Steve Gunn may live in New York. Meg Baird may live in San Francisco. Mary Lattimore may live in Marin County. No one, however considers the guitarist, vocalist and harpist — respectively — as anything but dyed-in-the-wool forever Philadelphians. Therefore, their shared bill Union Transfer showcase on Saturday February 2 isn’t a homecoming. It’s a block party. Gunn and Baird phoned in from their respective homes to discuss their new albums (Gunn’s The Unseen In between, Baird and Lattimore’s Ghost Forests) and their friendly harp slinging pal. Continue reading →
San Francisco by way of Philadelphia songwriter Meg Baird is hopping on the already stacked co-headlining tour of Lee Ranaldo and Steve Gunn this January. Aside from her solo career, Baird is also known a lead vocalist in psychedelic folk rock band Espers. Her latest solo effort, Don’t Weigh Down the Light, was released last summer. For tickets and more information on her PhilaMOCA set, head over to XPN’s Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
“High Key” is a series of profiles conceived with the intent to tell the story of Philly’s diverse musical legacy by spotlighting individual artists in portrait photography, as well as with an interview focusing on the artist’s experience living, creating, and performing in this city. “High Key” will be featured in biweekly installments, as the series seeks to spotlight artists both individually and within the context of his or her respective group or artistic collective.
For fans of Philly’s local music scene, it hurts a little to have to use the word “former” to describe Meg Baird’s residential whereabouts. The singer uprooted from her longtime home here about four years ago and settled into San Francisco, a transition she reviewed briefly with The Key for an interview last August, in advance of a show at Johnny Brenda’s where she shared a stage with friend and frequent collaborator, Philly-based harpist Mary Lattimore.
Luckily for Baird’s fans, whatever coast she’s living on, she has been as prolific as ever. Last year saw the release of her third solo album, Don’t Weigh Down The Light, where she was accompanied throughout by Charlie Saufley for a return more toward the fuller sound of records made with her Philly-based band, Espers. Baird premiered a music video for the title track from that record on NPR last December.
Lattimore is celebrating the release of new music of her own as well. Her new record At The Dam hit stores on March 4th – it’s an album of experimental harp music that she improvised as a document of recent trips in California and Texas. Having recently garnered a Pew Fellowship, Lattimore is looking forward to an upcoming tour playing a number of European dates. Though she’d played throughout Europe before — as a duo along with multi-instrumentalist Jeff Zeigler, opening for Steve Gunn, or as part of Thurston Moore’s band — Lattimore looks forward to the autonomy and accolade of this tour as her first international venture as a solo headlining artist. Continue reading →
Former Philadelphia musician Meg Baird has settled into San Francisco life pretty nicely. She released her third solo record last year and formed a new band, the “dark acid-folk supergroup” of Heron Oblivion. The four-piece will release its self-titled debut via Sub Pop on March 4th, but NPR Music picked it up for a First Listen feature this week so you can get into it early.
NPR Music has debuted a new video for singer-songwriter Meg Baird’s Don’t Weigh Down The Light. It’s a hypnotic, gorgeous, and contemplative song and while he Philly singer and songwriter currently calls San Francisco her home, the video was filmed in Philly. Continue reading →
Thursday was a homecoming for former Philadelphia folk maestro Meg Baird at Johnny Brenda’s. With a new, utterly gorgeous LP at her disposal — Don’t Weigh Down the Light — she cast a magical live spell. Continue reading →
Tonight, LA saxophonist and acclaimed band leader Kamasi Washington brings his aptly-titled debut LP The Epic to World Cafe Live with an eight-piece band. In an interview earlier this week with The Key’s Shaun Brady, Washington talked about breaking down the boundaries of genre:
The word ‘jazz’ and the word ‘hip-hop’ have a separation, but the music doesn’t really have that same separation. You can’t talk about hip-hop without talking about A Tribe Called Quest, and their music is inundated with jazz. You can’t talk about west coast hip-hop without talking about James Brown and Parliament.
There’s a type of folk music that’s difficult to listen to in an abstract way, a type that’s difficult to extricate from the rich context of its history. A type that seems to always evoke a sort of timelessness, along with its most prominent practitioners and all of the artists who have carried it into the modern era. Nick Drake. Fairport Convention. Pentangle.
Oh, and “The Battle Of Evermore. “ Obviously.
Toward the end of her until-then lifelong residency in the Philadelphia area, in December of 2010, Meg Baird opened for the late great folk singer and guitarist Bert Jansch at Johnny Brenda’s, at what would be his last appearance here. Shortly following that show – in retrospect, an evening on which the proverbial torch of this tradition and this artistry was arguably passed, metaphorically speaking, between its masters in two generations – Jansch would pass away, sadly, and Baird would uproot, and relocate to the West Coast. Continue reading →
“One thing that I love about Philly is that people aren’t very careerist here,” says Philly songwriter Meg Baird, Saturday afternoon over coffee at South Street’s OFC. “In cities like New York or L.A., I feel like there’s a greater pressure to present highly complete work. But here people are happy to hang out with your cocktail napkin work. They enjoy your sketch-y stuff, and I think they like being in on the process a little, where they see you play something that maybe you don’t really have worked out quite yet. It’s something people say is true in San Francisco too, so I’m kinda hoping that will be a nice segue, to help me feel comfortable.”
She pauses to sip her coffee. Almost two decades after moving to Philly from South Jersey, Philly’s honey-tongued songstress will be leaving the City of Brotherly Love for San Francisco, where her boyfriend lives. It’s an exciting but bittersweet time—while she’s eager to delve into the city’s long folk history (“there’s this band from San Francisco called Icky Boyfriends that really played a big role in my formative musical years,” she says. “I actually got to play with them last week in New York City which was incredible”), she knows for sure she’ll miss her family and friends, not to mention the community of musicians and music-lovers. Continue reading →