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Archive for the ‘World Cafe Live’ Category

[POSTPONED: January 21, 2021] The Beths / Lunar Vacation [rescheduled from April 29 Kung Fu Necktie and August 27, 2020 from World Cafe Live; moved to February 24, 2022]

indexThis show has been bounced around now to three different venues.  I was sure I’d finally get to see The Beths, but then this new uptick pushed their tour back.  I don’t know how wise pushing back a show for one month is during this pandemic nonsense.  Especially since they’re saying the spike will drop away in mid-March, but darnit, I really want to see The Beths.

I was looking forward to Weakened Friends opening, but Lunar Vacation…

Based out of Atlanta, Georgia, the story of Lunar Vacation can be traced back to eighth grade, when Grace Repasky and Maggie Geeslin met and started sharing musical ideas. As soon as the pair became old enough to drive, they started to take Lunar Vacation on the road, playing venues across the sprawling suburbs of their home city and fulfilling so many teenage dreams along the way. As the buzz around the pair grew, so did the band, as they expanded to their current four-piece line-up, and upon finishing school, they started to self-release their music, in the shape of two EPs, Swell and Artificial Flavors.

And their new album, Inside Every Fig Is A Dead Wasp which dives into the the waters of dreamy-indie, psychedelia and bedroom-pop.  Sounds pretty great!  Come on boosters, let the bands play. (more…)

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[DID NOT ATTEND: December 12, 2021] Bully / Graham Hunt Band / Slomo Sapiens

Look at this, yet another great show at Underground Arts that I didn’t go to. That place has really got my number–we just need to get our calendars to synch up better.

Bully is basically Alicia Bognanno and whoever she chooses to play with.  She writes great songs and has a unique and cool voice.  I really enjoyed Bully’s first album, Feels Like, but when it was announced that she was touring a new album (and playing Philly with Spirit of the Beehive AND Control Top!) well, I checked that album out right away. And it is very good.

I was pleased when it was announced that she’d be playing Underground Arts instead.  World Cafe Live is a better venue, but UA is much easier for me to get to.  Sadly the opening bands were not the same, but that’s okay.

And then…. Baroness announced they would be playing three nights at Kung Fu Necktie.  I couldn’t make the Saturday one (holiday party), so my only choice was Sunday.  Later they added another date for Monday, but I had already purchased my ticket and it seemed like way too much of a hassle to try to change it.  So Bully had to miss me.  Drat.  Come back again Alicia!

I’d never heard of Graham Hunt although apparently he is been in a lot of bands.  According to this write up

Hunt’s solo work continues to be an oddball amalgam of the best traits of his other projects: Midwives’ exacting focus, Reruns’ strong songwriting structures, and Sundial Mottos’ winsome, relaxed aesthetic all are apparent throughout the excellent new solo album Painting Over Mold. Even the distinct imprints of Dusk and Mike Krol, both acts Hunt has appeared with as a touring member, find cohesion across the record.

Slomo Sapiens continues the tradition of great band names from Philadelphia.  I didn’t know much about them, but they are described as a psychedelic “sludge rock” trio, which sounds pretty good to me.  Their newest album is called Cabin Fever Dreams.

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[POSTPONED: August 27, 2020] The Beths / Weakened Friends [rescheduled from April 29 Kung Fu Necktie]

indexThis show was moved from Kung Fu Necktie (a venue I’ve never been to and would like to check out) to World Cafe Live–I’m very curious how these two venues are connected.

The Beths are from New Zealand.  New Zealand has a pretty great track record for producing great bands.

The Beths play a delightful alt-pop rock with a splash of grunge and punk all under Elizabeth Stokes’ high but powerful voice.

I’m not too familiar with their music, but I was planning to be by the time of this show.

The opening band Weakened Friends describes themselves as “We’re three tall young adults making some songs and eating some snacks. Indie noise junk band from Portland ME and Boston MA.”

I listened to a few songs and they have a great distorted guitar/catchy chorus sound.  J. Mascis even guests on one of their songs.  I think they’d be great live.

Hope they can make it back to the States next year.

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[CANCELLED: May 22, 2020] Bully / The Spirit of the Beehive / Control Top

indexI really liked Bully’s first album Feels Like, which came out back in 2005.  Then they just sort of disappeared (I gather there were label issues with their second album).

They have a good grungey guitar sound with a controlled screaming vocal from Alicia Bognanno.  They would probably be a lot of fun live.

The two opening bands are from Philly.  I’ve seen them both and would love to see them again.

The Spirit of the Beehive were outstanding live.  I’d never hard of them before but they easily blew me away with their set which was a nice mix of shoegaze and noise.

Control Top are an outstanding punk band with great lead vocals from bassist Ali Carter.  I was supposed to see them in march but that show was one of the first postponed.

This is an outstanding bill and although the show is cancelled, I really hope the three can do a show again in the future.

Amazingly there were four different shows I would have gone to on this night.  And this one might have won out.

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[POSTPONED: April 29, 2020] The Beths /Weakened Friends [moved to Auguist 27, 2020 @ World Cafe Live]

index

The Beths are from New Zealand.  New Zealand has a pretty great track record for producing great bands.

The Beths play a delightful alt-pop rock with a splash of grunge and punk all under Elizabeth Stokes’ high but powerful voice.

I’m not too familiar with their music, but I was planning to be by the time of this show.

The opening band Weakened Friends describes themselves as “We’re three tall young adults making some songs and eating some snacks. Indie noise junk band from Portland ME and Boston MA.”

I listened to a few songs and they have a great distorted guitar/catchy chorus sound.  J. Mascis even guests on one of their songs.  I think they’d be great live.

Hope they can make it back to the States next year.

I love World Cafe as a venue, but I really want to get to King Fu Necktie sometime.

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[POSTPONED: May 22, 2020] Mew

indexI saw Mew a few year ago at The Foundry. I was really, really excited about the show because in addition to really liking Mew, I knew that they would put on a good show.

But the show was utterly spoiled by the guy behind me who sang every word right into my ear.  This would irritate me under any circumstance, but when the singer of the band has a gorgeous angelic falsetto and the guy behind you… does not, it was a terrible experience.

I actually had to move away from him about half way through the show which made it better but put me in a much worse spot.

This tour is a the 15th anniversary of the first Mew album that I heard from them: And The Glass Handed Kites, the album I know best.  I was really looking forward to this show especially because the venue will be great one.

I held out hope that this one might not get cancelled, since it was so far into May, but it was pretty inevitable.

I sure hope it can be rescheduled.

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[ATTENDED: February 27, 2020] Sarah Harmer

I don’t remember when I first heard Sarah Harmer.

I think it was back in 2000 with her first album You Were Here.  (She has an album that she recorded before it but it wasn’t officially released until later).

You Were Here had the song “Basement Apt.” which was a reasonably big hit.  I also checked out her previous band Weeping Tile who are unjustly overlooked.

Harmer put out consistently great records, including I’m a Mountain, a bluegrass album that is totally awesome.  It took her five years to release the next album, Oh Little Fire, because she became an environmental activist and performed music mostly in guest roles.

Now it’s been ten years since Fire and she is back with a new album called Are You Gone.

She told us that this was the second night of her tour–a warm up for the big times in Canada.  Sarah had a four piece band with her.  She introduced them twice and I couldn’t make out a single name in the bunch.  But I was able to look them up. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: February 27, 2020] Chris Pureka

I had not hear of Chris Pureka before this set, but they really blew me away.

Pureka has been making music for about twenty years and they have a fantastic stage presence.

Chris is never rushed, calmly getting things set up between each song and maybe chatting with us–or not.

For the first song, “Holy,” they played acoustic guitar and the song was really quite pretty.  But it was when Pureka turned away from the microphone and yelled a “Hey!” that I really paid attention to how they were singing.  Pureka’s voice is quiet, but when they did those “Hey”s their voice was loud and filled the room.  Fantastic.

Introducing “Tinder” Pureka says that they wrote the song back in 2009 when tinder had an entirely different (and nicer) meaning.

One of the cooler things was Pureka’s use of an electronic drum pad.  What I especially liked what their sparing use of it.  Because whenever that cavernous echoing drum jumped in to keep the beat, it made the song so much bigger.  But the spare use of it meant that it gave the song parts some extra oomph.

Pureka played acoustic and electric guitar and for the fourth song, they sat down (after joking about how the microphone was going to fall into their lap for sure).  The reason for sitting was because in addition to the electronic drum, there was also a tambourine and Chris used both feet to add the drum and a tambourine to these songs. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: January 30, 2020] Nada Surf

I’ve been a fan of Nada Surf for a really long time.  I was so excited to see them live two years ago (on the 20th anniversary tour for Let Go).  That was two sets and a ton of music.

I was pretty excited that t hey were coming back to World Cafe Live to tour for their soon to be released album.

I arrived just in time for the opening act and was really surprised at how empty the venue was (last time it was packed to the rafters).  By the time Nada Surf came on, though, it was pretty crowded, so that’s good.  Nevertheless I was right up front.  So close that I could read Matthew’s water bottle.

I assumed that the last show was so comprehensive (all of Let Go, plus a full set of 20 songs) that there wouldn’t be a lot of difference in this show.  And I didn’t mind at all, because there’s hardly a dud in their entire musical output).

Amazingly they played NINE new songs at this show (including three brand new ones).  And as I was comparing the setlists, I couldn’t believe some of the songs they didn’t play last time–and that show was so good I didn’t even miss these terrific songs.  Well done, Nada Surf! (more…)

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[ATTENDED: January 30, 2020] Aaron Lee Tasjan

I knew Aaron Lee Tasjan from a Tiny Desk Concert that I really enjoyed.  He was playing songs from his then new album Karma for Cheap which had a great psychedelic kind of sound to it.  I thought that he and his band played really well together and I was looking forward to seeing them.

So I was a little bummed to find out that he was playing solo (and acoustic!).

But it turns out that Tasjan is a great songwriter and while I definitely preferred the sound he got on the album, I enjoyed listening to his lyrics as he played acoustic guitar. (more…)

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