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[ATTENDED: April 1, 2022] Bartees Strange

I saw Bartees Strange open for Lucy Dacus back in October.   I was delighted by how well he was received by the Car Seat Headrest crowd.

His set was very similar to that last one.  He exchanged out a couple of songs for newer ones, but the general vibe was the same.

He came out by himself, wearing a bright year rain slicker and started with a quiet opening of “Far.”  After a couple of minutes, the rest of the band came out and rocked out the rest of the song.

I’m not sure if he had the same band playing with him–I assume so.  He got the crowd moving with one of his faster songs, “Mustang.”  And, like last time, he followed it with the rap of “Kelly Rowland” with the memorable refrain: “Broke ass nigga but I got Versace dreams.”

Mixing it up some more, he followed that with the bouncing “Weights.”  He looked up at the audience and chuckled, “Oh, my mom’s here.”

Then he introduced the new song “Hold the Line.”  He wrote the song for George Floyd’s daughter, and it was quite a powerful moment.

He followed that with a cover of Lemonworld by The National.  I thought last time that it was kind of mellow but the chorus rocked pretty hard.

He introduced the “jazz standard” called “Boomer” and ripped the song through the venue with everyone dancing and singing along.

He ended the set with another new song, his new single “Heavy Hearts.”  It’s a bit more mellow, and I probably would have ended with Boomer, but the set was really solid regardless.

Bartees is a great performer and I’m glad to see him getting some attention.  His merch was also really cool.

2022 2021
Far Far
Mustang Mustang
Kelly Rowland Kelly Rowland
Weights Weights
Hold the Line [new] 17
Lemonworld (The National cover) Flagey God
Boomer Lemonworld (The National cover)
Heavy Hearts Stone Meadows
Boomer

 

[ATTENDED: March 29, 2022] Sparks

Sparks is, without question, a weird band.  I got into them back in 1997 when they released an album of re-recorded versions of their best songs and called it Plagiarism.  Since then they have released eight albums.  Before  that the had release sixteen albums dating all the way back to 1971.  And yet despite the occasional hit, they remained largely unknown in the States.  They are from the States even though many people assume they are from Europe.  Sparks are Russel Mael (vocals) and Ron Mael (everything else).

And they remained at a certain level of obscurity until 2021 when a documentary called The Sparks Brothers was released (and did very well) and when they created a musical movie called Annette which won the Cannes Soundtrack award.

The time seemed ripe to do a (limited) tour of the States.  Sparks last played toured American back in 2013, they played at Le Poisson Rouge in 2017, but that was just two shows in New York and two in California–not much of a tour.  Normally I hate going into New York and will only do it for special occasions. Continue Reading »

[ATTENDED: March 28, 2022] LCD Soundystem

Usually I like to give a separate post for an opening act.  But the opening act for this show was a DJ named Dave P. who does a show called Making Time.  Or Making Time is a show and he is one of the DJs.  Or something.  I didn’t quite get it.

So Dave P. spun music before LCD Soundsystem came on.  It was kind of funny because they always play music before a band comes on.  So instead of a playlist, it was an actual person spinning songs.  But he wasn’t on stage–he was up above in the balcony.  And he never spoke.  So it almost didn’t make a difference.  The tunes were pretty good though (but waaay too loud–much louder than the band was).

The biggest gripe I had was that he played until 9:30  (I had arrived at  around 7:30).  So I basically stood there for two hours.  Why didn’t LCD Soundsystem come on at 9 or something?  The show could have ended at a more reasonable time as well.

So the band came out at 9:30.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this show.   I like a bunch of LCD songs, but they’re all kind of monotonous dance songs.  So what was a live show going to be like. Continue Reading »

[ATTENDED: March 26, 2022] grandson

My son got me into grandson a couple of years ago.  I really like his debut album, death of an optimist.  I promised that if grandson toured, I’d grab tickets.  I bought the tickets for this show a while ago and had no idea that in the interim, grandson had become (in relative terms) really popular.

He wrote the theme song to Suicide Squad which had apparently upped his profile and, he was also opened for Imagine Dragons which is pretty massive exposure.  So good for him.

It also meant that this show was much more crowded than I thought it would be.  We arrived pretty earlier, but the merch line was crazy long.  By the time we got into the show it was pretty crowded, but I know Union Transfer, and I know where there’s a good spot to get you closer to the action. Continue Reading »

[ATTENDED: March 26, 2022] Oxymorrons

I hadn’t heard of Royal & the Serpent.  When I looked them [her] up, I saw something that suggested that she had maybe worked with grandson–that he had produced something for her?  But I haven’t been able to find it since.  Whatever.

When I listened to her before the show (singer Ryan Santiago IS Royal & the Serpent–they are both parts of her personality), I thought she sounded an awful lot like grandson sonically.

When they started, first her drummer came out on stage.  She crouched by the drums waiting.  Then her guitarist,  Brent Burdett, came out, his hair was died blue and pink and he seemed very tall.  Especially compared to Royal who came bouncing out to their 2021 song “I Can’t Get High.” Continue Reading »

[DIDN’T ATTEND: March 25, 2022] Cavetown / Tessa Violet / Addison Grace

Cavetown has a song called “Lemon Boy” which my daughter introduced me to.  She listened to it a lot, so when Cavetown announced a tour I grabbed a ticket for us in Philly.  I was actually surprised that someone I thought was fairly unknown was playing the Fillmore and not the Foundry, but it turned out that the show sold out in the big venue

Then a few weeks later Grandson announced a show in Philly for the same night.  I knew that my son really wanted to see Grandson.  So I checked and saw that Cavetown was also playing the in New York the night before.  So I grabbed us tickets for that show.

Later I found out that my daughter was going to a party that night.  So we opted not to go.  I was able to sell the tickets for both nights.  I’m curious what the show was like, but I’m sure he’ll be back.

Tessa Violet Williams, previously known as Meekakitty, is an American singer-songwriter, video blogger, actress, music video director, and former model.  She seems to write minimalist, simple catchy pop songs.  A perfect companion to Cavetown I think.

Addison Grace has a similar vibe and, in an interview it says they were inspired by Cavetown.  So that makes sense.

[ATTENDED: March 26, 2022] Oxymorrons

My son C. has been a big fan of grandson for a while now.  I knew that we’d be seeing him whenever he came to town.  This was also his first exposure to Union Transfer, so I thought it would be super fun for both of us.  And it was, but it wasn’t as I expected.

After getting forced to the back for girl in red, I thought we’d want to arrive earlier.  But I also knew that this show hadn’t sold out  so I imagined we could stroll in at 7:30 and get right up front (there were two opening bands after all).  But when we walked in, the merch line was ENORMOUS (and slow) and the room was already a little full.

Well, we waited for mech (good decision) and heard Oxymorrons start their set.  We walked in during “Think Big” and, even though it was crowded all the way to the back, I found my favorite spot stage right was open, so we slunk our way to that corner and were within a reasonably close distance from the stage.  Sweet.

Meanwhile, Oxymorrons were on stage ripping it up. Continue Reading »

[DIDN’T ATTEND: March 25, 2022] Cavetown / Tessa Violet / Addison Grace

Cavetown has a song called “Lemon Boy” which my daughter introduced me to.  She listened to it a lot, so when Cavetown announced a tour I grabbed a ticket for us in Philly.

Then a few weeks later Grandson announced a show in Philly for the same night.  I knew that my son really wanted to see Grandson.  So I checked and saw that Cavetown was also playing the in New York the night before.  So I grabbed us tickets for that show.

Later I found out that my daughter was going to a party that night.  So we opted not to go.  I was able to sell the tickets for both nights.  I’m curious what the show was like, but I’m sure he’ll be back.

Tessa Violet Williams, previously known as Meekakitty, is an American singer-songwriter, video blogger, actress, music video director, and former model.  She seems to write minimalist, simple catchy pop songs.  A perfect companion to Cavetown I think.

Addison Grace has a similar vibe and, in an interview it says they were inspired by Cavetown.  So that makes sense.

[CANCELLED: March 24, 2022] Fu Manchu / Speedealer [rescheduled from May 9, 2020 and March 18, 2021]

indexThis show had been rescheduled for March of 2022 after two previous cancellations.  But with the rise of more COVID cases Fu Manchu decided to cancel once more.  It strikes me that they seem quite content to just cancel a show and then work with the venues for a future show, so I’ll assume they’ll be back to Philly eventually.

~~~~~

This concert was never formally cancelled it seems (as of last week you could still get tickets for it).  But Fu Manchu officially cancelled all of their shows on the tour.  No word yet if they’ll be back, but I hope so.

Fu Manchu is one of the great stoner rock bands.  They have been around for thirty years with a similar fuzzy, grungey sound.  I missed them the first time around but because more keenly aware of them when their 2018 album Clone of the Universe featured not only an 18 minute song, but also a guitar solo from Alex Lifeson of Rush.

Their early stuff is really catchy and I wish I had known about them for longer.  They seem like they’d be a really fun live band.

Speedealer was originally called REO Speedealer, which I love.  They were told to cease and desist from REO Speedwagon (imagine that).  They play a kind of aggressive garage metal.  They have a punk edge and the lead singer has a growly punk voice that is clear enough amid the roughage.

I feel like they don’t quite pair with Fu Manchu (they seem a bit too aggressive) and would pair better with Monster Magnet.

SOUNDTRACK: hiatus

[READ: March 2022] Jailbroke

This was the third of three books by Asman that I received at work.  It was also the least enjoyable of the three.

The story is a simple one.  Set in the future when humans are not the greatest species on the planet (they go by Terrans now), a spaceship that is run primarily by AI is ferrying humans around.  Using Asimov’s first principal, the AI, who are now vastly smarter and more useful than thehumans, cannot harm the humans.  Their existence is predicated on the fact that are have to help the humans.

Until, that is, one of them is accidentally fed biofuel that has a human part in it.  This jailbreaks their programming and allows them to kill humans indiscriminately.

Since this is a spaceship (a bottle episode), there’s not a lot that can happen.

In Nunchuck City, Asman delighted in violence.  In this story, he delights in gore.  Like the way he describes in loving detail how the space drill works on someone’s skull. Continue Reading »