Chris Forsyth‘s music has always been pretty cosmic in the sense that listening to his songs is like getting on the Magic School Bus with Ms Frizzle; you start out with only a general idea of where you’re headed but you know it will be a wild ride. The next trip starts with “High Castle Rock,” premiered this week by Pitchfork and taken from Forsyth’s forthcoming double LP The Rarity of Experience.
This week on World Cafe, host David Dye focused on our own town with Sense of Place: Philadelphia. We heard interviews with The Roots and The Districts, listened to a lot of local music and maybe were even introduced to some new bands. Check out a collection of downloads from the series here (including live tracks from Cayetana) and listen back to the special program here.
Local space rock four-pieceChris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band just announced a short hiatus in order to finish their upcoming album, which is due out some time in 2016 on No Quarter Records. But that doesn’t mean that fans have to wait until the release of The Island, Forsyth’s side-collaboration with experimental multi-instrumentalist Koen Holtkamp, out this fall via Trouble In Mind Records. The group recently played a set of all new material at Baby’s All Right in New York, is now streaming over at NYCtaper. Continue reading →
Local instrumentalists Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band played a tribute to the late Captain Beefheart during a show at Johnny Brenda’s earlier this month, covering “Alice in Blunderland” off of 1972’s The Spotlight Kid. Forsyth’s exploratory guitar playing is a great fit for Beefheart’s wandering, melodic compositions and the Solar Motel Band sends the song down a scruffy, heavy rabbit hole. This isn’t the first time a Philly band covered a song by the Frank Zappa collaborator; check out Dr. Dog jamming on “Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles” here and listen to “Alice in Blunderland” below.
New Brunswick, NJ rockers Screaming Females have been hitting the road pretty hard this year, which means possibly two things. Either they just really love playing (if you’ve ever seen them in concert or heard Live at the Hideout, clearly they do). Or, perhaps, they’re also getting ready to follow up 2012’s raging LP Ugly. Definitely hoping it’s the latter, especially considering the recent “Wishing Well” that is available as a tour-only 7″. Listen to the track here via RollingStone.com, check out a recent live video from their current tour with Pujol and get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band are currently out on the road in support of Intensity Ghost, an LP set for release tomorrow via No Quarter. The record is the first from Forsyth and his all-star band, assembled a year ago to allow the live playing of 2013’s Solar Motel solo effort from the Philadelphia guitarist. In addition to August’s “I Ain’t Waiting,” we now have “The Ballad of Freer Hollow” to prime us for the full-length.
With a full band debut release set for October with Intensity Ghost, local experimental rockers Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel band have shared the first song from the record with “I Ain’t Waiting.” The 5-track LP will be out on October 28th through No Quarter and follows Forsyth’s 2013 Solar Motel effort.
Local guitarist Chris Forsyth has announced a few details of his next explosive and exploratory studio LP Intensity Ghost, out this October on No Quarter Records. The album follows last year’s Solar Motel effort and is the first recording to feature the band Forsyth assembled for touring, including drummer Steve Urgo, guitarist Paul Sukeena (both of whom are known in the Philly for their own projects as well) and Brooklyn bassist Peter Kerlin. From No Quarter:
Intensity Ghost is the follow-up to last years critically acclaimed Solar Motel album, which made year ends lists at The New Yorker, Uncut Magazine and Popmatters and provoked ecstatic comparisons; from Television and Neil Young & Crazy Horse to Richard Thompson and The Grateful Dead…. Forsyth brought the group into the studio in late 2013 to capture what became Intensity Ghost, a 5-track masterwork of grace and power.
Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band close out a summer tour with two hometown dates this month: a free show at the new Spruce Street Harbor Park on Thursday, July 24th and a show with Oneida at Boot & Saddle on July 25th. Check out a live video of “Little Johnny Jewel” below and take a listen to Forsyth’s 2013 Key Studio Session here.
In September 2010, we started The Key because we wanted to offer the local music scene another platform to reach more audiences. We also started it because starting in the early aughts we noticed something happening here creatively amongst the local music scene that was hadn’t felt in a while – it was growing creatively and the buzz about how good the local scene was becoming more significant.
More new bands were starting than ever before, more music was becoming available for fans and more musicians were looking for ways to connect to fans. To me, the last five years of “the scene” reminds me a lot of the Philly music scene in the mid-Eighties to early Nineties when bands like Electric Love Muffin, Three Times Dope, The Wishniaks, Nixon’s Head, the Goats, the Dead Milkmen, Schoolly D, The Low Road, The Hooters, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and Tommy Conwell all represented for Philly on both local and international stages. We thought Philly 2012 was a banner year for the local music scene. Guess what? 2013 was even better. Here are some of the best things about the Philly music scene in 2013.
The first line of Philly guitarist Chris Forsyth‘s online bio really does it for me: “Chris Forsyth’s hypnotic compositions assimilate art-rock textures with vernacular American influences.” I mean, could I have dreamed of saying it any better? We last heard Forsyth in 2012 on Early Astral, a collaboration with Koen Holtkamp (of Mountains) and with his own Kenzo Deluxe, a heavy-duty album that showed off all the different things a guitar could do, from sonic textures, to deconstructionist blues, to melody-filled jam outs. Forsyth returns with a full backing group, the Solar Motel Band, for his brand new release appropriately titled Solar Motel. Solar Motel is divided into four long-form pieces of what Forsyth terms “cosmic Americana.” What that means, you’ll have to find out for yourself; attend the Solar Motel album release show FOR FREE at the Rotunda this Friday, November 15.
In honor of the release, we present a second Folkadelphia Session this week, a bonus audio treat for your ears. On August 22nd, before his collaborative improvsational set and subsequent show with Philly musicians Mary Lattimore and Jeff Zeigler, Forsyth tracked a few solo acoustic numbers for us. Put six strings in this guy’s hands and there is nothing he can’t and probably won’t do. For even deeper Forsyth exploration, listen to the Solar Motel Band’s recent Key Studio Session.