Tag Archives: Union Transfer

Review: Phantogram at Union Transfer 12/6/13

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by Kirsten Becker

Phantogram’s sold ­out stop at the Union Transfer on December 6th was part of their highly anticipated tour in support of their latest album, Voices, which is also their first album in four years.

I was pleasantly surprised by opener Until the Ribbon Breaks, the relatively new project of Welshman Pete Lawrie. The act blends electronic elements seen in recent dance music as well as plain old rock influences. At various points during the set Lawrie showed off his talents on the trumpet as well as other instruments, and displayed his versatility in his unique style of music. Welsh’s distorted vocals also added an interesting addition to his somber lyrics. Songs like “2025,” “Romeo,” and “Pressure” won the crowd over. Until the Ribbon Breaks is definitely a band to look out for in 2014, and you should expect to see more news from Lawrie’s project in the future.

Phantogram came on around 11:00 p.m. to an ecstatic crowd. Singer Sarah Barthel’s powerful voice cut through the band’s shoegaze vibes. A chilling rendition of “Mouthful of Diamonds” captivated the audience as well as fan­favorite “When I’m Small”. The quirky “Running From the Cops” featured guitarist Josh Carter taking over vocal duties.

Their latest single, “Black Out Days” showed a different side of the band. The high energy song accompanied by an incredible light show brought the performance up another notch. Barthel took the time between songs to thank the crowd and Philadelphia for consistently being a great place to play. It was visible she and Carter were feeding off the crowd’s energy and were having a great time on stage.

Phantogram played a couple more new songs from Voices including “Never Going Home” and “The Day You Died” before finally ending the set just around midnight.

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Claude VonStroke talks Dirtybird, Diplo, and Playing Shows Sans Bass

Courtesy of Sumi Management

Courtesy of Sumi Management

By Chris Burrell

Amidst a crazy tour schedule, I was able to get some time on the phone with one of my DJ / producer idols: Dirtybird label boss, Barclay Crenshaw, better known as Claude VonStroke.

CB: Mr. Crenshaw, I’m a huge fan, spin your stuff all the time on air, and I know you’re busy – thanks for you taking the time out to do this call.

CVS: Thank you, no problem.

CB: So you’re on tour now, but you have the night off tonight, is that correct?

CVS: I do, yes, kind of (chuckles).

CB: So you have the night off doing phone interviews and stuff like that, are you on a tour bus in the middle of nowhere?

CVS: No, I’m at home.

CB: Oh okay, and where is home for you these days? LA or San Francisco?

CVS: I’m in LA right now.

CB: OK cool, well how’s the tour been so far?

CVS: It’s been really great.

CB: I follow you on Twitter, and I’ve seen that perhaps you and J Phlip are doing T 25 to stay active on the tour bus?

CVS: (laughs) I am, she’s not!

CB: She’s a sick DJ, how’s she been received as the opening act?

CVS: Great, I think she’s done really well on this tour. Trying to get her on the Europe tour.

CB: I read somewhere that you don’t have a tour manager per se.

CVS: No we don’t, we don’t have a tour manager. I haven’t had one for 10 years.

CB: Have you had any interesting situations on this tour so far?

CVS: Yeah, there was like no bass for like 30 minutes in Denver.

CB: Oh shit! How does the Dirtybird sound go without the bass?

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Concert Review: Godspeed You! Black Emperor (October 16, 2013)

Courtesy of Flickr user Kmeron

Courtesy of Flickr user Kmeron

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.

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Interview with Ruin (August 28, 2013)

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.

RuinInterview02

Ruin in WKDU

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Concert Review: Devendra Banhart @ Union Transfer (June 10, 2013)

Image Courtesy of Nonesuch Records

Image Courtesy of Nonesuch Records

By Kirsten Becker

It’s been awhile since folk-­rocker Devendra Banhart performed a show in Philadelphia. June 10th marked his return to the city, playing a show at the Union Transfer. The night was one of only a handful of shows he will be playing in the US this year. His eighth record, Mala was released back in March and has been highly praised by many. His live shows are something of a spectacle and I was eager to see one for myself.

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Interview with Charli XCX (May 17, 2013)

Photo courtesy of Atlantic Records

By Shannen Gaffney

Charli XCX‘s accessible British electro-pop sound is what makes her fan base so varied. Her new release True Romance is well written, has some awesome production, and is extremely addicting. I got a chance to speak with her via phone:

Shannen Gaffney: So your latest album True Romance got an 8.3 on Pitchfork and has been doing well at college radio. Though your music is definitely very pop, your style is unique and you have been successful in a bunch of different markets. How would you describe your music?

Charli XCX: I definitely describe it as pop music. I went out to make a pop record, not like a hipster record or anything like that. I really wanted to make the record sound super lush and like, very angelic in terms of the production. So I think I’d probably describe it as angel pop music or the way that I see the record – I often see my music in colors – when I think of this album I see the color purple, so I guess I’d kind of describe it as purple pop music, too.

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Concert Review: Deerhoof @ Union Transfer (April 15, 2013)

Image courtesy of Four Paws

Image courtesy of Four Paws

By Kirsten Becker

Deerhoof played the last show of their tour right here in Philadelphia at the Union Transfer. Known for their bombastic, jarring, noisy sound, Deerhoof performed a very distinct set, living up to the playful and weird image they’ve created for themselves over the course of their 19 years as a band.

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