regrets [¥]
Do It Over [new]

¥ = You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere (2020)
¶ Popular Manipulations (2017)

[READ: September 24, 2020] Light Ahead for the Negro (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 that this is an early example of Afrofuturism and of utopianism.  It follows in the tradition of Edward Bellamy’s 1888 Looking Backward in imagining a future society that has changed for the better due to a vastly different political climate.  As with most such vision, Johnson’s world manages to be both too optimistic and too pessimistic.

In his 2006, news outlets no longer produce racist content, yet there are only 11,000 Bloack doctors…. The main characters’ conversations about “now and then” are in reality, a survey of cutting edge political thought on issues of major concern to Black citizens of 1904: voting disenfranchisement, lynchings, reconstruction, employment, poverty, education and more.

Johnson was a practicing attorney when he wrote this and he later became the first African American to be elected to the New York State legislature in 1917.

The book opens in 1906 with the narrator flying in a dirigible to the South.  He is planing to help the Negroes in the South adjust to their new citizenship.  But the dirigible hits bad weather and he is lifted up into the atmosphere only to come back to earth in the year 2006.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

[CANCELLED: September 16, 2020] Best Coast / Mannequin Pussy [rescheduled from March 20]

indexThis show was rescheduled from March 20.

Best Coast was one of the first bands whose show/tour was postponed by the coronavirus.  The band quickly rescheduled their March show for September, which was a relief and an indication that everyone thought things would be back to normal by the fall.

Then on May 12, I was sent this update:

Some sad news to share, the re-scheduled September 16th show w/ BEST COAST has now been outright canceled.

Right now our business, like so many others in the live music industry, is feeling the effects of this shutdown. It’s been eight weeks since we had a show, and our doors will likely be closed for at least a few more months. Although our shows have been temporarily paused, the hard work of our staff, operating costs, and continued expenses have not.

As of May 12, there’s no explanation for why (I’m sure that will be on their site).  Is it just preemptive cancellation or a way for people to get refunds rather than holding on to tickets?  Who knows.

I do hope that concerts will resume by September, but I guess it’s not looking to good for that.

best coast

Read Full Post »

[POSTPONED: September 8, 2020] They Might Be Giants [rescheduled from March 13; moved to April 15, 2021]

indexThis was one of the first shows that was postponed because of the coronavirus.  The new date was scheduled very quickly and, as it turns out, too soon.

Now, like most shows, it is being pushed back about a year from its original date.  Boy I hope it holds out.

I am still very much looking forward to it.  Don’t give up on us yet, Johns!

March was going to be a very busy concert month for me.  This was to be the first of four shows in five nights.  This show was going to be for me and S.–a night of They Might Be Giants performing Flood!

It turned out to be the first of dozens of shows cancelled or postponed by the coronavirus.

Obviously, my main concern is for everyone’s safety, including the bands!

My selfish concern though is that once the shows are rescheduled that all of these shows will be scheduled on the same day!

Let’s hope the rescheduled dates also do some social distancing.

tmbg

Read Full Post »

[POSTPONED: August 27, 2020] Joywave [rescheduled from April 24; moved to June 27, 2021]

indexThis show was postponed from April 24.  I didn’t know all that much about Joywave then but figured I’d listen to them more and see if I wanted to go see them.  When the show was postponed I thought it would give me more time to check them out.

I did and I found them to be okay.  But I probably wouldn’t have gone to see them anyway (I’d rather have gone to The Beths).

Read Full Post »

[POSTPONED: August 14, 2020] Waxahatchee / Fenne Lily [moved to April 6, 2021]

indexWaxahatchee was supposed to play Union Transfer back in April.  That show was rescheduled to October.  But in the interim, she scheduled this date at Asbury Lanes.

Union Transfer holds about 1,000 people.  Asbury Lanes holds about 100.  What a different experience that would be.  Even if you went to both shows.

The one real difference though is the opening act.  OHMME is in Union Transfer, Fenne Lily is here.  I loved OHMME when I saw them and want to see them again.

I saw Fenne Lily open for Lucy Dacus and I really enjoyed her.  In fact, I would enjoy seeing her again as well.  So, her as an opening band isn’t a bad thing by any means, It’s just not as good as OHMME.

I’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.

I’m curious if this show will be rescheduled.  It would be fun to see her in a small space (with social distancing).

wxa

Read Full Post »

[POSTPONED: July 30/July 31, 2020] Built to Spill [White Eagle Hall show moved to July 30, 2021]

indexI’ve seen Built to Spill a bunch of times. The last time I promised myself I wouldn’t get too close to the stage, but I did.  The problem with being so close is the way Doug Martsch has his guitar set up.  His amp is right next to him and it is so loud.  From where I was you could barely hear anything else.  Of course I’m there to watch Doug play, so it’s not too bad.  But I promised myself I would stand back to fully appreciate his band.

On this newly announced tour, his whole band was going to be different.  In fact, I have seen at least three different lineups for the band over the years.  This tour was going to feature drummer Teresa Esguerra of Prism Bitch (who opened for Built To Spill last time) and bassist Melanie Radford of Marshall Poole.  I knew it would be a very different show.

Unfortunately, I had tickets to Kraftwerk on July 30 and tickets for The national on July 31 (not to mention we were supposed to leave for the Newport Folk Festival on the night of the 31st as well).  So I sure hope he keeps this line up when he;s ready to play again.  And I will stand back and take it all in.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »