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Archive for the ‘Johnny Brenda’s’ Category

[ATTENDED: May 17, 2018] Kid Koala’s Vinyl Vaudeville

I have been a fan of Kid Koala since the early 2000s.  He’s not a DJ so much as a magician on the turntable.  He is able to make vinyl do amazing things.  His hands are fast, his timing is impeccable and he uses puppets too!

But I had no idea that his live show would be so much fun.  I mean, sure it was called Vinyl Vaudeville, but could it live up to his calling it “the silliest show on earth?”  Well, I dispute the silliness aspect because silly implies that it’s not also awesome, which this definitely was.

So what exactly does a turntablist do so it’s not just a guy scratching records?

Well, primarily he uses props.  Almost every song has a visual element.  In fact the very first song started out in total darkness with a black light and a sloth puppet.  I don’t know what the song was called or if it had anything to do with sloths, but it was fun to watch.   (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 17, 2018] Adira Amram

I hadn’t heard of Adira Amram, but Kid Koala assured us we would be laughing our butts off during her very short set.

And her set was very short, only about 20 minutes.

She came out by herself in the glittery gold lame top and pink spandex pants.

She had a keyboard and she proceeded to get the crowd hyped.

She pressed a key and the sound of the end of a record skipping began to play.  Over and over.  She waved her hand back and forth getting us amped up to that staticy sound.  It grew funnier and funnier. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 17, 2018] DJ Jester

I was pretty excited to experience Kid Koala’s Vinyl Vaudeville: Floor Kids Edition, even if I didn’t really know what I was going to experience.

The traffic and parking situation was terrible around Johnny Brenda’s and I was sure that I missed the opener, DJ Jester.  He was supposed to go on at 8, and I didn’t get into the club until about 8:45.

Well, imagine my surprise to discover that he had not even gone on yet.

Kid Koala came out and told us that DJ Jester was the DJ at his little brother’s wedding and after that night, Koala knew that he’d have to bring this Texas-based DJ along on an opening slot.

So DJ Jester got behind the turntables and basically DJ’d a 45 minute set of music. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 16, 2018] Palehound

I saw Palehound three months ago at Johnny Brenda’s.  This may be the shortest span between concerts for any band that I’ve seen.

Last time they were opening for Weaves.  For this show Palehound was opening of Courtney Barnett.

I was very excited to see them again because I enjoyed their last set so much.

Guitarist/songwriter Ellen Kempner, is a great front woman–she blasts the guitar and is really great at her solos.

The set was similar to what they played last time, with a different slow song and no “My Pet Carrot.”  But it was full of raging rockers that got us pumped for Courtney. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: April 24, 2018] Bit Brigade

I had never heard of Bit Brigade, but I saw an ad in Johnny Brenda’s for a band who would be playing music from The Legend of Zelda and I was very intrigued.

Clark and I have been to see Symphonic Zelda twice, so I thought it would be interesting to hear a rock version of it.

But as I investigated, I saw that they also had a “Player One” who played the game while the band played.  What was going on here?

It turns out that, as bassist Luke Fields explained to us:

Noah is going to play The Legend of Zelda as fast as he can.  And we are going to play the soundtrack as loud as we can.

(more…)

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[ATTENDED: April 24, 2018] Double Ferrari

I first heard about Double Ferrari when NPR covered them for their SXSW special.

They were described as “a thrillingly over-the-top throwback to a time when guitar virtuosos noodled their way to arena-sized stardom, Double Ferrari crafts giddily triumphant odes to giddy triumph.”  And why would you only have one Ferrari when you could have a Double Ferrari?

The song on the show was an instrumental based around guitar riffs.  That’s what they do.  I felt like they took the best solos from classic British heavy metal and built songs around them–with two guitars playing the parts in delicious over the top harmony.  And of course I love that the band Double Ferrari has a song called “Double Ferrari ” from the album Double Ferrari. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: April 13, 2018] Lucy Dacus

I first heard Lucy Dacus’ “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” a few years ago.  I liked it and thought it was really catchy and more than a little subversive.

Then a saw a live performance (which I can’t find now) and that simple, quiet quality of her music was blown away by moments of complete intensity.

I knew I wanted to see her and was excited to see that she’d be playing Johnny Brenda’s.  The show sold out pretty quickly.  So much so that they added an earlier show to the night.  At first I laughed wondering who would go to a show that started a 6:30, knowing that they had to be offstage by whatever time the next show started.

Then I thought to myself I could be home by 10PM!  So I bought a ticket for the early show and headed into Philly during rush hour traffic.

It was kind of weird having a show start at 6:30, but the room was dark and it was easy to forget that it was early once the first band started.  And then Lucy came out on stage with her guitar and the rest of her band. (more…)

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