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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Bats at Johnny Brenda’s, Tomahawk at Union Transfer

batsNew Zealand indie pop cult faves The Bats play Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Going strong for over 30 years, the band is making a somewhat rare Philly appearance tonight to showcase songs from its most recent release, 2011′s Free All The Monsters, the band’s eighth LP. Opening are Philly indie troopers Royal Shoals; the 21+ begins at 8 p.m., tickets and information can be found here. Also be on the lookout for a free afterparty at R.U.B.A. featuring live appearances from Catnaps, Rugburn and DJ sets from members of Literature and A Sunny Day in Glasgow. Below, watch the music video for “Simpletons” from The Bats’ Free All the Monsters.

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Buke and Gase bring homemade instruments to life at Johnny Brenda’s (photos, review, setlist)

Aron Sanchez and Arone Dyer have long indulged an inventive spirit—prior to forming Buke and Gase, Sanchez logged time in The Blue Man Group, where he also designed instruments; Dyer fashioned custom-built bikes. As Buke and Gase, they’ve employed this ingenuity to create their own instruments: Dyer’s buke, or one-of-a-kind baritone ukulele, and Sanchez’s gase, or self-strung bass-guitar hybrid. Friday night, they brought these Frankensteinian instruments to life, with a stunning set at Johnny Brenda’s.

The challenge for any two-piece live is always creating the sort of full sound that’s achieved easily with 4 or 5 musicians—and for Buke and Gase, this meant also controlling a small platoon of pedals and foot percussion, including Sanchez’s kick-drum and Dyer’s “toe-bourine,” or custom-built tambourine that strapped onto her boot. The resulting set-up required intense concentration from both parties—no flailing about recklessly in fits of rock’n roll revelry allowed—but yielded truly impressive results, as the band wove complex, mathy tunes, with Dyer’s vocals floating on top like a butterfly. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Buke & Gase at Johnny Brenda’s, Edison at Ortlieb’s Lounge, Lindi Ortega at The Tin Angel, Trixie Whitley at World Cafe Live, Sera Cahone at Burlap and Bean

Photo by Grant Cornett

Brooklyn experimental duo Buke and Gase play Johnny Brenda’s tonight.  Evolving out of punk / noise band Hominid, Buke and Gase members Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez make angular, dissonant post-rock with with elements of chamber folk.  The outfit followed up 2010′s debut LP Riposte with General Dome, released this past Tuesday.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show with Norwegian Arms and Ahleuchatistas can be found here.  Below, stream “Hiccup” from General Dome.

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