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Archive for the ‘Boot & Saddle’ Category

[ATTENDED: December 12, 2019] Strand of Oaks

In 2016, Timothy Showalter played his second Strand of Oaks Winter Classic at Boot and Saddle.  I got a ticket for the third night, not really knowing what to expect.

It turned out to be a fantastic night of music and togetherness.

I missed the next year but went last year to Winter Classic IV.  Which was also great.

There was no way I was going miss Winter Classic V.  This year I went for the first night of the three.

The other two shows had opening acts announced, but there was none announced for my night.

I didn’t think we’d get an extra long show (Tim doesn’t do extra long shows).  Instead we got a cool improv by his partner for the night, Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 12, 2019] Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner

I was pretty excited to go to the fifth Strand of Oaks Winter Classic (this is my third).  I chose the first night of the series because I was going out on Saturday as well. The other two shows had opening acts announced, but there was none announced for my night.

When I arrived, my friend was there up front (of course) and I managed to get up next to her.  She told me that the opening act was going to be Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner.  It was apparently decided just before the show started.

Well, Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner was accompanying Tim Showalter for these shows (it was just the two of them during the Strand of Oaks set).  So, I guess it was decided last minute to let Slo-Mo do a twenty minute improv before the main show. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 18, 2019] Ringo Deathstarr

Ringo Deathstarr is the kind of bandname that makes people either smile or groan.  Obviously it makes me smile.  It does not really tell you what they’ll sound like though.  I first heard of them back in 2011 on NPR when they played the fantastic “Swirly.”  I was immediately hooked by the woozy guitars and the juxtaposition of heaviness.

I never forget the band name, but I never really thought too much more about them.  Until I saw that they were coming to Boot & Saddle.  I’m not sure if they have played Philly before (I assume so), but the crowd was really into it and excited from them.

Ringo Deathstarr is the project of Elliott Frazier (on guitar and vocals), Alex Gehring on bass and vocals and Daniel Coborn on drums.  For this show I was parked right in front of Frazier and got to watch him do all kinds of wonderful and weird things to create fantastic sounds from his guitar.

When the band walked up on stage, the lighting was decent and it was nice to get a good look at the band before the stage people turned the lights blue.  After a couple of songs, they begged for the lights to be changed and were told that there was no one there who could fix them.  What?  What kind of crappy way to treat a band!  I really like Boot & Saddle as a venue but lately their lights have been terrible.  So they were bathed in deep blue all night long with never a change.  (It’s better than magenta, but just barely). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 18, 2019] Lovelorn

Just after the Blushing set ended, a woman squeezed past me and put some stuff on the stage.  Turns out she was Anna Troxell, bassist and vocalist for Lovelorn.  A few moments later a guy with an enormous table full of gear climbed up on stage.  That was Patrick Troxell, knob twiddler and drummer for Loverlorn.

And yes, this was the second band of the night where the band members were married.

Lovelorn formed out of the dissolution of Creepoid, a Philly punk band with a legendary history.  When Lovelorn first assembled, it was with three of the members of Creepoid (singer guitarist Sean Miller did not join them).  I was unfamiliar with Creepoid, but when I listened to them recently I rather liked them–shame they broke up.

they were a trio with guitarist Pete Joe Urban joining them.  They played slow dreamy noisy pop like latter Jesus and Mary Chain.  Somewhere between early 2018 and late 2019. Lovelorn became a duo and switched their emphasis to darkwave music.

There’s no guitar.  Patrick makes all of the sounds on his table of gear.  He also had a cymbal and possibly a snare drum–I couldn’t tell.  Anna played bass on most of the songs, putting it down for one or two tracks.  They both sang lead. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 18, 2019] Blushing

I hadn’t heard of Blushing before this show, but as soon as I found out they were a shoegazey type of band, their name made perfect sense.  Then I read a little bit more about them and was even more fascinated.

Here’s a little bio from For the Rabbits

Blushing are a band formed of two husband and wife pairs, although it didn’t start out that way. Back in 2015, singer and guitarist Michelle Soto plucked up the courage to share some songs she had been working on with friend Christina Carmona. From that friendship, a creative partnership was born, Christina adding her classically trained vocals and bass-playing to the mix, shifting Michelle’s rough sketches into fully formed compositions. Recruiting their spouses, they set about recording the songs that would become their debut EP, Tether.

Since that EP, the band has released another EP, Weak, and a full lengthg album, Blushing.  They played 7 songs during our show.  All of them were from the album except “Hidden Places” which came from Weak.

The band has a great classic shoegaze sound.  Waves of guitars with Christina Carmona’s beautiful voice often sounding more like an instrument than a voice.  But there was also some heaviness involved–some crashing guitars, big riffs and loud drums.

It was also evident right from the start was how much fun this band was having.  They told us they were excited to be in Philly for the first time.  Michele Soto on guitar was wearing a Dead Milkmen shirt (Big Lizard in My Backyard) just for the occasion. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 26, 2019] MST3K Live

I didn’t realize it was exactly one year ago that I went to the previous MST3K Live experience.  How funny.

I have enjoyed both of the two previous MST3K Live shows quite a bit.  So when it was announced that they were going to do it again and this time it was going to be in New Brunswick instead of Glenside, PA, I got tickets right away (and wound up in the third row).  I only wish I had picked the other side of the stage, because Joel and the bots did their movie watching from over there.

I have been very lucky to have gotten two movies each time I’ve seen the performance.  It seem like a lot of locations get only one movie.  I’m not sure why I’ve been so fortunate.  (And State Theatre offered a discount if you bought seats for both movies!).

Last time the riffing was done by Joel Hodgson and Jonah Ray as well as many of the actors from the show.

This time things were very different.

Jonah Ray was not there.  Nor was Rebecca Hanson as Synthia Forrester.  And of course, no Felicia Day nor Patton Oswalt (not even on video).

But the big announcement was that this was going to be Joel Hodgson’s last MST3K Live tour.  I don’t know if that means there will be more, or if this is the end of them entirely. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 24, 2019] Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

I recall being puzzled by the name of this band back ages ago when they were sometimes known as Ted Leo + Pharmacists.  It seemed like a cataloging nightmare.  But I can get over that and simply enjoy that Ted has fun with his band name (sometimes written as (TL/Rx)).  But this night they were billed as Ted Leo and the Pharmacists.  The Pharmacists have, as of late been a six piece:  Chris Wilson on drums, James Canty on guitar and keyboards, Marty Key on bass, Ralph Darden on guitar, and Adrienne Berry on saxophone and vocals and percussion.

After the bristling punk of Control Top, I wasn’t sure what Ted Leo would bring.  I know he has roots in punk, but surely not that much punk.  And, thankfully, he didn’t try to match Control Top, because that’s not his thing.  It is awesome that he brought them along, though.

Ted’s older songs were punky in the way that Billy Bragg’s early songs were punky–literate, angry and thoughtful–all to a catchy melody.  His newer songs are a bit more reflective (doom folk he called it).

He and the band came out and set things up and when he picked up his guitar people clapped and shouted.  He put a finger up–patience–and then they all left again for a couple of minutes. My only gripe about the show was that they made Control Top cut their set one song short because of time, and then Ted and Co. waited about ten minutes after their gear was set up to come out on stage–they could have played that one last song.  But that’s okay, Ted made up for it.   (more…)

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