Friday the 13th is usually known for bringing misfortune and bad luck, but not last week. WXPN and World Cafe Live brought in a special treat: Fruit Bats, originally from Chicago, IL, were in Philadelphia to play Free At Noon concert in support of their sixth studio album, Absolute Loser, which was officially released Friday. Continue reading →
Best friends, labelmates, collaborators, traveling companions. These all describe the relationship between Andy Cabic of Vetiver and Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats. Both bands have new releases this year on Sub Pop, and both joined us at the XPN2studios for music and conversation. Now you can stream this special co-headlining session whenever you like! We’ll hear Vetiver play songs from their new album, The Errant Charm, and Fruit Bats play a selection of songs from their most recent albums, The Ruminant Band and Tripper. XPN’2 Eric Schuman talks with Cabic and Johnson about their bands’ shared histories and the differences between being a frontman and sideman in a band. Stream our session with Vetiver and Fruit Bats anytime with the XPN Media Player!
After releasing its breakthrough album, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, in 2008, three-piece folk act The Low Anthem became celebrated for its nod to Americana simplicity. With the release of Smart Flesh earlier this year, the band has continued to create soothing, bluesy hymns with eerie, well-trained vocals. Despite the success of their signature sound, the members of the group recently announced that—after they finish their current tour—they’re ready to throw it out and start fresh. A recent post on their Web site tries to explain: “We know the ‘Darwin’/ ‘Smart Flesh’ material inside and out—better than a prominent birthmark… like swimming in bathwater…. It’s really dialed in. Maybe some artists reach this point and become safer more refined imitations of themselves. We’re not interested. So… we’ve decided that this upcoming tour will be the last tour of the chapter. The last tour devoted to this material, this incarnation.” Though this started speculation among fans about a possible break-up, the band members insist that is not the case; they’re just shooting for some kind of rebirth and a new beginning. Tonight, however, you can still catch them in their current state of mind at World Cafe Live. The Low Anthem performs with William Elliot Whitmore at 8 p.m. at World Cafe Live; tickets to the all-ages show are $15-$17. —Marielle Mondon
Drenched in mocking absurdities and bizarre implications, Fruit Bats‘ music videos create a very distinct image of the band. Initially a professional keytarist or flaming coffin might distract a viewer, but the Fruit Bats’ pop/folk melodies manage to charm even the most disinterested listener. The unexpected falsetto of front man, Eric D. Johnson, accompanied by a mellow instrumental still allows Fruit Bats to thrive in the music industry five albums and fourteen years later. Fruit Bats, compared to many of its Sup-Pop counterparts, is not so easily defined; the music the band creates can fall into several genres, which is what ultimately keeps crowds coming back for more. The band’s live performances might not involve wind machines or high-kicking dancers, but those interested can expect some up-tempo chord progressions and genuinely alternative rocking. Fruit Bats perform with Vetiver and Citay at 8 p.m. at First Unitarian Church; tickets to the all-ages show are $12. —Caitlyn Grabenstein