Last week we spoke with Kevin Devine about his two latest albums (Bubblegum and Bulldozer), his biggest influences, and even got to hear an impromptu cover of Elliott Smith’s “The Biggest Lie”. If you missed the on-air interview, you can listen here!
Tag Archives: Philadelphia
Last Thursday night Fred Armisen put on one of the coolest variety shows Underground Arts has ever seen. A little bit comedy, a little bit music, and even a little bit of one-on-one conversation, there wasn’t a dull moment throughout.
Underground Arts announced on Facebook that Fred would be bringing “a surprise legendary guitar player” just hours before the show. After an opening musical set by his British SNL character “Ian Rubbish,” then doing some jokes as himself, he soon brought out the truly legendary J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. The first song they played together was Dino’s “Feel the Pain”. They also played “Massachusetts Afternoon” by the Blue Jean Committee (an SNL sketch which featured Jason Segel on piano) and had the whole crowd singing along to the ridiculous lyrics about apple cider. He ended this portion of the show with “It’s a Lovely Day,” another Ian Rubbish song. Armisen played the song in character on his last SNL performance in May, where many of his musician friends including Kim Gordon, Aimee Mann, Carrie Brownstein, Michael Penn, and Mascis joined him on stage.
In addition to this short but awesome set, the crowd enjoyed previewing clips from the new season of Portlandia that will air “in early 2014” according to IFC’s website, and another surprise musical guest, Kurt Vile!
Towards the end of the show Fred spent a good twenty minutes answering questions from the crowd. His response to a question about whether it’s frustrating working with SNL hosts who are not actors reflected his optimistic and quirky personality: “I’m going to sound like such a wimp, but the idea of greatness is overrated. When someone is great, I’m bored. When something’s a little off, I’m fascinated!”
Words to live by.
To reiterate our Tennis review, Underground Arts is currently Philly’s coolest and most unique venue; if for nothing else, go for the great $2 popcorn they’re now selling at the bar. You can see a list of their their upcoming events here.
By Shannen Gaffney
Denver based indie pop group Tennis played on November 7th to an intimate and excited crowd at the Underground Arts space in Center City Philadelphia, which opened just last year. If you haven’t been to Underground Arts before, you’re missing out! The coolest new semi-hidden venue in Philly, it’s a small industrial warehouse-type of basement, covered in Christmas lights and art pieces.
They began the set with “Petition,” and played most of the best songs from 2012′s Young & Old: “My Better Self,” “Traveling,” and “It All Feels the Same,” along with some new songs. Their new EP, Small Sound, is a continuation of their cutesy, airy pop sound and has been released on the band’s own label, Communion. Alaina’s signature lush vocals are the focus point of Small Sound. On their single, “Mean Streets,” she sings, “Born and raised on the mean streets / That’s where she learned how to keep the beat”. The rest of the EP is full of similarly playful lyrics and melodies that got the small but energetic crowd dancing all night.
Here are some pictures from the show!
By Jonathan Plotkin
Let’s just get this out of the way now: I don’t listen to Godspeed You! Black Emperor. My friends have told me all about them and I’ve seen that scene in 28 Days Later that uses one of their songs to show the utter hopelessness of waking up in a post-apocalyptic world. But save for the one time I heard Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven while driving my friend back from New York, I’ve heard more about them then I’ve actually heard them. So when I saw them on on Wednesday I really had no idea what to expect.
Post rock, much like prog rock, is a genre I’ve always wanted to get into but never got around to doing so, mainly because the songs are so long and dense. That doesn’t stop me from reading about post rock while I should be doing homework though so I have a good idea about what the genre means. I always hear it described as “music for the Apocalypse” or “the soundtrack to the end of the world.” This has colored my opinion of the genre, but it’s more like looking through a foggy window instead of just walking outside and climbing some trees.
By Kirsten Becker
I jumped at the opportunity to see Atoms For Peace kicking off the US leg of their tour in support of “Amok” at the Liacouras Center. For those who don’t know, the superband is composed of Thom Yorke of Radiohead, frequent collaborator and producer Nigel Godrich, Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco, and Joey Waronker. They entered the stage and kicked things off with the opening track to “Amok” entitled “Before Your Very Eyes…” Yorke then broke between the next song to voice one of the few words he would say that night: “My name is Jay Z,” (gesturing to Flea) “and this Beyonce.” Delving back into the music, Atoms For Peace played both original songs and versions of Thom Yorke’s solo material from his 2006 record “The Eraser.” Yorke flailed around the stage doing his signature moves while his haunting voice danced above Flea’s erratic basslines. Refosco showed off his talent playing various indigenous percussion instruments, some of which I could even recognize. The performance had a high level of energy and emotion, something that couldn’t ever be captured on an album. All of the members were fully invested in each song and every move and note was calculated; even down to the lights which fluttered and pulsed to the music.
After an impressive set, Atoms For Peace walked off the stage to roars from the crowd. When they returned for an encore, Flea had a melodica in hand. They performed an interesting and jarring version of Yorke’s “Skip Divided.” Also in the encore was a cover of UNKLE’s “Rabbit in Your Headlights” and Radiohead rarity “Paperbag Writer.” Five songs later, they left the stage again. It was clear they weren’t over just yet, roadies tuned and adjusted guitars in the dimmed lights. Finally, the collective returned; this time Flea making a costume change into a Temple basketball jersey. The final two songs were again Thom Yorke originals, “Atoms For Peace” and “Black Swan.”
The musical genius of this band is remarkable and seeing them live is an experience in itself. “Amok” is available now, for more information on the band and future tour dates, visit http://atomsforpeace.info/
By Jonathan Plotkin
Young Pilgrims are an indie punk revival band from Philadelphia. Earlier this summer, they released their debut album Kyoko and a Rocket to the Moon on their Bandcamp, have been playing places such as Don’t Tread On Me, Jolly’s, and North Star Bar, and were recently featured as artist of the month by The Deli Magazine. On September 10th, after their last show, I got the chance to sit down with the band and talk it out for a few minutes.
Jonathan: So you guys are Young Pilgrims, what are your names?
Sean: I’m Sean Brown.
Zack: I’m Zack.
Jonathan: And what instruments do you play?
Sean: I play the guitar and I sing.
Zack: I play the bass guitar and I sing sweet harmonies.
Jonathan: And is there a drummer in the band?
Sean: Nick Boonie. We have two drummers, actually.
Jonathan: Who did you record the album with?
Sean: Jesse Appel.
Jonathan: And they’re both not available right now.
Sean: That’s right, they both died in the accident.
Jonathan: Right, the accident. We’ll get back to that totally true and not made up story later. So how did you guys meet in order to form your band?
Zack: High school. A lot of people went away to college and their band broke up and we made a new band.
Sean: Can I… can I tell that better than you did?
By Mike Eidel
Ruin, Philadelphia’s inimitable and legendary band came down to the station to hang out, spin some records and talk about their highly anticipated Union Transfer reunion show (Saturday 8/31!!) future releases, past shows, sparklers and much much more!
Ruin is more than music, or at least aspires to be more. Initially, it was a propaganda project. Students of the arts, philosophy and religion, doing lab work with music. Experimenting with ways of being human. Was, and still is . .
For more on Ruin Read this great article from City Paper.