Words, Images, and Videos by Jake Krolick
New Orleans’ own Rotary Downs played my backyard venue the Northstar bar on Thursday. They opened for a heap of other local artists and really impressed our small but hearty group of onlookers. With the Northstar Bar surrounded by Italian motor bikes and north philly X-mas tree pushers, Rotary Downs rocked the cold December chills away. These cats mixed up an enchanting lather of psychedelic rock music blended with just the right worldly vibes and wailing guitars. Their quick set concluded with a lively cover of the Beatles “Get Back.” They packed the cover full with some hot keyboard work from Michael Girardot and a nasty little exchange jam at the end between singer James Marler and lead guitarist Chris Colombo. Check out Rotary Downs in the video below. We dare you to not tap a foot to it… www.rotarydowns.com
Part Pixies, part Walkmen, part something else entirely, The Shackeltons are doing something worth seeing live. Their changes made you feel like tipping your head back and just enjoying the ride as they whipped us around from slow somber ballads to charging full frontal rock. Their lead singer Mark Redding showed brooding warmth in his voice and its layered complexity was as much fun to hear as Redding was to watch. He opened up with a song about losing someone he loved violently in the power of a storm. As he stripped away the songs layers, he questioned “did you, did you want me baby?” He swatted at himself and the air with a dozen mixed flowers sending the flower pedals flying. He ripped and twisted the stems in his hands as the song peaked in guitar and crashing of the drums. Redding was in a trance and clapped his hands free of the floral remnants as his nightly routine of releasing his demons came to an end. The Shackeltons went on to kill it from here hammering at our emotions with a strong mix of drums, guitar and bass. The band effortlessly shifted from the somber to the aggressive moments producing some well played indie rock.
Check the Shackeltons out opening their Northstar Bar show in style in the video below. www.theshackeltons.com
Words, Video and Images by Jake Krolick
Rocco DeLuca plays a solo set at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia. Known for his band Rocco DeLuca and the Burden and for the documentary “I Trust You To Kill Me” featuring the band and actor Kiefer Sutherland, who acted as the band’s tour manager during their 2006 European tour. Here is Rocco doing what he does best playing a mean Dobro and digging into one deep well of human emotion that may leave you gasping for air.
Here is Stardeath and White Dwarfs playing Philly’s First Unitarian Church in an amazing display of rock prowess. Dennis Coyne locks into a groove with the audience early on as he and the band drip sonic bliss into the ears of some very impressed onlookers. You can hear the similarities to The Flaming Lips in the way they present themselves and their music.
Preview by Jake Krolick
Do the holidays and all the nasty commercialism of black Friday/cyber Monday shopping have you ready to explode? If so, consider taking out some aggression and take in the band The Sword playing at the TLA this Friday, December 3rd . With the release of their new album, Warp Riders, The Sword have a lot to be proud of. This young metal band can wail and they prove it on this latest offering. They forgo a straight ahead thrashing attack of all things metal by straddling the lines of old and new sounds. Sure they still have one foot firmly planted in the realm of metal along with the likes of Mastodon, Clutch, and Metallica, but they have dipped the other foot into the heavy waters of 70’s hard rock reminiscent of Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and Deep Purple. Here’s a good taste of what the Sword will throw down with on Friday in Philadelphia, a track off of their new album entitled “Tres Brujas”.
Words, Video and Images by Jake Krolick
Kuroma – After watching this video of Kuroma, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kts4opDlXQg their performance really could have gone a variety of ways. It turned out that the singer Hank Sullivant also played a decent guitar.
Stardeath and White Drawfs – These cats have been heavily touring and with some tutelage from Uncle Coyne the work has seemingly paid off. After a superb bass and drum battle (intro music for the video below), Coyne’s nephew, Dennis Coyne rocked the fuck out with some funky stoner doom sounds. His white fur wookie boots, wild LED lights and shredding approach on the guitar and keys made for a great pump-up before the main act. Learn more at http://www.stardeathandwhitedwarfs.com/
Tame Impala –Great promise in the young Aussies whose albums were not quite done justice with their live show, at least not during their first time in Philly. The show was a mediocre display of Tame Impala’s tempting musical mix of Cream and Swedish band Dungen. Unfortunetly Kevin Parker’s strong vocals were far too mucked up with feedback to clearly hear. Plus, their set was in desperate need of a powerful beginning and some retooled setlist flow. The peaks and valleys of good and bad moments left me wanting to see them on a better night in a better sounding venue. However, 4 of the 12 songs they played were downright delicious, like their last tune of the evening “Half Full Glass of Wine.” Just because these guys were not up to snuf in Philly, does not mean they can’t wail – Peep them rule that last tune in the video below. Much thanks to Craig Holzmer for joining me at the show w/ his handy musical eye and steady hand on the camera. Learn more at www.tameimpala.com
Random Thought –Tame Impala’s tour manager/stagehand set one of the cleanest, classiest stages I’ve seen in a while. His attention to detail was impeccable tapeing down every last cable. He even bopped his way across the stage to stop an overzealous fan from attempting to burn the eyes of the entire place with her incessant flash-bulb snapshots. He kept order when there was teenage chaos.
Warning-The video below contains scenes of intense rock & roll – Warning
Words, Images, Video and ‘Surprised Kimock’ meme by Jake Krolick
Last night the North Star Bar welcomed back Bonerama for the second time in Philadelphia on their east coast residency stop. They invited Guitarist Steve Kimock and String Cheese Incident Keyboard player Kyle Hollingsworth to join in this time around. Their New Orleans double wide set ended around 2:00am and included rocking versions of “Frankenstein”, “Helter Skelter”, “War Pigs”, “Less is Moore”, and “You’re the One”. Kimock’s small contributions were nice added sonic rips in which he inserted patiently into Bonerama’s spirited blowing. He wore a look that can best be described as his attempt to one up the ‘Sad Keanu’ meme with his own ‘Surprised Kimock’ meme. The video below contains a mash-up of the “Frankenstein” > ‘Helter Skelter” and back again. They fit well together – enjoy! For more info on Bonarama visit – http://boneramamusic.com/
11.20.10 – North Star Bar
set 1:Big Fine Woman, Folly – (Holligsworth and Kimock come up), I’m In Love Again, Lost, Less Is Moore, MR GO, Seventh Step, Indian Red, Frankenstein
set 2: I Don’t Wanna Play Guitar,You’re the One, Helter Skelter,The Way It Goes, Redemption Song, Warpigs,Saints
Words, Photos and Video – Jake Krolick
The name Daniel Lanois should turn the head of any music fan. Seeing and hearing him play live with his new band Black Dub really shined some new light on this ultra- talented producer with the old soul of an artist. His work producing artists like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, U2 and Peter Gabriel are one thing. But as we watched Lanois interact with the three other band members on Johnny Brenda’s stage it was clear that his on stage emotions and abilities were a long time in the making. Lanois ripped on his vintage Gibson guitar in the most gallant and distinguished of ways. His touch on the strings was a unique mix of thumb picking, and finger plucks. He was not aggressive by any means bringing the most heated moments towards the end of the show as he soloed several times during Black Dub’s reworked reggae cover “Ring the Alarm”.
Black Dub’s singer plus second drummer and keyboard hand Trixie Whitley shined brilliantly all evening, you could say that she stole the show. Watching her contently the crowd traded their day jobs and button down shirts with old rock tees and pints of courage. They gazed up in amazement at the daughter of the bluesman Chris Whitley, as she traded lyrics with Lanois on the soulful Reggae tinged, “I Believe In You”. Whitley squirmed with a passion around the small stage. Her facets as a singer led one to a variety of comparisons, but Ms. Trixie Whitley had her own unique way with the octaves. She was quick on the delivery and between songs her speaking voice had a subtle sing-song quality that suggested she sung that well effortlessly hitting the highs or lows at her whim. As Whitley wrapped her sultry no holds barred voice around Black Dub’s smoldering original “Nomad”, her powerful and dynamic vocal range even pulled attention away from Daniel Lanois.
Black Dub is a clear project of love for Lanois. He surrounded himself with superb musicians who he dabbled with in a variety of styles, Gospel, Reggae, rock and Blues, each adding to the extremely palatable mix of music. Lanois was unafraid to push off the charted boundaries of the songs as he jammed freely with drummer extraordinaire Brian Blade and joining them on a second kit, Ms. Whitley during “The Maker”. Backed by the double drummers, the guitarist and producer unleashed a bit of the magic that he had brought into the recording studio and smiled as he charged away with his band into the night. Check Out Black Dub here – http://www.blackdub.net/