Lush harmonies. Equal parts folk and rock. Nature, justice, and the fire and ice of relationships. Mirah melded these qualities into a glorious brew in a return to her hometown on Saturday at Boot & Saddle. The sold-out crowd was treated to a 16-song trip through her career. Mirah showcased many highs from her recorded and live existence, from the opening selection of the chilling “Bones & Skin” and the lovely cover of Old Time Relijun’s “Lion Tamer” to the South American sounds flowing through “The Dogs of B.A.”
Backed by the strings and keys of L. Alex Guy (aka Led to Sea) and percussionist Andrew Maguire, Mirah also unveiled some songs from her forthcoming record. With a few understandable hiccups that come with performing new work, the new pieces stand tall next to the rest of her oeuvre. The high point of the new is a song Mirah said was inspired by seeing Leonard Cohen in New Zealand. Co-written with her sister, Emily Ana Zeitlyn, the track, titled “L.C.” on the handwritten setlist, features dual harmonies and thematic elements similar to some of Cohen’s most well-known work.
The main set closed with the powerful “Mt. St. Helens” and Mirah and company followed it with the joyous encore of “Words Cannot Describe.” Dancing around the stage with Guy on drums and Maguire on vibraphone, Mirah left the stage after giving the crowd what they wanted: her in every desired musical form. Smiles and applause were bountiful, indicating another homecoming cannot come soon enough.
The show was billed as a “Too Many Zeitlyns Are Never Enough” showcase, since Divers – the raw Philly trio fronted by the aforementioned Emily – performed a phenomenal opening set of rock and roll. Check out photos from the night in the gallery below, and read Mirah’s setlist after the jump.
The vocal sweetness that is Portland indie rock icon Mirah (aka Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn) will be paired with the rocked-up trio Divers, the local rock band led by her sister Emily Ana. They’re calling it the “Too Many Zeitlyns are Never Enough” show, and it happens at Boot and Saddle February 1st.
The raw power and sultry vocals of Divers should contrast beautifully with Mirah’s more melodic and tempered sound; although Mirah’s work spans across a wide range of genres and really can’t be compartmentalized into any one particular style. Having collaborated with the likes of everyone from Thao Nguyen (of Thao and the Get Down Stay Down) to tUnE-yArDs to Tender Forever, Mirah has tapped into every facet of the indie music scene.
Meanwhile, Divers – featuring Zeitlyn, Ross Bellenoit, Tom Bendel (of Buried Beds) and Todd Erk – have become locale faves in their own right, combining jazz vocals, bluesy garage rock and folk to create a sound uniquely their own.
Get tickets and more info on the event here. Check out the event’s facebook page here. Watch Mirah’s video for “The Forest” and Divers’ On the Hill session performance of “Eggshells” below.
The all-ages show begins at 8 p.m., tickets are $8 and available here. Attendees are asked to bring canned non-perishable food items to donate to Philabundance. Below, watch The Districts paying tribute to Reed at a recent festival with a cover of “I’m Waiting For The Man” by The Velvet Underground.
Two new Philly Sings Philly cover songs have been released, recorded at Turtle Studios. The latest releases of Philly artists covering and recording songs by other Philly musicians includes Sean Hoots, covering “Aubergine” by mewithoutYou and Divers covering the classic “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul. Stream them both below.
Starting tomorrow evening, Tuesday, November 5th and every Tuesday night throughout November, The Fire presents the Philly Sings Philly, a series of residencies featuring a who’s who of the Philly local singer-songwriter scene including Brad Hinton, Hezekiah Jones, Ali Wadsworth, Kevin Killen, Marc Silver, Andrew Lipke, Phillip D’Agostino, Mason Porter, Sean Hoots, Divers and many more. Check out the exact lineups for each show here.
Featuring members from The Weeds, Birdie Busch’s band and Buried Beds, Divers are about as local as a group of musicians can get. Their music falls somewhere in between folk, rock and a little country and can go from ambient tones to straight up rock in a heartbeat. They’re playing at Johnny Brenda’s tonight; for more information on the 21+ show, click here. Below, watch Divers perform “Take Me Back” for Kettle Pot Tracks’ studio’s On the Hill series.
This week’s Key Studio Session is the “new” band Divers. They’re “new” as in recently formed, however they band includes seasoned musicians whose great work has been a part of the local Philly scene for a while. Divers is Emily Ana Zeitlyn (The Weeds), Tom Bendel (Buried Beds) and Todd Erk (Hoots and Hellmouth), and Ross Bellenoit, a solo artist and producer who has worked with Birdie Busch, Amos Lee, Aaron & The Spell, Denison Witmer and many others. Divers play at Johnny Brenda’s on Thursday, June 6. Tickets and information for the show can be found here. Below, download “Eggshells.” You can download songs from Divers’ entire Key Studio Session here.
They’re a band made up of seasoned Philly scene vets, but thankfully for Divers, “seasoned” doesn’t rule out cranking their amps and having fun. First, let’s take stock of who’s who. On bass is Todd Erk – he plays in Hoots and Hellmouth, Auctioneer and many others. On drums, there’s Thomas Bendel of Buried Beds, and occasionally of Lauryn Peacock’s band. Ross Bellenoit does the lead guitar and backing vocal thing, and you’ve probably heard him a billion places – even if you don’t realize it. He’s backed Birdie Busch, Aaron and the Spell and Ali Wadsworth, he produces records, and has a solo discography as well. Fronting the group is the lively and charismatic Emily Ana Zeitlyn. If you’ve been paying attention to Philly music for a few years like we have, you’ll recognize her haunting, emotive voice from The Weeds – who, sadly, released their final album in January after a long hiatus (and the tragic loss of a key bandmate). Her vocal style is a warm and expressive alto, sometimes reminiscent of Nico, sometimes of Amanda Palmer, sometimes Nina Simone – and dang if its phrasing doesn’t make “Eggshels” one of the catchiest tracks I’ve recorded this year. The power trio configuration works wonders with their selections: Bellenoit’s lively space guitar interlocking with Erk’s bass on “When We Met,” Bendel’s wild drumming on “Wild Things.” And on the playful “Will You Still Love Me?,” I can’t help but notice melodic traces of Busch, Zeitlyn’s friend and occasional collaborator. Check out this batch of songs below – most of them are as-yet unreleased – and see Divers live when they play Johnny Brenda’s on Thursday the 6th of June. Tickets and information for the show can be found here.
Autre Ne Veut headlines tonight’s Making Time event at Voyeur Nightclub. Based in Brooklyn, Autre Ne Veut is the electronic R&B / pop project of former jingle composer Arthur Ashin. Anxiety, released in February, is Ashin’s second effort under the moniker, which means “I think of none other” in French. Also performing at tonight’s party are Delorean, Jacques Greene and Doldrums. Tickets and information can be found here. Below, watch Autre Ne Veut’s video for “Counting.”