Archive for the ‘Underground Arts’ Category

[POSTPONED: March 25, 2020] Ásgeir/Khushi

indexMarch was going to be a very busy concert month for me.  I have wanted to see Ásgeir for a few years.  He came around back in October 2017 to do a seated show at Union Transfer, but I was busy that night so I missed it.

Now he was back, playing at Underground Arts, and I was really looking forward to it.

I don’t know how easy it is for Icelandic artists to reschedule concerts, but I hope that it’s not too troublesome for him to redo this tour.

I had never heard of Khushi.  An NPR article tells me that he is

Kalim Patel a Grammy-nominated producer who has worked with James Blake on Assume Form, which was nominated for best alternative music album. Now, he’s releasing a full-length album of his own music as Khushi, a childhood nickname and a Hindi word for “happiness.” His new album is called Strange Seasons, and he thought it might never come out… it took him ten years to make it.

It turned out to be the eighth of dozens of shows cancelled or postponed by the coronavirus.

Obviously, my main concern is for everyone’s safety, including the bands!

My selfish concern though is that once the shows are rescheduled that all of these shows will be scheduled on the same day!

Let’s hope the rescheduled dates also do some social distancing.



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[POSTPONED: March 22, 2020] Monster Magnet / Silvertomb / Nebula / Heavy Temple [moved to January 24, 2021]

indexMarch was going to be a very busy concert month for me.  This show was scheduled for the same night as the Thundercat show and I was quite torn between the two.

I ultimately decided to go to Thundercat, but if that Thundercat show ended early, i was considering swinging by UA to catch the end of Monster Magnet (if there were four bands on the bill it was surely going to run late).

I saw Monster Magnet open for Aerosmith with my friend Matt back in 1998. Monster Magnet really impressed me and I wound up getting Powertrip and a few other albums.  “Space Lord” was one of my favorite songs of the year.  I haven’t really listened to them in a decade or so, but I was totally on board with hearing Powertrip in its entirety.

It was definitely a tough choice between this and Thundercat.  Now the choice has been taken away.  I hope it’s rescheduled though as I think it would be a real trip.

I have never heard of Silvertomb, Nebula or Heavy Temple, but I assume that they play stoner rock and I would have enjoyed the evening (with earplugs).

So Heavy Temple is a band that consists of High Priestess Nighthawk (low end and vocal power), Siren Tempest (rhythm) and Thunderhorse (6 string axe slinger).  Damn, I would have enjoyed that.

Nebula is made up of members of Fu Manchu and Silvertomb is made up of member of Type O Negative and Agnostic Front. I guess I know what I was in for with them!

I have seen Thundercat on a Tiny Desk and I really enjoyed his album “Drunk.”  It’s not exactly my kind of music–sometimes a bit too R&Bish for me, and yet I love his overall vibe and style enough that I thought a live show from him would be really fun.

I have no idea who TeeJayx6 is or how to say the name.  Indeed, there wasn’t even an opening act announced for this show until very recently.

But I had to look him up and I see that he is part of the “fringe world of scam rap.”   According to Wired, all he does is scam and rap about it.  He raps about the scams he does, the tools he uses and the ways he did it–so you can do it too.

“Swipe Story” is about lifting seven Xboxes and TVs from Walmart–from a red-herring perusal of the clothes racks; through fumbling conversations about golf with the clerk; to the feeling of relied zooming away in a rental car with  the cargo.

Damn, see what the virus had me miss.

It turned out to be the eighth of dozens of shows cancelled or postponed by the coronavirus.

Obviously, my main concern is for everyone’s safety, including the bands!

My selfish concern though is that once the shows are rescheduled that all of these shows will be scheduled on the same day!

Let’s hope the rescheduled dates also do some social distancing.

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[ATTENDED: March 8, 2020] Destroyer

I really enjoy Dan Bejar’s work with New Pornographers.  I haven’t loved all of his Destroyer albums, but Destroyer’s Rubies is fantastic and Kaputt is a lot of fun.

When New Pornographers toured recently, Bejar was not a part of the group.  So when I saw that Destroyer was touring a few months afterward, I thought it would be a good way to complete the set.

I had read that the Destroyer live show was pretty terrific, but I had also read that Bejar felt the best shows were when he faced the band rather than the audience.  So who knew what might happen.

The crowd around me was pretty excited to be sure.  A guy behind me was practically vibrating and he yelled “I love you Dan” at several points.  It may have been the only time that a singer has not acknowledged such a declaration, even in a cursory way.

This show was also the first time I went out while we were under the looming threat of the Coronavirus.  Things had not gotten serious yet, but it was coming.  I even brought a tube of hand sanitizer (this was before they were all sold out).  I was very aware of the fact that I was not touching anyone or anything and I’ve never seen the line for the bathroom be so long because people were washing their hands!

I also never would have guessed that this would be my last concert for … who knows how long (at least two months, by my estimate).

So Dan and the band came out.  There were six musicians with him. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: March 8, 2020] Nap Eyes

I saw Nap Eyes open for Alvvays nearly three years ago.  I was mesmerized by their mix of deadpan, melody and noise.  Since then I’ve really enjoyed their first two albums.  I missed their third one entirely somehow, but I was really looking forward to seeing them again.

I was especially looking forward to watching guitarist Brad Loughead because he managed to play really pretty melodies and then fill them awash with all kinds of distortion.  It had been three years since I’d seen them, but when they came out on stage I looked at Loughead and though, wow, he looks an awful lot like Ryley Walker.

Well, sure enough, it WAS Ryley Walker, whom I had just seen him on New Year’s Eve doing some wild improvisational guitar playing. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 14, 2019] Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band

I have seen Kevin Devine twice.  The first time was in 2017 when he opened for Frightened Rabbit.  The second time was earlier this year when he did a brief solo tour with John K. Samson.  The second show was so good–he was so full of energy as a headliner, that I knew I’d see him again.  But I really wanted to see him with The Goddamn Band (hilarious name).

When it was announced that Kevin and the Goddamn Band would be playing a short tour celebrating the tenth anniversary of the 2009 album Brother’s Blood, I bought tickets immediately.  I didn’t even know the album, I just wanted to see the whole band.  And holy cow was it a great choice.

Kevin has a fantastic stage presence–he bonds with the crowd instantly (even when I first saw him as an opening act and had no idea who he was, he just owned the stage).  He invites the audience to sing and the audience does.

And with the whole band, that interaction was even greater.  Kevin joked with the band members, soloed off of them and made the whole show like a party.

The crowd was totally into it–singing along to nearly every song.

It was a fantastic show.

I have since listened to the album a bunch and the songs are really great–but this live show was something amazing.  The band feeds off of each other, making every song bigger, richer, with more noise and jamming.  They clearly love playing with each other and were having a fantastic time. It was wonderful. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 14, 2019] An Horse

I feel like I’d heard of An Horse, but didn’t really know all that much about them.  It turns out they are a duo from Australia: Kate Cooper on guitar/vocals and Damon Cox on drums/backing vocals.  They’ve been around for ten years but have only released their third album this year.

I listened to them a bit before the show and liked what I heard.  But I was in no way prepared for how great they would be live.

Kate Cooper is a fantastic front woman.  She is funny, vibrant and she totally rocks.  Damon Cox is a fantastic drummer–playing interesting patterns, using different kinds of mallets and also singing backup.

I have seen a lot of rock duos recently and I’m always impressed with how big they can sound with just two people.  An Horse doesn’t sound big exactly, but they sound totally full.  You never feel like something is missing.  Their songs aren’t especially complex, but the way they both play, it never feels like “only” guitar and drums. (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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