Archive: March, 2009
|photo | Alissa Anderson|
|Fern Knight (brought to you by Keebler)|
Monday: Philly folk goth four-piece Fern Knight mesmerizes crowds with mellowed out dramatics about the sea and silver foxes. With Sharon Van Etten & Virgin Passages. At Kung Fu Necktie. Doors at 8 p.m., tickets are $7.
Tuesday: Manchester natives and Moz's opener the Courteeners rock out harder than the Killers with more authenticity. With Toy Soldiers and Kettle Pot Black. At the North Star Bar. Doors at 8 p.m., tickets $10.
Wednesday: Party like its Friday! Friendly Fires heat things up with disco-shoegaze backbeats and catchy clever lines. (See the video below.) With White Lies & the Soft Pack. At First Unitarian. Doors at 8:30 p.m., tickets are $12-13.
Thursday: Alt-rockers from the '80s grace the Troc in support of their Beautiful Future. Catch Primal Scream with Kuroma. At the Troc. Doors at 7:30 p.m., tickets are $26.50-$28.
Friday: Brooklyn punks Shellshag team up with local acts Ukebox and Northern Liberties. With Stupid Party, Mass Shivers & Fiasco. At Danger Danger Gallery. Doors at 8:30 p.m., tickets are $5-$10.
Saturday: Folk rock fiends Deer Tick play Johnny Brenda's. Let's hope, pray, and cross our fingers that they'll play their cover of Sean Kingston's "Beautiful Girls. "With East Hundred & Peasant. Doors at 9 p.m., tickets $10.
Sunday: Finally, a show at the TLA I can get into. UK punk-synth sensation Los Campesinos! with openers Sky Larkin. Doors at 8 p.m., tickets are $14.
A Family Guy clip? Look, it's just this once. I'm not trying to turn us into that blog.
|What does ambrosia taste like?|
Drink if any of these questions get answered:
- How/why was Starbuck brought back to life?
- How did Daniel die?
- How are Dylan/Hendrix tunes intergalactic?
- What's in the hybrid's bath tub?
- Is there a god?
- Was Cap Six sent by God or she just a chip in Baltar's head?
- Is Anders the hybrid from Razor?
- Is the opera house a metaphor or real?
- Where has the black Cylon been hiding?
- Why do some Sixes have brownish hair?
- How is Pyramid Ball played?
- Are Billy and Duala resurrected and dating again?
- Why don't they use more Cylon stem cells on Roslin and everybody?
- Is Hera transcribing the entirety of John Wesley Harding?
- What about Cap Six's glowing red back sexy-time thing?
What are your unresolved BSG desires?
|Dude did not like Greg Weeks.|
Good Old War, "Coney Island": Philly. Great lyrics, (nearly) ideal length. (5/5)
Greg Weeks, "Law Low": This goes on weeks too long. (0/5)
Hoots and Hellmouth, "Want On Nothing": Lo-fi reggae. Still reggae, even so. (4/5)
Joe Jack Talcum, "Sex Sting": Former Dead Milkman complains of arrest. (4/5)
Mr Lif, "The Sun": Label name is 'Bloodbot Tactical Enterprises.' (4/5)
Papertrigger, "Move the Ground": This sounds like garden gnome incest. (0/5)
Reef the Lost Cauze, "I Wonder": He's out asking the important questions. (5/5)
Steve Goldberg and the Arch Enemies, "Things I Used To Know": Surprisingly tight pop for five minutes. (5/5)
U.S. Girls, "A Day at the Races": Soundtrack for bugeyed space monster comix. (4/5)
Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer, "Death or Radio": At this point I'd prefer death. (2/5)
'If you can't dance to this song, I don't think you can dance to anything.'
So began the encore of the Ting Tings' third Philly concert to date; so, too, began nearly every other pulsing song on the Brit duo's set list. It seems that frontlady Katie White gets her kicks ' and adrenaline ' from indiscriminately declaring that dancing is the most important thing you could be doing. And for one sweaty night inside the Starlight, everyone believed her.
Imagine White and drummer/vocalist/DJ Jules de Martino as a sort of younger, more hyper Mates of State ' they've got that charming chemistry, but are unhindered by the weight of such things as babies and responsibility and folk music. Sure, they've got gorgeous harmonies up their sleeves for special occasions, but sometimes banging a drum as hard as you mother-fucking can is just as effective.
Read more Ting Ting things after the jump.
That was the case with the band's most-hyped 'Shut Up and Let Me Go,' which came in close to the end of the too-short 45-minute set. White made sure our hands never left the air and our heels never lingered on the floor as she wailed away, pitch-perfect and full of that Brit-pop moxie that makes us unable to look away from her. Oh, and there was cowbell. Lots of cowbell.
'We Walk,' "Great DJ" and encore 'That's Not My Name' were there, of course, as were the majority of the Ting Tings' debut album, 2008's We Started Nothing. The dancing never stopped, even when the inexplicable heat of the Starlight made us all wish we hadn't been wearing our hipster-concert outfits. Damn those skinny jeans.
When it came time for sweet, melodic 'Traffic Light,' White got coy: 'This is how we do a slow song,' she cooed, swaying behind the mic as de Martino's mellow-for-once beat settled in.
Keep in mind, though, that "Traffic Light" is an intentional aberration for the in-concert Ting Tings, whose stage versions of their songs are way dancier, bouncier and amped-up than anything you'll find on the album (with the exception of "That's Not My Name," which you should probably go download right now). "Make a decision, a precondition/ We got the choice if it all goes wrong" gets a dance-punk pulse, and here we are ' teenagers, their parents and those of us who happily fall somewhere in between ' making upside-down hearts with our hands as if we had no other choice.
The nice thing about these two ' other than being lovely to look at ' is that they don't seem to mind playing the most-requesteds ("Shut Up and Let Me Go" from an April 2008 iPod commercial; "We Started Nothing" from Gossip Girl) for their adoring, pop-culture-manic audience. After all, it's another opportunity to dance, and dancing is the most important thing.
Standard tuning was out of the question.
Uke of Spaces Corners mainman Dan Beckman says the people he meets on tour inspires him even more than the bands, so he'll definitely appreciate this Songwriters Showcase at the Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Study. The palatial fake-real university of Port Fishington and the young thinkers and scholars who inhabit it are one of the most inspiring lots in town, and the evening will also hook Beckman up with the left sideways pop of locals Lux Perpetua and I Begged, as well as the art of the Institute's current resident-on-loan, Germany's Jana Kreisl.
The Uke quintet will include everything from sax and French horn to good old-fashioned guitar 'n' keyboard, sounding a bit like an all-grown-up version of the non-standard tunings and radio fuzz symphonies Beckman used to pen as a child.
Uke of Spaces Corners plays Sunday at the PIFAS Songwriters Showcase at 8 p.m. Their fifth album, Flowers in the Night, will be released by Corleone Records next month.
After the break, a quick conversation with Daniel Beckman of Uke of Spaces Corners.
His musical upbringing
I began playing music in my bedroom while living with my parents at the age of 12, roughly 20 years ago, by removing the smallest strings on an acoustic guitar, and playing it like bass as a way to simplify the process of sound making. Standard tuning was out of the question. I recorded multiple tracks of sound on a small handheld cassette recorder, layering them and playing them back live in the room with various stereos, as a means to create a multitrack recording effect. I would often scratch records to make loops, and play AM radio fuzz, singing along to this wall of sound. Other instruments used were notebook drum pads, tin cans, harmonicas keyboards and amplified voice.
With this sonic pallet I was able to temporarily escape the mundane existences of growing up in a town of 450 people. I have been making music ever since.
The band name
I picked up the name Uke of Phillips while living in southern Minneapolis in 1996, without giving it much thought. The Uke part stood for a truncated duke, a headless figure head' The 'Phillips' part was added because I was living in the Phillips neighborhood at the time, which was named after the late Socialist Wendall Phillips.
In 2005 I changed the name to Uke of Spaces Corners, mostly to avoid being confused with the great songwriter/poet Utah Phillips, but also because I no longer lived in the Phillips neighborhood.
The Village of Spaces Corners is a small rural community just north of Pittsburgh. On long drives through those enchanted hills on several different foggy nights I found solace and comfort passing through this mysterious village, in a similar way that one might find comfort, solace and peace in the depths of a corner.
His live band
Uke of Spaces Corners is equipped with a revolving door of sorts. Currently the band consists of...
Amy Moon Offermann-Sims: processed keyboards and voice.
Dan B: electro-acoustic guitar and voice.
Ben Grubb: mandolin, percussion, sax, and vocals.
Caleb Gamble: electric guitar, percussion, vocals and French horn.
Amy and I are the primary songwriters in the group although there are an infinite amount of forces at play here, which influence our lives and consequently the music that we create.
When new musicians inter into the fold the sound we make is greatly influenced, and we are allowed to grow together, influencing and altering the language that we create together.
I began playing shows in Philly roughly 6 years ago, mostly in West Philly. Eventually local musicians Johnny 'Cornwawg' Fritz, Jimmy Cousins and Dale of Need New Body invited me to play at show at a wherehouse space in South Philly, known as Saturn Mountain, I believe. This lead me to meeting a songwriter named Matt Gibson, who offered to set us up a show in either South or North Philly.
Being into spaces and how people occupy space, I like to have my ear to the ground about DIY and underground performance spaces around the country. PIFAS is one of those names you hear about all over the place. It is revered in the underground music scene as a great place to come together and hear and see good art and music.
It has a good reputation, so naturally when Matt asked if I'd like to play PIFAS I said yes of course.
Sun., March 22, 8 p.m., donations only, 1712 N. Second St., pifas.net.
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