Trying to find the best shows going on next month, but are too overwhelmed by how many choices are out there? Here’s a Look at some shows that might just be a little too good to pass up! And note, while this list primarily features Philadelphia, it showcases bands who are currently touring the country. So if you like what you hear, then you might just want to check their websites and see if they’re coming to a stage near you! The XX show at the First Unitarian Church Sanctuary may be sold out, but there’s still plenty of great shows worth seeing.
Sondre Lerche and JBM March 4th at Johnny Brenda’s
From Johnny’s Brenda’s Event Listing –
Born and raised in Bergen, Norway, Lerche was inspired by the music he heard emanating from his older sibling’s bedrooms â€“ be it A-ha, Elvis Costello or classic rock. Inspired, he picked up the guitar at the age of 8, and as a teenager performed at open mics at the club where his sister worked. Before his 16th birthday, he was signed to Virgin/EMI. â€œI had to start singing to get all these songs out there,â€ he says. â€œNo one else was going to!
Lerche’s triumphs and travails of the last few years certainly left a mark; he moved to the U.S. and dealt with various practical matters (including some green card issues), forcing some delays. But he also recorded the soundtrack to the hit movie Dan in Real Life (â€The director wanted a musician to work with and he convinced both me and the Disney Corporation that I was the only one who could do it.â€) And, most importantly, Lerche left his major label home and struck out on his own.
JBM is the music of Jesse Marchant. His first record ‘not even in July’ was recorded in Henry Hirsch’s church studio, Waterfront Studios, in Hudson, NY, in the Fall of 2008 and was released in early 2009. Jesse was born in Montreal, Canada and has spent most of his adult life living in New York City and in Los Angeles. While living in L.A., JBM contributed music to the film ‘Lovers in a Dangerous Time’. He is currently based in Brooklyn, NY and in Lake Clear, NY.
Two Way Monologue
RJD2, Break Science, and Happy Chichester March 5th at First Unitarian Church
RJD2 (From Wikipedia)
RJD2 is an American music producer, singer and musician. RJD2 was born in Eugene, Oregon, and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He currently resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was signed to the Definitive Jux label where he released two largely instrumental hip hop albums and has produced tracks for many prominent rappers. However, he has now left Def Jux and has signed with XL Recordings.His 2007 album, The Third Hand, is a striking departure from his usual style and features RJD2 singing and playing instruments on nearly every track.
In 2009, RJD2 established his own label, RJ’s Electrical Connections and reissued three early records as well as a box set. RJD2’s new full length The Colossus was released on January 19, 2010 on his new label.
Break Science (From R5 Productions)
Break Science is the culmination of a career of beat bending by its brainchild, Adam Deitch. Whether performing a DJ set with drums / programming or helming a live band, Beat Science is club music in the vein of a â€œlive mix tape,â€ blending live trip-hop, broken-beat, dub, drum & bass and hip-hop. The live band features some of the most talented musicians on the New York scene today (sidemen and producers the Fugees, G-Unit, Matisyahu and more).
Happy Chichester (From R5 Procductions)
Happy Chichester – formerly of Howlin’ Maggie and The Royal Crescent Mob – has also contributed songs to the Afghan Whigs and the Twilight Singers. His songs have been used by VH-1, MTV, P-Diddy for Fashion Trance, Ted Demme, the Oxygen Network and the indie film â€˜Tied Up’.
Work It Out
Break Science at Rhinofest
Man Man March 5th at the Trocadero Theatre
Man Man (from their Myspace)
Before the beginning…
Before the world came into existence, all was a chaos, unimaginably limitless and without shape or form. Eon followed eon, particle became mass: then, lo! out of this boundless, shapeless mass something light and transparent rose up and formed the heavens. And from the heavens fell five shapes, loud and heavy and jumbled, and from these rough forms were shaped and sculpted the first firsts: Honus Honus (the High-August-First-Voice), Sergei Sogay (the Divine-Center-of-Four-Strings), Pow Pow (the August-Beat-Divinity), Critter Crat (the Divine-Twang-and-Everything-Else) and Chang Wang (the Other-Twang-and-Wondrous-Everything-Else).
And they set out to fill the yawning void that gripped the earth, and they crammed the emptiness with sounds, of voices and guitars and drums, yes; but also with squeaky toys and pots and spoons and cap guns and chopsticks and old shoes and fruit and stuffed frogs. And such was their exuberant good time, and such was the mess they made, that they did not see their jealous creator, envious of their ingenuity and novelty items, sneaking up on their ebullient pandemonium and casting them out…
In their lost divinity, Man Man took up residence in Philadelphia, perhaps because of the Sweet Philly sound, Noam Chomsky, the water Sun Ra was drinking, Charles Barkley’s elbows, the excellence of the Philly lacrosse team or Rocky or Betsy Ross or John Coltrane. Or maybe it was it’s close proximity to south Jersey.
Never you mind. The point is, Man Man keeps on keeping on, filling the blankness with their weird/beautiful, esoteric/heart-rending, profound/hilarious sounds. There is so much lovely commotion to be made, Man Man famously does not break between songs during their live shows, but rather moves, revolving-door fashion, from one song to another, commandeering and discarding any of number of the instruments lying at their feet as the mood strikes and the music dictates.
Comparisons to the usual avant-garde forefathers – Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, Tom Waits – persist, but Man Man are decidedly not identity thieving or even overtly referencing these spiritual godfathers in their music, but rather are acting as torchbearers of the unusual, the spontaneous and the plainly fucking funny in an increasingly homogenized world. “I’m just making the songs I know how to write,” says Honus. “The one thing I want to clarify is that this is an organic project — who we are, the kind of lives we lived before we met each other, and the lives we have together. [That’s] what makes this band and this music what it is. I would say being broke is one of my biggest influences. That and being in and out of relationships. Those are bigger influences than listening to a Beefheart record.”
Indeed, it would be a mistake to write off Man Man as simply “experimental,” “psychedelic” or even “jokesy,” for they are some, but mostly none, of that. Their music is clearly rooted in rock, blues and pop, and they can really play all those instruments. A long list of the most successful, accessible and accomplished indie rock bands working today – think Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse, Cat Power – have asked Man Man on tour. At a Man Man show, one might see a hipster chaining up a fixie out front, a gaggle of high school kids with a genuine “Lord of the Flies/Peter Pan’s Lost Boy’s” fire in their eyes, some hippie old-timers, still in it to win it. The scope of their appeal attests to Man Man’s genuine abilities and the palpable emotion of the music.
With Rabbit Habits, their Anti- Records debut, and the natural extension of their body of work begun with The Man In A Blue Turban With A Face and continued with Six Demon Bag, Man Man bring their incomparable vision to bear. Successfully capturing the raw spirit and essence of a Man Man live show, Rabbit Habits is the end product of the efforts of a band who are earnestly saying something important, even if you can’t always make out the words over the blare of the sousaphone.
Puscifer March 8th and 9th at Theatre of Living Arts
From Wikipedia –
Puscifer is a side project of Maynard James Keenan from the bands Tool and A Perfect Circle. As Keenan is the only permanent member and he considers the project to be his “creative subconscious”, Puscifer could also be considered a pseudonym for his solo work.
Puscifer’s original name was Umlaut, “a premiere improvisational hardcore band”.The name “Puscifer” was first publicized as a fictional band in the first episode of Mr. Show, including Keenan and Adam Jones as members. Jones is not associated with Puscifer otherwise, although artwork by Jones has been featured on Puscifer apparel (the “Your Mom’s a Bitch” shirt, specifically). Keenan describes Puscifer as “simply a playground for the various voices in my head,a space with no clear or discernible goals, where my Id, Ego, and Anima all come together to exchange cookie recipes.” Keenan has reportedly been working on short films with Ford Englerth and Jeffrey Brooks from Red Rock Entertainment Development that may be shown on an upcoming tour. These shorts are done in a similar manner to that of Mr. Show and Tom Waits’ Big Time.
Puscifer is “as much a clothing line as it is a band”, with the clothing items produced in limited numbers. Keenan collaborated on a leather jacket with Paul Frank.On September 16, 2008, Keenan updated the puscifer.com blog, revealing that the first ever Puscifer store would be opening “hopefully” by October 1 in Jerome, Arizona. Occupying a small space above a tattoo parlor, the store opened on October 3, 2008. In addition to the merchandise available on the band’s online store, Keenan has also made available locally-roasted coffee, art, and an ever-changing list of limited edition collectibles.
It was announced on May 9, 2009 through Keenan’s Twitter page that there is “new music coming soon from Puscifer”.This “new music” was then confirmed on October 12, 2009 to be a new digital-only EP due for release in early November 2009, again through Keenan’s Twitter.
Henry Rollins (Spoken Word Show!) March 11th at First Unitarian Church
From R5 Productions
Formerly Black Flag vocalist and now pop icon. Henry enjoyed himself last year at The Church so he’s coming back! Henry’s hitting the road with a brand new tour which will be touching down at the Sanctuary of The First Unitarian Church!
After a year of being left to his own devices traversing the wilds of Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, India, China, and many more, Henry Rollins is spending 2010 doing what he does best: Talking, and traveling, and talking about traveling!
The 2010 Frequent Flyer Tour has arrived and Henry is embarking on a tour around the world which will take in more than 100 shows.
Henry Rollins is an American singer-songwriter, raconteur, spoken word artist, writer, publisher, actor, radio DJ, and activist. After joining the short-lived Washington D.C. band State of Alert in 1980, Rollins fronted the California hardcore punk band Black Flag from 1981 until 1986. Following the band’s breakup, Rollins soon established the record label and publishing company 2.13.61 to release his spoken word albums, as well as forming the Rollins Band, which toured with a number of lineups until 2003 and during 2006.
Since Black Flag, Rollins has embarked on projects covering a variety of media. He has hosted numerous radio shows, such as Harmony In My Head on Indie 103, and television shows, such as The Henry Rollins Show, MTV’s 120 Minutes,and Jackass. He had a recurring dramatic role as a white supremacist in the second season of Sons of Anarchy and has also had roles in several films. Rollins has also campaigned for human rights in the United States, promoting gay rights in particular, and tours overseas with the United Service Organizations to entertain American troops.
Henry Rollins on Rave and Modern Rock Music
Air March 18th at The Electric Factory
Air is a music duo from Versailles, France, consisting of Nicolas Godin and Jean-BenoÃ®t Dunckel. The name Air is a backronym for Amour, Imagination, RÃªve which translates to Love, Imagination, Dream.
Air’s debut EP, Premiers SymptÃ´mes, was followed by the critically acclaimed album Moon Safari, the re-release of Premiers SymptÃ´mes, The Virgin Suicides score, 10 000 Hz Legend, Everybody Hertz, Talkie Walkie, Pocket Symphony and Love 2.
Air’s music is often referred to as electronica; their form of electronic music was influenced by the synthesizer sounds of the 1970s such as Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis and Francis Lai. Other influences include psychedelic rock pioneers Pink Floyd; krautrockers Tangerine Dream; early pioneers of the eurodance electronica subgenre Space ; Jean-Jacques Perrey (although there are some echoes of dance music styles in the production); and French crooner Serge Gainsbourg.
Air use many of their studio instruments (like Moog synthesizers, the Korg MS-20, Wurlitzer and Vocoder) live on stage, where their ability to improvise is more clearly highlighted. The band performs the well-known tracks from the albums live as extended or altered versions. Air often works together, both in the studio and live on stage, with artists like Beth Hirsch (Moon Safari), FranÃ§oise Hardy (“Jeanne”), Jean-Jacques Perrey (“Cosmic Bird”), Gordon Tracks (“Playground Love” and “Easy Going Woman” – Gordon Tracks is a pseudonym of the French singer Thomas Mars from Phoenix), Beck (10 000 Hz Legend), on the 2004 tour with Dave Palmer and on the 2007 tour with drummer Earl Harvin, Vincent Taurelle and Steve Jones.
Air have often collaborated with American film director Sofia Coppola. They composed the music to her debut film The Virgin Suicides. Air drummer and former Redd Kross member Brian Reitzell put together the soundtrack to Lost in Translation including one original contribution by Air titled “Alone In Kyoto”. The soundtrack for Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette features a track by Air.
City Reading (2003) started as an idea for a collaboration with contemporary Italian writer Alessandro Baricco, known for his unusual characterizations and lyrical, poetic style. Baricco contacted Air in summer 2002 with the idea to marry narration of texts from his book City with live original musical accompaniment. The performance premiered live in November 2002 at Rome’s Teatro Valle, and was deemed such a success that both parties resolved to make a full studio recording that resulted in the album City Reading: Tre Storie Western.
Dillinger Escape Plan and Darkest Hour March 28th at First Unitarian Church
From R5 Productions
Dillinger Escape Plan
Brand New LP out in March! One of our most favoritist bands! Ultra complex, and dizzingly complicated metal with lots of angular riffing and hooky little bits that definitely lift this stuff above standard grind / metalcore / whateveryoucallit. Last minute-ish show that will be totally crazy and awesome at The First Unitarian Church!
It seems to me like every hardcore kid in America must have gotten an In Flames songbook for Christmas, cause more and more US metalcore is sounding remarkably like Swedish melodic blackened, death metal. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. Now that In Flames have their eyes on the nu-metal prize and wear matching white denim outfits and prance around on MTV lip sync-ing to sing-along choruses and playing cookie cutter “MTV metal” someone had to step up to the plate. Darkest Hour are one of the few metalcore bands that are truly capable of writing actual songs and crafting honest to goodness hooks with super catchy melodies and totally original parts. They still destroy. Thick guitars and howled vocals. Super complex song structures and crazy drumming. It’s all HEAVY AS FUCK! But amidst all the chaos and pummeling brutality are the kind of hooks that stick with you the way a pop song does. I find myself humming Darkest Hour riffs all the time lately and that’s pretty strange. Although maybe it shouldn’t be. One of our favorite new metalcore records, and it may just be catchy enough for you brave pop fans. But probably not. Victory Records
Dillinger Escape Plan
Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants
Garotas Suecas and Copacabana Club March 29th at Kung Fu Necktie
Garotas Suecas (from Brooklyn Vegan)
The Garotas Suecas are a Brazilian band that brings together their Brazilian influences with a mix of garage rock and soul music. Performing since 2005, the Garotas Suecas are now touring with their third EP, Dinossaurs. The Garotas Suecas will make you dance.
Copacabana Club (From Kung Fu Necktie)
The dancing indie-rock band with Brazilian flair known as The Copacabana Club was formed in 2007. The band’s inspiration was to simply make good dance music.
DifÃcil de Domar
King of the Night
Fanfarlo, Lawrence Arabia, and Robert Francis March 31st at First Unitarian Sanctuary
From R5 Productions
Fanfarlo is BLOWING UP! Selling out both Kungfu Necktie and then Johnny Brendas in advance. Hailing from London, they have been winning over audiences for years with a charming brand of indie pop-folk. Led by Swedish songwriter Simon Balthazar, Fanfarlo was formed in 2006, and soon began touring and steadily releasing new music. In 2008, the group headed to the studio to record their first full-length album – Reservoir, was released earlier this year. The band’s style of indie pop feels familiar (Arcade Fire & Beirut) and yet very new. In addition to the normal lineup of drums, bass and guitars, the group employs an array of instruments ranging from keyboards and mandolin to horns. Get on the bandwagon now!
Lawrence Arabia is the musical guise of New Zealand artist James Milne. In 2006 Lawrence Arabia released his self titled debut album and the debut album his band The Reduction Agents, The Dance Reduction Agents. Both albums were nominated for several Bnet awards, New Zealand’s public voted alternative radio awards.
Milne has been involved in the internationally successful pop group The Brunettes and toured as bass player for American band Okkervil River and toured with Feist. He has also produced music for film and theater including songs that appeared in Taika Waititi’s Eagle vs Shark.
The widely circulated story about Robert Francis, apocryphal as it might be, is that he was, at the age of 9, given his first guitar by Ry Cooder. If anything did rub off on Francis with this exchange, it is the languorous, dusty tone that shines through a good chunk of Cooder’s work. Take that away and what is left is the glossy reverb-heavy sound that makes up much of the roots-y rock coming out of L.A. of late. What helps Francis stand out from that congested pack, however, is an appreciable lightness of touch. Even the most upbeat songs, like the rambling lead single â€œJunebugâ€ or the heat vapors of â€œI Like The Airâ€, would be trenchant stompers in lesser hands, but here are wrapped in a smoky atmospherics befitting songs born in a city of smog and wildfires.
Harold T. Wilkins
Talk About Good Times