OSHUN in West Philly

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Photo via Oshuniverse.com

On Saturday the thirteenth of January , Niambi and Thandiwe Sala and producer/DJ, Proda, walked in succession down the back stairs of a West Philly basement, to the front of an eager crowd. like foreign envoys Back in 2015 in an interview with Complex, the two explained that Oshun is the Yoruban deity after whom the project is named. “A West African, traditional deity, she’s a goddess, and she governs over sweet waters.” She’s a mother of love, fertility, wealth and diplomacy”.

Their presence expressed this vividly. From the time they walked towards the stage, until they took photos and thanked their fans after the conclusion, the air was full of love. Afrofuturism stands as the core value and inspiration for the group’s art. In fact, “love for [their] people and for serving and enlightening their people” is what brought the two together, when they first formed Oshun back in the freshman dorms at NYU. On Saturday these philosophies spread through the venue like a spell. In an audience comprised of primarily black/brown persons, the occasion was best described by Oshun themselves; a celebration.

The two wore matching camo jumpsuits, bronze crowns, and bronze tops which swirled over their bodies in winding patterns. Once the “takeoff sound” (a glittery, space-sound like something that would come from The Powerpuff Girls) was played, the beginning of a collective voyage into the “Oshuniverse” began. They began with a few track off of their upcoming series Bittersweet, before moving to songs from AFAHYE and ASASE YAA. With “Parts”, the two wielded a kind of sweet but powerful energy throughout the crowd. From the delicate emotional depths of Sango, to more energetic and beat driven tracks like “Blessings on Blessings”, they proved that every track in the discography is drenched in meaning. Their defiance and strength was expressed through sweetness and love; a testament to the paradoxical spectrum of a narrative which is too often flattened in our society.

With standout tracks like “Not my President”, both showcased their gifts for vocal improve, sounding better, and hitting runs more impressive than those than their recordings. The track included metal-inspired guitar riffs to replace the more jazz-like trumpet solo featured at the end of the original recording. As many genres as Oshun fits together in their music, producer Proda managed spread this idea throughout the set to add more energy to the performance.

Now that Niambi and Thandiwe are graduated from school, they have been able to create their album series Bittersweet, and embark on a two-month tour throughout Canada and the United States. A sort of Neosoul/Hip-Hop infusion, their music draws heavily on reggae, and multiplicitous forms of traditional African/root music. Mixing these sounds with progressive production and otherworldly sound effects/design, the Oshun’s art ends up somewhat like an enormously expensive musical history lesson/divination session. The two frequently express the spiritual nature of their goals and purpose in interviews and press. At their West Philly performance on Saturday they brought a message of peace and healing to a well deserving crowd.

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King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard play Underground Arts this Sunday

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Still from “The River” music video

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard shows are sacred experiences. And if you’ve yet to attend one, now’s your chance. The seven of them will play Underground Arts on Sunday night (5/15/16) in support of their new album Nonagon Infinity– an album intended to be played in a continuous loop. Probably one of the most unpredictable bands out there right now, King Gizzard treats each album as its own conceptual piece. On Nonagon Infinity, each song flows into the next, including the last track back into the first, creating a never-ending circle of psych.

Accompanying them will be Philly’s own Mercury Girls and Melbourne’s The Murlocs.

While consisting of members of King Gizz, The Murlocs have a bit more of a melodic, folk-rock grounding. Stu Mackenzie (lead guitar/vocals of King Gizz) produced their latest album and second full length LP, released this March on Flightless Records and titled Young Blindness.

Mercury Girls (members of Literature and Little Big League) perfect a jangly pop-meets-shoe gaze sound, and are touring in support of their new 7″ and a split EP with Spook School, Tigercats and Wildhoney.

WKDU will present the show on Sunday (after the Punk Rock Flea Market), so come say hello, check out our merch and pick up one of our free zines!**

Watch videos for King Gizzard’s “Gamma Knife” and The Murlocs’ “Unknown Disease,” and stream Mercury Girls’ new single, “Ariana,” below.

 

**While supplies last Continue reading “King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard play Underground Arts this Sunday”

London punks Fat White Family coming to Underground Arts tomorrow w/ Dilly Dally and Philly’s Littler!

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Fat White Family live in NY 12/2014 by Gretchen Robinette for BrooklynVegan

Fat White Family is touring in support of their Fat Possum/Without Consent-released album Songs for Our Mothers (out this past January) and bringing the party to Underground Arts tomorrow, April 29. Known for putting on a great live show, FWF are as entertaining as they are bizarre – and a band that Vice once called “British rock’n’roll’s final hurrah.” Watch the video for the album’s first track, “Whitest Boy on the Beach,” below.

Joining them is Canadian band Dilly Dally (Partisan Records)– if Courtney Love and Joey Santiago had formed a side project in the 90s, this is who you’d get. Katie Monks’ gritty voice paired with lush pop guitar distortion make for some delectable rock tunes. Watch “Purple Rage” below and don’t miss them.

Get there early for Philly (seltzer-loving) band Littler, who just independently released Of Wandering in March will open the show. Watch their video for “Slippery,” below (from AV Club).

Additional show info here or here.

Continue reading “London punks Fat White Family coming to Underground Arts tomorrow w/ Dilly Dally and Philly’s Littler!”

Saved from the Stacks #2

Adam B. from Ultrasound Radio USA is wading through mountains of free promos and forgotten releases collected over a lifetime in journalism, radio, and music retail. Here’s a selection of what he’s found that’s new to him and worth it to you to seek out, including funk and jazz discoveries, squirrelly digital pop, and symphonic industrial… Continue reading “Saved from the Stacks #2”