Earlier this month, we posted the trailer for the Black Cab Sessions‘ tour through the USA, which included a stop in Philadelphia and recording sessions with several local acts. The Philly-centric part of the trailer specifically lists performances by Freeway, Spank Rock, Meg Baird, Kyp Malone, Plastic Little, and Reading Rainbow; back when they were here last November, we noted that they had recorded with Grandchildren as well. For now, however, babelgum.com has videos of sessions with Strand Of Oaks and A Sunny Day In Glasgow. You can watch both videos below; more videos of the Black Cab Sessions’ USA tour are available on babelgum.com. (Thanks to The Swollen Fox for posting about the videos earlier today.)
Black Cab Sessions
Last November the Black Cab Sessions folks rolled in to Philly with their, um, Black Cab and a video crew. If you’re not familiar with these video sessions, the concept is basic. Bands get in to the back of a black British cab and play while the cab drives around the city. The BCS folks have had dozens of artists perform in the back seat of their cab: Weezer, Richard Thompson, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, My Morning Jacket, Bon Iver, Brian Wilson and many others. When the Black Cab folks (based in London) came to the States, they decided to visit six cities: Athens, New York, New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville and Philly. They reached out to folks in the music scenes in each city to find out what bands they needed to check out and record. While they were in Philly they connected with music blogger Mark Schoenveld of YVYNYL and some other scenesters and put a bunch of Philly bands in the back of their cab to perform including Meg Baird, Plastic Little, Freeway and Spank Rock. The other day the Black Cab Sessions folks posted a trailer for the series which you can view below. They also launched a Black Cab Sessions tumblr here with the trailer and the words: “Coming soon, folks.” We’re excited to see how it came out.
It’s kind of like Grandchildren‘s appearance on The Black Cab Sessions. Except, instead of riding through town in a quaint black cab while recording a song with as many instruments they can fit inside the taxi, the members of the local experimental rock sextet plopped down on a ratty yellow couch and recorded a few acoustic tracks. (So, basically, another live, stripped-down, up-close-and-personal audio/video recording—but with fewer city streets, and more unidentified stains.) Below, you can catch the video for “Everlasting”—the title track off one of The Key’s favorite albums of 2010. You can watch the other two videos at Big Ugly Yellow Couch’s website.
“One song, one take, one cab”—that’s The Black Cab Sessions in a nutshell. Stuff as many members of a band (and their respective pieces of equipment) as possible in the back seat of a cab, then give them one shot at recording a song as the vehicle makes its bumpy way through town (usually the streets of London). The online video series—which has has been going on since May 2007—has featured performances by everyone from Weezer and Brian Wilson to Grizzly Bear and St. Vincent.
According to The Black Cab Sessions Twitter, they arrived in Philly on Sunday and—after taking care of the initial business of finding some doughnuts—went off in search of local rock and hip hop acts to record. As far as we can tell, they’ve already gone on joyrides with Philly’s Grandchildren (who just got back into town from tour), Reading Rainbow (who just left town for tour), and music blogger Mark Schoenveld; they’ll also be stopping by World Cafe Live tomorrow for the Free At Noon concert with Robert Randolph And The Family Band. You can check out all of the Black Cab Sessions videos (which includes a performance by Man Man) at the website. —Matthew Borlik