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! Yeasayer may be sold out, but there’s still plenty of great shows worth seeing.
Gogol Bordello & Devotchka May 1st at The Electric Factory
Gogol Bordello (from Wikipedia)
Gogol Bordello is a Gypsy punk band from the Lower East Side of New York City. It was formed in 1999 and is known for its theatrical stage shows and persistent touring. Much of the band’s sound is inspired by Gypsy music. The band incorporates minor-key accordion and violin (and on some albums, saxophone) mixed with punk and dub.
Gogol Bordello’s first single was released in 1999, and since then they have released five full-length albums, and one EP. In 2005 the band signed to punk label SideOneDummy Records. On April 27th, 2010 Gogol Bordello made its major record label debut with Transcontinental Hustle on Rick Rubin’s American Recordings, a subsidiary of Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment. The band has toured tirelessly throughout Europe and America. They have made appearances at numerous international festivals and toured with such diverse bands as Primus, Flogging Molly, and Cake.
Devotchka (From Myspace
DeVotchKa is a four piece multi-instrumental and vocal ensemble that fuses Romani, Greek, Slavic and Bolero music with American punk and folk roots. The quartet is made up of Nick Urata, who sings and plays theremin, guitar, bouzouki, piano, and trumpet; Tom Hagerman, who plays violin, accordion, and piano; Jeanie Schroder, who sings and plays sousaphone and double bass; and Shawn King, who plays percussion and trumpet. Numerous nationwide tours in support of self released records earned the band an underground following. Their song â€œHow It Endsâ€ was featured on the trailer for the film â€œEverything Is Illuminatedâ€, introducing the band to a widening audience. Their performance at the 2006 Bonnaroo music festival was considered a breakout event. In between tours, the band was picked by first time film directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris to score â€œLittle Miss Sunshineâ€, a 2006 film that would go on to garner four Academy Award nominations. DeVotchKa composed and performed the majority of the music for the film’s soundtrack and were nominated for a 2006 Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack. DeVotchKa’s latest studio album, â€œA Mad & Faithful Tellingâ€, was released on March 18, 2008. DeVotchKa is currently doing a worldwide tour in support of the album’s release.
How It Ends
Minus The Bear May 6th at the Trocadero
Minus The Bear (From Bio)
Founded in 2001, Minus the Bear earned immediate attention with their distinctive spastic prog-pop hybrid, all serrated rhythms, swirling synths, and guitarist Dave Knudson’s multi-layered, pedal-hopping acrobatics. Prolific from the start, the band let loose with series of EPs and albums, each drawing escalating acclaim and a host of new fans. 2007’s Planet of Ice was followed by the band’s most intensive touring thus far, repeatedly traveling the US, as well as Europe, Australia, and Japan. The non-stop roadwork served to increase the band’s kinetic power and intensity â€“ a mindset they were determined to bring with them when they returned to the studio.
Minus the Bear have always avoided easy classification, preferring to tread their own inimitable path defined by energy and invention. OMNI, the Seattle-based band’s fourth full-length recording and debut Dangerbird Records release, sees a stunning evolution to their sound and vision. As evinced by the album’s all-encompassing title, Minus the Bear have merged their myriad influences into a sweeping collection marked by its slinky and sensual melding of city-stomping rock and deep funk grooves. That spirit of sonic lasciviousness is mirrored in the album’s raw take on human sexuality â€“ a theme as intricate and elaborate as the band’s extraordinary music. Boldly experimental yet instantly accessible, OMNI is Minus the Bear’s most provocative and potent work to date.
Minus The Bear
Caribou and Toro Y Moi May 9th at First Unitarian Church
From R5 Productions
ONE OF OUR FAV BANDS EVER ! The Canadian one man band (at least in the studio) Caribou has always equally embraced indie pop and electronica in his music making. His latest ep on Merge marks a bit of a shift in the balance. Melody Day is the least electronica and most indie pop of any if his recordings to date. Still very soft and pretty, but this time Dan Snaith has opted for Flaming Lips meets Polyphonic Spree swirling luscious pop stylings. Particularly w/ angelic group vocals that sound like a children’s chorus. Look for the new full length out on Merge in the summer.
Toro Y Moi
Toro Y Moi is 23-year old Columbia, South Carolina multi-instrumentalist Chaz Bundick. He’s been at Toro y Moi in one form or another since 2001, and recently signed to Carpark, who plan to release two full-lengths in 2010. Songs that sound like breezy summer afternoons, kind of like an Animal Collective-via-bedroom J Dilla.
Toro Y Moi
Dr. Dog & Deer Tick May 13th at Electric Factory
Dr. Dog (from Bio)
â€œThere was this feeling inside me going into making this record that we’d never made an album before,â€ says guitarist/vocalist Scott McMicken of Dr. Dog’s Shame, Shame, their Anti- debut and the first album made outside the safe confines of their home studio. â€œFour albums ago, we set out with this unspoken or unconscious mission, and I feel like we accomplished that to our own standards of fulfillment. With our last record [2008’s Fate], there didn’t seem to be the next logical step with the general set of sensibilities and aesthetics that we’d been working from up until that point. It felt like a closed book.â€
As a band that has traditionally built their scrappily spirited albums layer by layer in the undisturbed seclusion of their Philadelphia studio, Dr. Dog realized they would need to leave these comforts and work in a professional studio with the help of an outside engineer and producer if they were to continue their album-by-album growth. Having evolved from a band whose primary creative outlet was the album-making process into one that increasingly favored the energy of their live performances, they knew they wanted to document the new dynamic they had developed on the road.
Dr. Dog has created a song cycle of doubt and despair, bookended with the woozily swirling harmonies of Leaman’s lonely opener â€œStrangerâ€ and the harsh self-critique of the title track, a gnarled admission that sometimes it’s best to admit your mistakes and move on. Their most openly autobiographical release, ranging from McMicken’s exploration of West Philly underlife in â€œShadow Peopleâ€ to his account of two soul-bearing late night conversations in â€œJackie Wants a Black Eye,â€ it’s an album whose dark themes are soothed by bright harmonies, taut guitar riffs, and soaring melodies. Past stylistic references remain, but the tone is entirely different, with doubt, confusion and unanswered questions. And yet Shame, Shame is not a joyless affair. Just like each of their previous albums, it’s a record destined to claim its place on the timeless margins, untouched by modern tastes and content to exist on its own terms. Dig deeper, and you’ll hear that it’s the sound of bones groaning to support new growth and the story of how just how difficult the maturation process is, even when you want it more than anything. It’s the sound of Dr. Dog writing their next chapter, the one they’ve been working towards since they played their first notes together.
Deer Tick on Deer Tick
I, John, have written the bulk of our songs. Lately, its been more of a band effort. Ian has contributed a few songs to our live show that we hope to record soon. Dennis is working on some songs that we’ll integrate into our catalogue, too. We’ve got three albums under our belt: War Elephant (2007), Born On Flag Day (2009), and The Black Dirt Sessions (2010). We also released an EP, More Fuel for the Fire, in 2009.
Basically we play all sorts of music and are heavily influenced by legend status songwriters and performers, like Tom Petty and Sammy Davis, Jr. We consider ourselves a rock n roll band. Our live shows sometimes tend to go a bit haywire. We like to put on memorable shows, the kind of shows that you don’t see very often. If you don’t want to get covered in beer or confetti at one of our shows, I’d suggest not standing up in the front.
We also like doing cover songs. Some songs, like “These Old Shoes”, are written by friends of ours (Chris Paddock); whereas other songs, like “La Bamba”, are traditional Mexican folk songs. We’ve covered a good number of songs from artists such as Hank Williams, John Prine, Nirvana, The Beatles, Michael Hurley, The Sex Pistols, The Replacements, Sean Kingston, The Shivers, Warren Zevon… I could go on for awhile, but I’d like to let you know that we’re working on a few new surprise covers that we’ll be pulling out this year.
I named the band Deer Tick after taking a hike in Indiana with my good friend Brendon Massei, who you may know as Viking Moses. I discovered a deer tick on my scalp later that evening. Surprisingly, growing up in Rhode Island and frequently going on camping and fishing trips as a youngster, I had managed to go 19 years of my life without ever getting a tick. Some folks have taken offense to the name, but its not like we’re advocates or parasitic arachnids, I just thought it sounded cool. I’d also like to note that I had never heard of Deerhoof or Deer Hunter until it was too late. Sorry guys.
We’ve played our asses off since the beginning and do not foresee slowing down anytime soon. Here’s a few folks we’ve had the privilege of sharing the stage with: Neko Case, The Felice Brothers, Nas, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Jenny Lewis, J.D. Souther, Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, Dead Confederate, A.A. Bondy, you get the picture. And this year we’ll be touring with such outstanding artists as Dr. Dog, Those Darlins, and Holy Sons. I’m sure there’s much more awesome stuff ahead this year than the four of us could imagine, and we’d like to thank our fans for their continued support. See you out on the road, Tickheads!
My Old Ways
La La La
Buzzcocks May 14th at the Trocadero
Buzzcocks (From Wikipedia
Buzzcocks are an English punk band formed in Bolton in 1976, led by singerâ€“songwriterâ€“guitarist Pete Shelley.
They are regarded as an important influence on the Manchester music scene, the independent record label movement, punk rock, power pop, pop punk and indie rock. They achieved commercial success with singles that fused pop craftsmanship with rapid-fire punk energy. These singles were collected on Singles Going Steady, described by critic Ned Raggett as a “punk masterpiece”. The widely covered “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)” remains one of their best-known songs.
What Do I Get?
Horse The Band and Endless Hallway May 19th at The Barbary
From R5 Productions
Horse The Band
HORSE the band teeter on the brink of brilliance, total ruin and extinction. All day. Every day. This mere fact of their existence is masterfully executed by and evidenced on their latest slab of artful noise, Desperate Living (10/06/09), an album which is inspired by John Waters’ film of the same name and the experiences the band has endured over the past several years in the eats-its-young music business. Rather than sack up and get in line as the next tasty meal to be devoured by the music business beast, HORSE the band decided to write their own rules regarding their career. It wasn’t easy, but they learned a whole fucking lot.
Embarking on a quest to find exactly what it is you’re looking for in this life isn’t a mantra for kicks. For Endless Hallway, it’s a matter of spiritual survival and living up to your creative expectations. The Los Angeles-based five-piece, spearheaded by longtime friends Ryan Jackson (vocals) and Jono Evans (guitar), embraces a creative environment that’s uniquely expressive and raw. Their debut LP, Autonomy Games, harks upon the craft of music as visual art, while providing a distinct sonic sphere for each listener to return to.
Steel Pulse and Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad May 20th at the Trocadero
Steel Pulse (from Bio)
Steel Pulse was formed in 1975 in Birmingham, England, specifically the inner city area of Handsworth. The founding members were schoolmates David Hinds (the primary songwriter as well as the lead singer and guitarist), Basil Gabbidon (guitar), and Ronnie “Stepper” McQueen (bass). All of them came from working class West Indian immigrant families, and none had much musical experience. They took some time to improve their technical proficiency, often on Roots inspired material by the Wailers, Burning Spear and several other prominent Jamaican artists. McQueen suggested the group name, after a racehorse, and they soon fleshed out the lineup with drummer Steve “Grizzly” Nisbett, keyboardist/vocalist Selwyn “Bumbo” Brown, percussionist/vocalist Alphonso “Fonso” Martin, and vocalist Michael Riley.
Steel Pulse initially had difficulty finding live gigs, as club owners were reluctant to give them a platform for their “subversive” Rastafarian politics. Luckily, the punk movement was opening up new avenues for music all over Britain, and also finding a spiritual kinship with protest reggae. Thus, the group wound up as an opening act for punk and new wave bands like the Clash, the Stranglers, Generation X, the Police, and XTC, and built a broad-based audience in the process. In keeping with the spirit of the times, Steel Pulse developed a theatrical stage show that leavened their social commentary with satirical humor; many of the members dressed in costumes that mocked traditional British archetypes (Riley was a vicar, McQueen a bowler-wearing aristocrat, Martin a coach footman, etc.). The band issued two singles — “Kibudu, Mansetta and Abuku” and “Nyah Love” — on small independent labels, when they then came to the attention of Island Records after opening for Burning Spear.
Steel Pulse is one of Britain’s greatest reggae bands, in terms of creative and commercial success. Steel Pulse started out playing authentic roots reggae with touches of jazz and Latin music, and earned a substantial audience worldwide. Their 1978 debut, Handsworth Revolution, is still regarded by many critics as a landmark and a high point of British reggae. By the late ’80s, Steel Pulse had won a Grammy and were working full-fledged crossover territory. They subsequently returned to a tough-minded, rootsy sound and have added touches of dancehall and hip-hop along the way.
Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad (From Myspace)
LIVE UP! is a selection of high-quality, previously unreleased live recordings, hand picked by Rochester NY’s psychedelic reggae road warriors Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad (GPGDS). The independently released album’s 11 tracks were selected from five different concerts in 2008 and 2009.
GPGDS has played 500 shows in the past three years, touring relentlessly and developing a widespread grassroots following. The group has performed at premier venues and festivals across the U.S. including Red Rocks and Rothbury. LIVE UP! exemplifies the tight musicianship and dynamic live show experience Giant Panda is known for. The album was produced and mixed by the band’s sound engineer and show archivist Joel Scanlon. It complements their debut studio release Slow Down (2006).
LIVE UP! is the closing statement of Giant Panda’s former six-piece lineup, as they are now forging ahead as a quartet.
“The reality of this band is that we’re always evolving â€” musically, spiritually, and within our own circle,” says GPGDS bassist James Searl. “LIVE UP! documents the sound and chemistry that six people shared with each other and crowds around the nation. We’re excited about the future as a quartet, and eager to explore new territories.”
Coheed and Cambria with Circa Survive May 21st and 22nd at the Electric Factory
Coheed and Cambria (from Wikipedia)
Coheed and Cambria is an American rock band from New York, formed in 1995. The band was originally named “ShabÃ¼tie”; however, the name was changed to “Coheed and Cambria” when drummer Nate Kelley departed. The band incorporates aspects of progressive rock, punk rock, heavy metal and post-hardcore.
Coheed and Cambria’s albums are concept albums that reveal a science fiction storyline called The Amory Wars, a series of story mediums written by lead singer Claudio Sanchez. The band has released five studio albums, two live albums, and several special-edition releases. In 2008, the band held a four-day concert series, Neverender, during which they played their first four studio albums in succession. Their fifth studio album, Year of the Black Rainbow, which is a prequel to the series, was released on April 13, 2010.
Circa Survive (from Wikipedia)
Circa Survive is a rock band from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, formed in 2004. The band consists of vocalist Anthony Green, former singer of Saosin and members of the now-defunct This Day Forward.
Their debut album, Juturna, was released on April 19, 2005 by Equal Vision Records, which received a mixed critical reception. However their second album, On Letting Go, released on May 29, 2007, garnered widespread critical acclaim. Their third album, Blue Sky Noise, was released on April 20, 2010 on Atlantic Records as the band has finished their term with Equal Vision Records.
Circa Survive will begin 2010 with a mini tour consisting of 11 dates. The tour will begin in Carrboro, NC on March 11, 2010, and the tour will end on March 27, 2010 at The Bamboozle in Anaheim, CA. They have stated that on this tour they will be playing many new songs, as well as old favorites. After this mini tour they will proceed into an extended tour in April with Coheed and Cambria and Torche, beginning in Charlotte, NC on April 22, 2010 and ending on May 28, 2010 in Washington D.C.
Coheed and Cambria
The Running Free
In Fear and Faith
Sun Ra Arkestra celebrate Marshall Allen’s Birthday May 25th at Johnny Brenda’s
From Johnny Brenda’s
Ars Nova Workshop presents a very special performance of the Sun Ra Arkestra in celebration of the 86th birthday of Marshall Allen and the 96th anniversary of Sun Ra’s arrival on Earth.
As a young musician, Marshall Belford Allen (b. May 25, 1924) performed with pianist Art Simmons, Don Byas and James Moody before enrolling in the Paris Conservatory of Music. After relocating to Chicago, Allen became a pupil of Sun Ra, subsequently joining the Arkestra in 1958 and leading Sun Ra’s formidable reed section for the next 40 years. Marshall, along with John Gilmore, June Tyson and James Jacson, lived, rehearsed, toured and recorded with Sun Ra almost exclusively for much of Sun Ra’s musical career. As a member of the Arkestra, Allen pioneered the Free Jazz movement of the early sixties, having remarkable influence on the leading voices in the avant-garde. He is featured on over 200 Sun Ra recordings in addition to collaborations with Phish, Sonic Youth, Digable Planets and Medeski, Martin & Wood. Allen assumed the position of maestro in 1995, following the ascension of Sun Ra in 1993 and John Gilmore in 1995. Marshall continues to be committed to the study, research, and development of Sun Ra’s musical precepts and has launched the Sun Ra Arkestra into a dimension beyond that of mere “ghost” band by writing fresh arrangements of Sun Ra’s music, as well as composing new music and arrangement for the Arkestra. He works unceasingly to keep the big-band tradition alive.
Of Montreal and Noot D’ Noot May 28th at the Theatre of Living Arts
Of Montreal (From Wikipedia)
Of Montreal is an electronic/pop/rock band from Athens, Georgia. The band was created by Kevin Barnes and named after a failed romance with a woman from Montreal, though the story changes in various interviews. Barnes was the only member of the “group” prior to his relocation to Athens, Georgia. There, he met Derek Almstead, later of the Circulatory System, M Coast, Elf Power etc., and Bryan Poole, who also performs as The Late B.P. Helium. Together, they recorded their first album, Cherry Peel, as well as The Bird Who Ate the Rabbit’s Flower and The Bedside Drama: A Petite Tragedy.
The band’s style has been known to change between albums. At first, the band embraced a more simple, quirky, lo-fi indie pop sound, which occasionally bordered on twee pop. Later the band moved to a fuller sound, as seen on the concept albums The Gay Parade and its follow-up, Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse. These albums contain more narrative lyrics, as opposed to the rather personal lyrical matter of those preceding it, and often imitating the style of old 1950s radio plays
Lyrically, their style has changed dramatically throughout the years. In the beginning, many songs were narratives of personal or humorous situations, such as “Tim, I Wish You Were Born A Girl”, from Cherry Peel. This style, however, changed with The Gay Parade, where many songs involve small narratives surrounding invented characters (in songs such as “Jacques Lamure”, “The Autobiographical Grandpa”, “Mimi Merlot” and “Rose Robert”). Others act as extracts from fictional conversations (“Advice From a Divorced Gentleman to His Bachelor Friend Considering Marriage” and “Good Morning Mr. Edminton” as examples). With Aldhils Arboretum came a slight return to the previous writing style, except following more poppy, classical lyrical structures (such as the use of choruses, which are generally absent in the Gay Parade/Coquelicot years). This style continued throughout Satanic Panic and The Sunlandic Twins to some extent. On the band’s 2007 album Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, the lyrics are much more personal than previously used, with songs detailing emotions within the speaker.
Noot D’ Noot (From Myspace)
The amazing psychedelicized Nuevo-Atlanta 10-piece Go-Go troupe NOOT d’ NOOT has managed to cram their hypnotic surrealistic soul-party vibe onto improbably-sized-for-their-task 12-inch vinyl discs. The new LP, CASH FOR GOLD, will be available June 16th, 2009 through the band’s own Shakedown Records imprint.
CASH FOR GOLD is a skilled outgrowth of the band’s open-ended oddball psych-R&B dance collision: a pure 30 minute expression of tailshaking, mind-expansive joy-and-groove. Tellingly, the project began as a 12-inch single â€“ preferred medium of role models like ESG, Arthur Russell and Kilo Ali â€“ but grew, through the band’s proclivity to improv its way to gleaming new spaces with an open Kosmiche-Krautrockists’ attitude, song-for-song, to its current 30-minute mini-lp size.
Openminded vets of the formidable Atlanta hip-hop and underground rock scenes, Noot evinces the best attributes of either steeze: their sonic instincts and studio savvy are redolent of their hip-hop collaborations with Dungeon Family/Outkast, Prefuse 73 and Grip Plyaz. Their vision, though, is propelled by a resilient DIY aesthetic and approach engendered by years spent in the independent shoestring-budget echelons of Punk Rock; what other impulse, besides a restless urge toward creation, could compel them, in economic times dire as these, to self-release records and tour in full 10-piece glory? Members have performed with Metalloid heavy-hitters like Mastodon and Zoroaster, grassroots spacerockers Good Friday Experiment, and pop-funk experimentalists the Selmanaires; these variegated musical encounters have produced a vigorous percolating eccentricity. Experiencing CASH FOR GOLD for the first time is a gently-schizoid and enlightening endeavor.
Noot D’ Noot
Fingers Like Steeples