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Twin Forks covers Band Of Horses, Steve Earle, and himself (Dashboard Confessional) at the North Star

Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com
Photo by Matthew Shaver | mattshaverphoto.com

The moment Chris Carrabba stepped out on to the stage, I was instantly reminded of the infamous Matthew McConaughey line from Dazed and Confused. While he may have aged a little, his demographic certainly hasn’t. Starting with emo outfit Further Seems Forever before forming the prolific Dashboard Confessional, and eventually going back to FSF, before settling in on the Nickel Creek meets Dashboard outfit Twin Forks.

While the musical flavorings have changed, the attitude and the heart remain the same. A glowing personality, with some minor crude edges sewn in just to keep things spicy, permeate everything he does. Band members Jonathan Clark, Shawn Zorn, Kelsie and Kimmie Baonoski, are nothing to gawk at however. While Carrabba may have been the star of the show, without the bands flavorful Americana and folk leanings, it would have been just another DC show.

Really they all bring the talents to the table that helped him realize his current dream, and the vocal harmonies brought it all home for me. With only a single album to work off of, they brought in a healthy dose of covers to fill the empty slots from bands such as The Weepies, Band Of Horses, Talking Heads, and, of course, Dashboard Confessional. The night played out exactly as his legion of fans were probably hoping it would.

Check out the photo gallery and set list below.

Set List
1. Can’t Be Broken
2. And She Was 
(Talking Heads cover)
3. Something We Just Know
4. The Galway Girl 
(Steve Earle cover)
5. Tall Green Grass 
(Cory Branan cover)
6. So Impossible 
(Dashboard Confessional song)
7. The Swiss Army Romance 
(Dashboard Confessional song)
8. Plans
9. Kiss Me Darling
10. World Spins Madly On 
(The Weepies cover)
11. Skateland South 
(Cory Branan cover)
12. Come On
13. The Best Deceptions 
(Dashboard Confessional song)
14. Cross My Mind
15. The General Specific 
(Band of Horses cover)
16. Scraping Up the Pieces
17. Back to You

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Folkadelphia Session: Twin Forks (Members of Dashboard Confessional, the Narrative start fresh)

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The first show of their first legitimate tour. Well, technically before their first show, and that’s how Twin Forks arrived at the XPN Studio to record their Folkadelphia Session. There was a contagious nervous excitement as the band loaded in their gear, set-up, warmed up, filmed a little check-in video, and snagging a few Instagrams. We talked about the formation of the band, the handful of shows under their belt (they had recently been to South By Southwest), and, of course, the future. When a band is this fresh and new, with so much potential, you can’t help but look forward – it’s all anticipation and adrenaline.

These are characteristics of a new band that is just getting underway; a band plunging headfirst into the world of living on the road and hopefully developing a certain chemistry that will enable them to keep writing quality music for years to come. This type of boundless energy is common for newbies and rare for often jaded vets. That’s why Twin Forks is impressive to behold because while the band is freshly minted, the players are not exactly what you’d call wet behind the ears. Twin Forks lead singer and guitarist Chris Carrabba fronts a little band you might have heard of called Dashboard Confessional (and before that, lesser known, but no less celebrated indie act Further Seems Forever). Dashboard Confessional all but ruled the “heart on sleeve” songwriter field throughout the first decade of the 2000’s and has been insanely influential to so many folks that picked up a guitar, a marble bound notebook, and some raw emotions, whether they’d like to admit it or not.

Carrabba, now joined by members of scene stalwarts the Narrative and Bad Books, has formed what is frequently being called a “supergroup.” I, however, would like to forgo that term which in my mind has certain negative connatations of sluggishness, decadence, even frivolity or egoism. Twin Forks is passionate, giddy, and hungry to share music and bring fans together. At the helm, Carrabba is as exhuberant as ever – he sings, he shouts, he runs, he plays, he’s everywhere at once – and this is just at the studio, where it’s just his bandmates, my two engineers Clark & Eric, and me. Imagine the guy at an actual show.

I love these tracks because they are perfect snapshots of animated live playing. Folks making music and having a great time doing it. Beyond hearing it, you can actually feel the enthusiasm in the room creep down your spine. We’re happy to have bottled that energy here for posterity. Help Twin Forks keep up the passion we witnessed in the studio- download their EP, catch them on tour, and support their efforts. You can start here with our session below.

 

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This Weekend’s Concert Picks: Future Islands at Kung Fu Necktie, Dashboard Confessional at Theatre Of Living Arts

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2nd
It’s not easy to discern one synth-pop act from another, especially after years and years of hearing just about everything a synthesizer has to offer in pop music. Baltimore-based trio Future Islands, however, strays from the genre’s typical formula by offering a diverse range of lyrical emotion in juxtaposition with the cold sameness that’s difficult to avoid with synth noise. Tracks such as “In The Fall” (off the band’s 2010 EP of the same title) find front man Samuel T. Herring embarking on winding, four-minute poetic narratives before finally retiring to repeated choruses with words like, “You were my best friend.” It is those types of songs that separate Future Islands from so many of the genre’s other acts whose lead singers sound not like people, but mere extensions of their machines. Herring, instead, goes from quiver to screech and back again, easily suited for a banjo-strutting folk outlet or an arty orchestral six-piece. Thankfully, he instead chose synthesizers to compliment his growly voice, and together, the two styles are bright enough to stand out. Future Islands performs with Ed Schrader’s Music Beat and Goldboy at 8 p.m. at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are SOLD OUT. —Marielle Mondon

Future Islands – Balance from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

Also Playing: Bless the Fall + The Word Alive, Motionless In White, Tonight Alive, Chunk! No Captain Chunk at Theatre Of Living Arts (5:30 p.m., $28); Latterman + Yo Man, Go!, Slingshot Dakota, Shaved Christ at First Unitarian Church (7:30 p.m., all ages, $12); Rock To The Future Benefit featuring Crills Wilson + Best Westerns, Sunset Recorder, Little Light, Rosa Diaz at PhillaMOCA (8 p.m., $5); The Bigger Lovers + Photon Band, Jay Laughlin at Johnny Brenda’s (9:15 p.m., 21+, $10)

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3rd
East Hundred + Val de Val, Turning Violet Violet at Milkboy Philly (9:30 p.m., $8–$10); Hey Rosetta! + Ivan And Aloysha, The Powder Kegs at Johnny Brenda’s (9:15 p.m., 21+, $10); J. Roddy Walston And The Business + Toy Soldiers, Brad Hinton Band at Kung Fu Necktie (7:30 p.m., 21+, $10); Owen + Caithlin de Marrais, Former Belle at North Star Bar (9 p.m., $13–$15)

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4th
Chris Carrabba, the lead singer and guitarist of Dashboard Confessional, continues his solo acoustic tour to promote the re-issue of the band’s first album, The Swiss Army Romance. More than a decade has passed since Dashboard Confessional’s 2000 debut touched the hearts of emo adolescents all over the globe; tempered by acoustic ballads of failed relationships, it allowed them to embrace the awkwardness of high school. In 2010—10 years and six albums later—Carrabba decided to re-release the album and tour behind it. A year later, it’s still working for him. So why mess with success? Dashboard Confessional performs with Madi Diaz at 6:30 p.m. at Theatre Of Living Arts; tickets to the all-ages show are $25 ($32 via Live Nation). —Caitlyn Grabenstein

Also Playing: Erin McKeown’s Anti-Holiday Show at World Cafe Live (6:30 p.m., $24–$34); Gauntlet Hair + Moon Women, Wigwams at Milkboy Philly (8 p.m., 21+, $8–$10); Gods And Queens Benefit Show featuring Ladder Devils + Carved Up, SGNLS, Ominus Black, Exemption, Tile at Little Bar (6 p.m., 21+, $10); Yacht + Parenthetical Girls, Extreme Animals at First Unitarian Church (8 p.m., all ages, $12)