Led by Swedish songwriter Jose Gonzales, the band Junip, is sharing the stage with Philadelphia singer Birdie Busch tonight at Union Transfer. Known for their soft, but invigorating sound, both musicians take their own spin on folk by mixing blues progressions with atmospheric, psychedelic breaths, soft rock riffs, and delicate lyrics. Find more information and tickets for tonight’s show here. Watch Birdie Busch’s “These Banks” from her PledgeMusic-funded album, The Greatest Night, below.
Last December, Roof Doctor lead guitarist/vocalist Mark Harper looked to his friends’ bands for “the best musicians he knew,” and borrowed them record his own material. It was evident after only two practices with Alex Stackhouse (guitar), Chet Williams (bass), Sean Reilly (bass), and Kevin Paschall (drums) that the group possessed enough chemistry to identify as a band in its own right. Last week I sat down with Harper to discuss Roof Doctor’s path – from starting out at the notorious North Philadelphia Maggot House where Harper and guitarist Alex Stackhouse live, to the band’s current plans, and their recently crushed dreams of beefing with Conor Oberst.
TK: Have you been working on anything new since the release of your EP I Am Going To Die back in July?
MH: Yeah, yeah. I Am Going To Die was recorded from February to May in the basement of Maggot House, but we’ve been pretty busy playing and writing new stuff.
TK: Did starting the band inside Maggot House influence your style?
MH: Absolutely. I never listened to punk at all, I was totally new to the whole DIY thing. The people there had a big effect on me. I want to keep playing house shows—I’m not really big on playing a lot of bar gigs. When you play at house shows and colleges people are more enthusiastic.
TK: What’s your favorite show you’ve played?
MH: Oh, just last weekend we played a show at Rowan University. It was really crowded and super energetic. It was just cool because you could see all these kids from the suburbs who had never experienced shows like this, whereas in Philly kids are used to these kinds of shows and places.
TK: What do you love about smaller performances like that?
Beloved symphonic rock ‘n’ roll band Dr. Dog is hitting the road for a series of North American tour dates in the coming months. The band will kick things off with three nights sharing a bill with none other than Bright Eyes before steering their merry bus to selected theaters and ballroom across the country. With their ever-evolving sound and supreme love of performing, the band has crafted a psychedelic infused modern rock show unlike any other.
The band is currently in a Philadelphia studio recording a new full length album. The record, an anticipated follow up to the band’s breakout release Shame Shame, will be in stores early 2012.
8/30 Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel Providence RI (w/ Bright Eyes)
8/31 Williamsburg Waterfront, Brooklyn NY (w/ Bright Eyes)
9/1 Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie NY (w/ Bright Eyes)
9/3 WHYY Connections Festival @ Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia PA
9/17 HF Festival @ Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia MD
11/2 Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland OH
11/4 Bluebird Nightclub, Bloomington IN
11/5 The Firebird, St Louis MO
11/7 Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa OK
11/8 George’s Majestic Lounge, Fayetteville AR
11/9 Proud Larry’s, Oxford MI
11/10 Tipitina’s, New Orleans LA
11/12 Orlando Calling Festival, Orlando FL
11/14 The Music Farm, Charleston SC
11/15 40 Watt, Athens GA
11/16 Bijou Theater, Knoxville TN
FRIDAY, JUNE 10
Bright Eyes began in 1998 as a project showcasing then 18-year-old Conor Oberst’s songwriting. Accompanied by a revolving cast of contributors, Oberst wrote mournful songs with narrative and literary flair. With the release of Lifted in2002,he was embraced by bookish teenagers, emo kids and critics alike. Oberst was called the “new Dylan,” and embarked on a series of musical explorations, delving into Americana and electro-pop on subsequent albums. Along with perennial Bright Eyes members multi-instrumentalist Mike Mogis and pianist Nate Walcott, Oberst returned this February with The People’s Key. It is Bright Eyes’ first offering since 2007’s Cassadega, and Oberst says, it will be its last, remarking that he wants “to lock the door, and say goodbye” to the band that brought him success. Bright Eyes performs with Dawes and M Ward at 7:30 p.m. at The Mann Center; tickets to the all-ages show are $25-$33.50. —Kiley Bense
I have yet to find a write-up of The Postelles without a reference to The Strokes, so I won’t try to dodge it here. It’s a definitive feature of the band—and both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. The preppy Manhattan kids are certainly more earnest than the apathetic Stokes, but at times their simple retro new wave is indiscernible. Their self-titled debut album came out this week, so it’s too early to tell if they are still searching for their own sound or content to mimic others. Regardless, drawing comparisons to one of the biggest bands of the last 10 years isn’t the end of the world. So, if you want to hear a Strokes cover band playing Strokes songs you’ve never heard before, check out The Postelles tonight. The Postelles perform with The Dig and Ambassadors at 7:30 p.m. at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are $10. —Dave Simpson
Also playing: Suzie Brown + Jake Snider at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., $19-$24); Dangerous Ponies + Hop Along, Ryat, George And Jonathan at First Unitarian Church (7:30 p.m., all ages, $10);
SATURDAY, JUNE 11
The Dodos + Gauntlet Hair at Theatre Of Living Arts (9 p.m., $15); East Hundred (record release) + Turning Violet Violet, Steve Goldberg And The Arch Enemies at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $10); The Great Unknown + The Spinning Leaves, The End of America at Kung Fu Necktie (7 p.m., 21+, $8); Lenka + Elizabeth And The Catapult, Shannon Corey at North Star Bar ($8, 21+, $14)
SUNDAY, JUNE 12
Kurt Vile & The Violators + Pissed Jeans, Meg Baird at First Unitarian Church (8 p.m., all ages, $12); Natasha Bedingfield + Kate Voegele, Kevin Hammond at Theatre Of Living Arts (8 p.m., $29)
WXPN’s Non-Comm music conference starts tomorrow and with it, lots of amazing music. XPN will be broadcasting much of the music from the conference, this year being held at World Cafe Live at The Queen in Wilmington, Delaware. Below is the entire schedule of our live broadcasts over the next several days.
THURSDAY MAY 19
Free At Noon Double Header with the Blind Boys of Alabama & John Popper & The Duskray Troubadors
Evening live broadcast schedule
8:25-8:55 PM Over The Rhine
9:25-9:55 PM G Love
10:30-11:00 PM The Head & The Heart
11:40 PM – 12:25 AM Thurston Moore
FRIDAY MAY 20
Free At Noon Double Header with Raphael Saadiq & Ben Harper
Evening live broadcast schedule
8:25-8:55 PM XPN Artist To Watch the Civil Wars
9:25-9:55 PM Junip
10:30-11:15 PM Bright Eyes
11:55 PM – 12:25 AM The Cave Singers
SATURDAY MAY 21
Free at Noon Double Header with the Sam Roberts Band & The Jayhawks