Category Archives: Upcoming Shows

Upcoming Shows: Tame Impala at the First Unitarian Church

As the Noise Narc most likely to use the “psychedelic” tag (especially since Dave misspells it “psychadelic”), I’ve been remiss in waiting this long to post a track from what is very possibly the best psychedelic album of 2010, Tame Impala’s debut Innerspeaker.

The Western Australian four-piece has made quite a splash this year, and if Pitchfork hadn’t been so glowing about them, I probably would have posted a review of my own a long time ago.  I stupidly resisted listening to the album because Pitchfork is not the boss of me.  Yet as St. Augustine wrote, “what a fool I was then.”  Seriously, folks, it’s good.  Also, while I’m going to post the single, “Solitude is Bliss,” bear in mind that Innerspeaker is a whole album and that’s how you’re supposed to listen to it.

They’re going to be playing the First Unitarian Church  in Philadelphia this Sunday at 7:30.  Tickets are $12.

On a side note, the latest R5 Productions email notification calls Tame Impala “a more poppy, fun version of Dungen” and Passion of the Weiss made a similar comparison to the Swedish prog outfit back in July:

I love the Tame Impala record, but let’s be honest with ourselves: they’re essentially a poor man’s Dungen fronted by a guy with an uncanny vocal resemblance to John Lennon on “Tomorrow Never Knows.”

Having listened to the latest from Dungen, this year’s Skit I Allt, I can definitely see the resemblance, but if only one of these albums is going to be on my top ten, it’ll be the one from down under.

Tame Impala, “Solitude is Bliss” [Buy Innerspeaker]

Dungen, “Barnen Undrar” [Buy Skit I Allt]

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Blood Feathers advance notice / Best of Philly 2010 songs

Blood Feathers w/ Birdie Busch
Tin Angel, 20 S 2nd St, Philly
Thursday 1/20, 8:30PM

Advance notice on an upcoming show that Noise Narcs had a hand in bringing into fruition. Back in September when we did our interview with Drew Mills with Blood Feathers, we mentioned that it’d be great to see Ben Dickey and Drew Mills do a singer-songwriter-esque set at Philly’s super-intimate Tin Angel (an “acoustic cafe” which, nepotism disclosure, my dad books). So on January 20, they will be doing a gig with fellow Noise Narc-fave Birdie Busch at Tin Angel. On a side note, Blood Feathers’ drummer Patrick Marsceil was excellent last night at his gig as Sun Airway’s drummer.

And the last time I went to their website (picture above), I don’t remember it being so winter-y…

NOISE NARCS: Back in March, PhillyBurbs claimed that your next release would be a Christmas album, coming out, well, soon. Any truth to that?
DM: There was talk…

In other Philly news, as part of a contest, we put together a “Noise Narcs’s Top 10 Philly Songs of ’10” on Which you should check out and review enthusiastically (and make suggestions for Philly tracks we missed). And while you’re there, take advantage of their 14-day free trial of their 8+ million streaming songs. Which I honestly can’t imagine going without.

Drew Mills and Ben Dickey of Blood Feathers | Birdie Busch
Tin Angel, 20 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA
Thursday, 1/20/2011 8:30 PM $12

Blood Feathers, “Don’t Know You at All” [Buy]
Birdie Busch, “Joey” [Buy/Stream EP]

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Show Reminder: Wednesday: Bear in Heaven & Sun Airway now includes Twin Shadow!

Bear in Heaven w/ Twin Shadow and Sun Airway, 11/17, Johnny Brenda's

Back in September, I babbled enthusiastically about this Wednesday’s show with Bear in Heaven and Philly’s own Sun Airway at Johnny Brenda’s.  Since then,  Sun Airway’s pulled a very favorable 7.8 review from Pitchfork and Noise Narcs favorite Twin Shadow has been added to the bill. I’ve got nothing else to say but “God damn.”

Bear in Heaven, Twin Shadow, and Sun Airway
Wednesday, 11/17/2010, Doors/Show: 8/9PM
Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia, PA
Buy Tickets (Advance/Day of: $10/12)

Bear in Heaven, “You Do You” [Buy]
Sun Airway, “Oh, Naoko” [Buy]
Twin Shadow, “Tyrant Destroyed” [Buy]

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Upcoming Shows: Dandy Warhols w/ Hopewell, 11/7, Philly

Hopewell mound from Ohio

I was all excited, after Hopewell’s management asked us to write about their upcoming show with the Dandy Warhols this Sunday, to talk about the Native American Hopewell tradition. What a cool source for a band name, I thought. The Hopewell tradition spanned societies of the Eastern United States, from 200-500 CE, and was a sort of pax romana. A period of extensive trade throughout the area and, anthropologists suspect, significant peace. Plus, who doesn’t love the cool mysterious mounds the societies left behind?

Well, unfortunately for my desire to talk about 1500 year old Native American trading societies, Hopewell are from Hopewell Junction, NY, so the connection is… slightly less direct. Regardless (and shhh… don’t tell the indie rock police or they’ll take away all my Belle and Sebastian records), I do have a fondness for bombastic, psychadelic space rock. So Hopewell makes up for their name-tease. Filling space rock with the sounds of Jane’s Addiction (whom they cover on their new Hopewell Live: Volume 1). It certainly doesn’t hurt that on the downtempo songs lead singer Jason Russo has a definite Jason Lytle thing going on. And if you didn’t know Lytle’s work in Granddaddy, solo, or in last year’s Sparklehorse/Danger Mouse collaboration, then thanks to me you finally have an answer to the question: What’s your favorite song from the perspective of a broken machine?

Hopewell, “Of Course (Jane’s Addiction cover)” [Buy Hopewell Live Volume One]
Hopewell, “Synthetic Symphony” [Buy The Birds of Appetite]
Grandaddy, “I’m on Standby” [Buy Sumday]

Hopewell are opening for The Dandy Warholls on Sunday at the Electric Factory. The Dandys…. Well, I can’t say I listened to more than a track or two from their last two albums (with, um, good reason), but I still have a major crush on their hopelessly and wonderfully shallow take on bobo life in Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia, from (oh my God I’m old what happened to the past decade) 2000. Plus, their most recent release is a greatest hits, which gives me hope that The Dandys will hit mostly their heart of the material. Plus, if DiG! is any indication, Hopewell probably threw a party last night on a Hopewell mound, and the Dandys showed up the next morning for a photo shoot of a party they didn’t attend. I kid, I kid: I love me some Dandy Warhols.

Dandy Warhols, “Godless (Extended Outro) [Buy The Capitol Years: 1995-2007]

Dandy Warhols w/ Hopewell, Sunday, November 7th, 8PM, Electric Factory. Buy Tickets.

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Bloktoberfest > Gentrification

Shiloh Baptist Church, courtesty of lb_philly

For you outsiders, Philly is a city of neighborhoods. Last time Noise Narcs’ Material Lives came to visit, she said that she would probably hate Philly if she didn’t have a local to take her to all the (walkable) awesome ‘hoods and was instead bounded by the tiny boundaries of the tourist circuit. One of those formidable hoods is Graduate Hopstial (which I’m still calling it despite the hospital’s renaming and residents attempts to go by SoSo for South of South), an area south of tony Rittenhouse Square. Graduate Hospital had become a predominately black neighborhood by the 1920s, home of Philly’s contralto pride Marian Anderson, and for many decades was one of the arteries of the heartbeat of Philly’s musical scene. But in the 1980s and 1990s, the neighborhood fell on tough times, setting the stage for the inevitable gentrification flow from nearby Rittenhouse. I won’t bore with you my conflicted feelings here, the inevitability of market forces and neighborhood change, cities’ struggles with providing sufficient affordable housing, our historical guilt for the sordid past of redlining which prevented African Americans from buying houses (this Plan Philly article does a good job at detailing the area’s gentrification). But, anyway, suffice to say both gentrifications’ good and bad sides have reared their heads in Graduate Hospital.

But Bloktoberfest is pure good. On the 20th Street block of Christian Street sits Shiloh Baptist Church, a mammoth and beautiful church that once housed Philadelphia’s largest African American Baptist congregation. And in an attempt to bridge the gap from the gentrfiying to historical residents, the neighborhood has been hosting Bloktoberfest, a celebration of craft beer (33 varieties at bargain prices), food truck cuisine, and music, all in support of Shiloh Baptist Church. And it’s free to attend. The ‘fest’s previous year was marred by rain, but was still a truly remarkable time. This year promises to be even better. Plus, how often do you get a chance to tour a gorgeous church drunk?

A selection of Bloktoberfest’s bands:

Budos Band: My Staten Island friends have been talking for years about the excellence of their borough’s afrobeat revivalists with good reason.
Budos Band, “Chicago Falcon” [Buy Budos Band III]

The Love Language: Recently signed to Merge, these guys walk the same swirling paths that My Morning Jacket used to tread.
The Love Language, “This Love Is Our Own” [Buy]

Allo Darlin’: Philly’s heart belongs to twee and so does this London quartet’s.
Allo Darlin’, “The Polaroid Song” [Buy]

Cozy Galaxies: Née Major Leagues, these Philadelphians (along with Dr. Dog) make a case for Philly’s defining new sound as mix of The Beatles and bar rock.
Cozy Galaxies, “Dreamer” [Buy]

And for the honor of the hood, the inimicable Marian Anderson:
Marian Anderson, “My Souls Been Anchored in the Lord” [Buy]

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Monday Music: The other Portuguese edition

#15 in the field, but always #1 in our hearts...

My brother and I have a tendency to make lists.

In younger days, discussions often came down to naming the top Pirates pitchers (Doug Drabek), the best WWF matches (Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon), and the best Ghostbuster (Egon).  But as we grew older, and dreams of athletic glory and paranormal activity passed, our lists began to focus on things a little more immediate. (best beers, top Arrested Development episodes, etc.)

So when we decided earlier this year to make a trip to Chicago for Lollapalooza, questions quickly turned to “What are the top five bands you must see?”,  “What’s the #1 conflict on your schedule?”,  and “What’s the first can’t-miss song of the weekend?”

To the final question, the answer was a quick, and unexpected, “The Rat.”  Even though I hadn’t put the Walkmen near my top 5 must-see bands, “The Rat” elicited such careening, uninhibited chaos, that seeing that song performed toward the very start of the festival just had to be a harbinger of the raucous weekend imagined to come.

“The Rat” kicked-off a festival that, while not always raucous, was appropriately careening.  Joined alongside it were two excellent tracks from the new album Lisbon, “Angela Surf City” and “Stranded.”  I haven’t had the opportunity yet to purchase the rest of the album, but if the two songs were any indication, the Walkmen are quickly approaching top-5 territory.

The Walkmen – The Rat (purchase Bows and Arrows)
The Walkmen – Stranded (purchase Lisbon)

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Ticket Giveaway: Pavement @ Mann Center, Philly, Friday, 9/17

In the last 36 hours I’ve listened to all the Pavement on my iPod in chronological order, albums, EPs, B-sides. 122 songs, seems both like a lot and not enough. Conclusions? Fewer low points than I had expected: Pavement hits relentlessly off the sweet spot in the bat. (Speaking off sports, did you know that Stephen Malkmus is a huge fantasy sports guy? Who knew? Chuck Klausterman, that’s who; his Pavement piece in GQ is worth a read.)

I have an extra Pavement ticket for tomorrow’s show at the Mann in Philadelphia, with Noise Narc favorite Kurt Vile opening. Section A, Row Q: 21 rows from the stage (and yes, you can use it to go sit on the lawn with your friends). And I’m giving it away.

Join our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and then tweet/post on our wall/write on a postcard: “Dad, they broke me.” Winner will be chosen tomorrow by noon, and we’ll figure some way to get you the ticket.

Three song picks, a forgotten B-side reworking favorite proving that Pavement could country barnstorm, a song about listening to your grandmother’s advice about Ezra, and a Kurt Vile tent revival.

Pavement, “Slowly Typed” [Buy]
Pavement, “Silence Kit” [Buy]
Kurt Vile, “I Know I Got Religion” [Buy]

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Upcoming Shows I Can't Wait For: Bear in Heaven/Sun Airway

Back in March, I saw Bear in Heaven take the undercard for Cymbals Eat Guitars at Johnny Brenda’s. A few notable things happened:

1.) WXPN favorites Freelance Whales lived up to their name: intolerable, unforgivable cuteness.
2.) Bear in Heaven stole the show outright. Absolutely incredible. Seriously vying for my favorite live performance of the year. I liked the album going in; I loved it going out.
3.) So stunned by the Bear in Heaven show, especially their Animal-like drummer, I stumbled to the bathroom and struck up a conversation with a stranger. “So, which band are you here to see?” Note to self: Don’t ask the lead singer of the headlining band that.

In June, I saw Sun Airway play a set at Johnny Brenda’s. Two notable things happened:

1.) They played well but only a few songs.
2.) Their projected visuals, from Klip Collective (see above), were amazing.

How’s the math go? 3 + 2 = 6? New WXPN blog The Key just announced that Sun Airway, with an upcoming album’s worth of material, will be opening for Bear in Heaven at Johnny Brenda’s on November 17th [Buy Tickets]. Circle of life. WXPN, consider yourself forgiven for Freelance Whales.

Previously posted:
Bear in Heaven, “Lovesick Teenagers” [Buy]
Sun Airway, “Waiting on You”

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It's Hard To Be Humble When You're From Philadelphia: Phosphorescent, Free Show, Tonight

Sure, Chris may be repping Bethlehem’s street music and beer drinking, but here in the City of Brotherly Love, we drink beer in the streets (and in some churchy venues) like gentlemen: out of a paper bag.

And tonight we’ll get to do that as we enjoy one of my favorite acts of the year, Phosphorescent, for free in Rittenhouse Square Park. Philly’s most adorable crazy indie rap-dance-punk-electro group, GANG, open.

Tally: Bethlehem 1 (birthing the messiah), Philadelphia 1 (free Phosphorescent concert)

Phosphorescent, “It’s Hard to Be Humble When You’re From Alabama”

GANG, “Rat Poison”

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Upcoming Philly shows: Dr. Dog's Phil Selway and Local Natives

Did you know that Radiohead’s drummer, Phil Selway, is coming out with a solo album? I heard one song. If you like weak Pablo Honey era B-sides (and ugh, I do), you’re in super luck. But speaking of drummers creating solo albums, ex-Dr. Dog drummer Juston Stens, with his band The Real Gang, is coming out with one. And from what I’ve heard, it’s actually pretty damn good. His Myspace mentions that he shares the same birthday as Ringo Starr. Tomorrow never knows, indeed. Definitely in the Dr. Dog universe, but with a slight Pulp base and a serious 60s rock&R&B chaser. And with a significantly less nasal bouquet.

And guess what? Stens and the Real gang are playing a free show tonight, Philebrity Rock ‘N’ Roll BBQ, at Penn Treaty Park, 7PM-9PM. And Noise Narc crush Birdie Busch will be opening. Worried about the rain? Worry wort. The show will move indoors to The Barbary if the sky doesn’t cooperate. Still free. Still great tunes. Just a slightly less beautiful view of the Delaware and Petty Island. Sorry, Chris, no relation to Tom. But… Stens does have a sweet cover of “Don’t Come Around Here No More” on their Myspace.

Oh, and until 8/12, download their EP for free from the above psych-widget.

Juston Stens and the Get Real Gang, “Lonely Lonely Night”
Juston Stens and the Get Real Gang, “Falling”

Because I had no idea I’d be going to two other concerts (the other being Arcade Fire on Monday) this week when I bought the tickets a few months ago, I’ll also be going to see Local Natives on Friday. Back then, I really was expecting the LA natives’s debut, Gorilla Manor, to grow on me. It’s a good album, but one I find myself less and less drawn to. It’s very… pleasant. As Pope said:

Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer.

Anyway, the show is at the First Unitarian Sanctuary and has been sold out for months. If anything can improve my disposition about Local Natives, it’ll be hearing their soaring vocals bounce off the rafters of that most wonderful of indie rock venues/hippy churches. And hey, “you don’t like anything on local radio / so you fumble around ’til you land on NPR / and listen to world news.” Just like me! Before my car got stolen last week. NPR-thieving bastards.

Local Natives, “World News”

Buy Gorilla Manor on Amazon.

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