Johnny Brenda’s trips out big time, housing Japan’s Acid Mothers Temple for the night. Headed by Kawabata Makoto, this psychedelic collective has spanned 20+ years, touring the world with their large brand of psychedelia. The gig is 21+, and more information/tickets can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar.Continue reading →
Nashville country-soul six-piece The Apache Relay returns to Philly tonight to headline Johnny Brenda’s. The band, which built some buzz following a 2013 tour with Mumford and Sons, released its self-titled third LP last April, which drew comparisons to The Head and the Heart and Delta Spirit. Joining them on the bill are Great Peacock and Philly psych outfit Circadian Rhythms; tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
Japan-based psychedelic rock ensemble Acid Mothers Temple is coming up on twenty years of cranking amps and tripping out minds the world around. Their discography is so sprawling that it merits its own Wikipedia entry, and I won’t even speculate how many records they’ve put out before this year’s Astrogasm From The Inner Space. Suffice it to say, band leader Makoto Kawabata and his rotating cast of players have a strong Philly following (thanks to the enthusiasm of local promoters R5 Productions, as well as like-minded locals Bardo Pond) and tonight’s show will be a loud, expansive and expressive journey in the best imaginable way. Listen to Astrogasm‘s title track below, and get more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar.
In her band Hemming, singer-guitarist Candice Martello plays yearning, melancholic ballads in a fervent singer-songwriter style; as a solo artist, Madalean Gauze plays energized art rock brimming with riffs and hooks. Together, they turn the volume way up and the tempo way down in the new four-piece band Dreamswell. With a lineup rounded out by Gina Piccari on guitar and Joe Martello on drums, the band lowkey debuted with a few shows last fall at Boot and Saddle and Kung Fu Necktie. This week, their debut EP hit the internet. Continue reading →
Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 thriller The Shining is, by the estimation of many film buffs, one of the most complex and intense pieces of cinema ever made. Is it visually arresting, and harnesses sonic minimalism brilliantly to strike unsettling moods. Those who have spent any amount of time in a dark theater or an empty apartment watching the film know that it doesn’t deliver the type of horror where a dude in a mask jumps out and goes “BOO!” – it is the type of horror that sticks with you long after the credits have rolled.
The 2012 documentary Room 237 is a must-view for any fan of The Shining, whether you’ve watched it once or dozens of times. The film digs deep below the surface of already-tangled picture, espousing various analyses and hypotheses that range from plausable to odd-but-intriguing to looney conspiracy theorist.
Falling somewhere in the middle of that spectrum is the idea that if you watch simultaneous versions of The Shining – one starting at the beginning and moving forward and one in reverse, projected on top – scenes line up in strange, unexpected and possibly subliminally symbolic ways. In one sequence, Jack Nicholson’s face matches perfectly with the contours of a wall clock. Elsewhere, the grimacing ghost twins line up with Shelly Duvall running, frightened, in the snow. An injured Danny lies overtop the elevator of blood opening its doors.
The simultaneous screening was first staged in Brooklyn by artist, researcher and enthusiast John Fell Ryan. He took the idea from a heady film analysis that refers to The Shining as “a film organized with logic that flows both backwards and forwards” and says it “even seems to operate backwards, which means the film is a mirror of itself through time. The Shining is a film meant to be seen both forwards and backwards.” In his experiment, Ryan took that literally.
Tomorrow night, the Cinedelphia Festival will re-create Ryan’s The Shining, Forwards and Backwards, Simultaneously Superimposed at PhilaMOCA with a live score performed by Philadelphia noise-punk three-piece Psychic Teens, a band that’s no stranger to ambiance and mood-setting. I swapped e-mails with the band for some perspective on the project and what we can expect.
The Key: How did Psychic Teens first hear of The Shining backwards-forwards simultaneous projection phenomenon? Had you seen it in person before this project came about?
Psychic Teens: We weren’t aware of it until we’d heard about it in Rodney Ascher’s Room 237 documentary.
TK: What’s your read on the instances of stuff lining up between the two…interesting and eerie coincidences, or intentional arrangement on the part of Kubrick?
PT: It could be neither a coincidence nor a planned thing. It’s likely a reflection of a very methodical and obsessive filmmaker and the way that he created and laid out his vision, leading to things meeting up in interesting ways. Similarly, the entire film is visually stunning…of course it’s going to look even more incredible when you double the amount of imagery on the screen. Eerie is an understatement. Now we’re interested in further investigation of his other films in this manner. No spoilers – but the symmetry within the center portion of the film is crazy intense. Continue reading →
The members of The Builders And The Butchers are all originally from Alaska, which might help explain their bleak and rustic take on the rest of America. Their music videos are set in 19th-century Southwestern mountain shacks. Houses are axed or burned down; characters are knifed or roped to trees. Their harsh, nasal choruses (which sound strikingly similar to those of their fellow Alaskans and former tourmates, Portugal. The Man) tell Cormac McCarthy-esque tales of extreme frontiersmen. Lead singer Ryan Sollee sings violent campfire stories over the sparse acoustic (and, more recently, electric) guitar lines. And the dueling drummers—one with the kick drum, the other with the snare—create a bipolar sound, perhaps drawn from the extremes of their far-northern home. The Builders And The Butchers perform with Damion Suomi And The Minor Prophets and Katie Barbato at 7 p.m. at North Star Bar; tickets to the all-ages show are $12. —Dave Simpson
Also playing: The Grand Nationals + North Lawrence Midnight Singers, When I Was 12 at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., $7); Acid Mothers Temple + Shilpa Ray And Her Happy Hookers at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $12-$13)
The Brooklyn trio Bear In Heaven played last night at the First Unitarian Church. Their excellent indie electronica pop sounding new album, I Love You, It’s Cool, is out on Dead Oceans Records. You can download the song “The Reflection of You” below.