Monday, April 27, 2009

Family Fun Night!, or: the Spinto Band w/ the Sin City Band, or: My most legitimate blog post yet

I enjoy going to shows more than anything else, and that's saying something in a world that offers pornography and foie gras. My community, however, has for years had rather limited options for live music.

So obviously I was thrilled when I was discovered in January that a new concert venue would be opening up not only in Kennett Square, but 2 blocks from my house. The Kennett Flash promised "the best national, regional, and local recording artists live in Historic Kennett Square". Sounds good to me.

Four months later, my attendance record at the flash included nought but two open mic nights. Turns out $15 is a lot to drop on an artist that I've never heard of. And, unfortunately, with all the great music constantly coming out these days, local bluegrass bands haven't exactly been on my radar. And thus on Friday, the locally-born and locally-loved Spinto Band, being the first artist on the Flash's schedule who I was at all familiar with (and who recently celebrated Record Store Day with an instore performance at the fantastic Rainbow Records in Newark, DE), put on my first actual concert at the Flash.

The show was billed as "A Family Affair": the fathers of a few Spinto Band-members opened with their group The Sin City Band. The Sin City Band enjoys tonk of the honky persuasion. A fun, sing-a-long set, the band covered old country standbys while mixing in some crowd-pleasing, local-referencing originals. The pinnacle of the set, though, was the family get-together. The Spinto Band came out to help finish off their papas' show with a rousing medley of "Shake, Rattle and Roll" and "Shortnin' Bread".

The Spinto Band took the stage for their set less than fifteen minutes later. Instantly noticeable onstage was a small, guitar-shaped piñata with a "Happy Birthday" balloon attached. I assumed, obviously, that it was a band member's birthday. It turns out it was the band's birthday--they have just completed 10 years as a group. I was quite surprised, as these fellows are certainly no older than their mid 20s. It turns out the whole "fathers in a band together" thing got them playing music with each other at an early age. I had no clue they had been around so long; I guess my previous assertion that they were "the first artist on the Flash's schedule who I was at all familiar with" was a bit of a stretch.

To celebrate the occasion, the band decided to pepper throughout their set rarely played tunes from earlier in their twee-tastic discography, which I was unable to wholly appreciate due to my lack of intimate familiarity with the band and which I only was aware of due to the fact that the band said so. But I felt like I was witnessing something rare despite those drawbacks, especially when they played "I Saw the Spider", a 50 second, 5 word (they replace "saw" with "killed" in the second verse) drone that has never been performed live before.

A high-energy show throughout, the meager corner in the Flash set aside as a "dance floor" was surprisingly well utilized. The band kept a good pace, alternating vocals between guitarist/lutist Nick Krill and bassist/kazooist Thomas Hughes. With his ridiculous smile and spazzy dancing, Hughes is certainly the more enthusiastic and energetic of the two, while Krill is a more natural and engaging performer. Hughes' entertainment is obvious and more instantly amusing, but Krill keeps the show grounded. And hell, Krill's songs are just better. Admittedly, I make that statement based only on hearing the songs performed live that night: the only tune I knew going in was "Oh, Mandy" (which was ace).

But, as with the opening, the definite highlights of the night arose when the two generations shared the stage. The Sin City Band's Scott Birney and Steve Hobson each made brief, much appreciated appearances during the set, and the show climaxed when both took the stage for a rendition of Van Morrison's "Gloria".

So the show was surprisingly high energy and engaging for a venue filled with seated tables. But the atmosphere alone at the Flash would be enough to pull me back more than a few times this summer. Just don't expect me to pay $8.50 for that cheese plate again.

photo credits: my pa (which I suppose adds to the whole family theme)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

This is to hold you over

I didn't do a real update yesterday and I probably won't today, so I am making a short update to hold you over until I finally post my review/pictures of the Spinto Band show.

This post is called #1 Reason Why Vinyl Is the Best Music Format. lolz?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Some songs to listen to today

Today is Shakespeare's birthday so here is a song that has Shakespeare's name in the title.

It is also my father's birthday so here is a song with the word "father" in the title.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

From the Desk of Pretension & Perk

Dear PJ Harvey,
Stop hanging out with that John Parish punk.

Dear My Bloody Valentine,
Stop trying to preserve your precious mystique and do a real tour.

Dear Kanye West,
Stop dicking about with Auto-Tune and make a rap album.

Dearest Animal Collective,
Stop thinking that I'll masturbate to whatever you put out. You're close, but not quite at that point yet.

Dear Pixies,
Stop being flighty and decide whether or not you exist and are making music.

Dear Antony and the Johnsons,
Stop making music.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Lollapalooza Lineup Came out Today

I have gone to Lollapalooza for the past 3 years. It is a splendid festival. So excuse me when I say FUCK YOU C3 for booking Lou Reed, Animal Collective, the Decemberists, Deerhunter, Dan Deacon, and Band of Horses the year that I'm not going to be able to come. Animal Collective DJ set? That is going to be so fly. I AM SO ENRAGED THAT I CAN HARDLY CTRL+V THIS LINK.

(link to lineup)

Meh to the headliners, but solid middle.
Also, how the hell is Jane's listed so low? Perry managed to get his band Satellite Party to be billed in the top 10 acts in 2007; you'd think he'd be able to get the band that people actually care about on the first line.

Review: Pains of Being Pure of Heart

I thought I was listening to the new Pains of Being Pure of Heart album the other day, but then I realized that I just had "Thorn" by My Bloody Valentine on repeat. So A+!

2009 is already better than 2008, guys

Seriously. 2008 was a pretty disappointing year for music.
But 2009! 2009, you treat me right. You don't dangle in front of my eyes the new album from creators of Return to Cookie Mountain, only to have it crash on the floor in a uninspiring pile of mediocrity. Oh no, not you, 2009! You give me an amazing, Maryland concert venue-inspired album from one of the best active artists. You keep the Yeah Yeah Yeahs interesting. You reinvent one of the best bands of all times into a ridiculous and vulgar alter-ego. YOU HELP TO CURE AIDS FOR GOD'S SAKE.

Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion
Fever Ray Fever Ray
Condo Fucks Fuck Book
Dan Deacon Bromst
Yeah Yeah Yeahs It's Blitz!
Various Artists including Yo La Tengo, the National, Arcade Fire, Yeasayer Dark Was the Night

Get the following albums on their release dates AND NO SOONER. I'm not even sure why I'm telling you to get them because I certainly have no idea what they sound like.

St. Vincent Actor (May 5th)
Grizzly bear Veckatimest (May 26th)
Dirty Projectors Bitte Orca (June 9th)