Tomorrow is the Roots Picnic at the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing with a stellar lineup including Naughty By Nature, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Grimes, Joey Bada$$, Trinidad James, Gary Clark, Jr., Solange, Grimes, Robert Glasper, How To Dress Well, Philly’s Lushlife, DJ Premiere and others. The music starts at Noon; schedule is above. Being that’s it’s Funky Friday today, we bring you the Roots Picnic edition of Funky Friday with some of our favorite jams below. See you at the picnic!
This is a pretty awesome track from the fun and talented Crutchfield sisters. For Rookie Mag’s “Theme Song” series, Katie (of Waxahatchee) and Allison (of Swearin‘) reinvented Grimes’ bubbling synthesizer racer “Oblivion” as a guitar-rock song, underscoring the 60s pop influences that might not have been as evident before. Check out out below (and compare it against the original after the jump). Waxahatchee plays a free show with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists on July 31, a double-bill of such awesomeness that Morgan’s Pier might just collapse and float away into the Delaware. Swearin’ has no local shows coming up, but we hope to see them again very soon.
On the heels of their collaborative full-length release Love This Giant, David Byrne and Saint Vincent make an appearance at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby. Tickets to the all-ages performance range from $39.50 to $65 and are available here. Below, watch a music video for their song “Who.”
“Who knew only two guys could make so much noise?” said one concert goer at the Japandroids show at Johnny Brenda’s this past Friday night. A two man band is extremely possible to get a crowd moving, however Japandroids – consisting of Canadian rock duo, Brian King and David Prowse – wasted no time in rocking the sold-out Johnny Brenda’s. Japandroids have two self-released EP’s, and two full length albums out. Last month they released Celebration Rock, a truly celebratory rock record.
The energy at the Fishtown venue was palpable even before anyone stepped onto the stage. On one of the hottest days of the summer and a sold-out performance, this was bound to be a sweaty show. At just around 9:20 PM, Brian King announced the opening rapper, Cadence Weapon, also from Canada, who tore up the stage and brought a spark of energy to the already hyped crowd. The crafty rapper also did two songs over other artist’s instrumentals; one included “88″, produced by Grimes, and another entitled “Loft Party” with instrumentals by Philadelphia’s own Meek Mill. Cadence Weapon’s latest release is Hope in Dirt City, and you can check out the song “Loft Party” from the show below.
Japandroids came on stage quickly after Cadence Weapon’s excellent performance. The duo is known for their blending of punk and garage rock and recalls Nineties’ rock bands like New Found Glory and Sugarcult with a modern twist. It’s a rarity to hear true rock ‘n roll in this day and age, with the simplicity of just vocals, a guitar, and a drum set. Brian King’s powerful voice gave a burst of energy, rejuvenating the crowd with wild ballads and heavy power chords; while David Prowse’s drumming created a juxtaposition of steadily out of control rhythms.
Opening with “Boys Are Leaving Town” from Post-Nothing, then dove into an extended version of “Adrenaline Nightshift” followed by “The Nights of Wine and Roses” which King openly admitted to stealing the title from the band The Dream Syndicate; one of two bands that influenced him while writing the album over the course of a year.
Right before the the duo played my personal favorite, the somewhat slower “Continuous Thunder,” I sought some respite in the balcony. The song has a catchy hook and lyrics that leave an impression on you; “If I had all the answers/And you had the body you wanted/Would we love with legendary fire?” Next, they played “Fire’s Highway,” and the crowd was getting so into the show that they were pounding their fists in the air as well as on the stage, and wildly moshing about. This was one of the craziest and fun shows I’ve been to at Johnny Brenda’s.
In addition to being influenced by The Dream Syndicate while working on Celebration Rock, Japandroids were also influenced by Philadelphia natives, The War on Drugs, for whom Japandroids dedicated the last song of their set, “For the Love of Ivy.” It was truly incredible to get such a crazy, intense show out of just vocals and two instruments; Japandroids just proved that rock ‘n roll is far from being dead.
Grimes returns to town and is playing Union Transfer on Thursday, September 27th. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 16th at Noon. Grimes was on World Cafe with David Dye recently; you can listen to the session here. Go here for more information about the show at Union Transfer.
It seems there is no end to the creative output of Claire Boucher. Last month, she released her third album under the moniker Grimes. Visions had quite a legacy to live up to: 2011’s EP Darkbloom was critically acclaimed and 2010 saw not one, but two full albums, Geidi Primes and Halfaxa, both of which helped to catapult Boucher into indie-music stardom. Her songs are as bizarre as her videos, which typically feature her behaving in ways that defy convention. The video for Visions’ “Oblivion” cuts between scenes of Boucher singing along with her headphones in places that include a men’s locker room, a football game, and a dirt bike rally. For someone so intentionally unpredictable, Boucher is creating a reputation as a reliable source for inventive pop music. Grimes performs with Born Gold at 8 p.m. at First Unitarian Church; tickets to the all-ages show are SOLD OUT. –Naomi Shavin
Given the past few years Bowerbirds has had, it’s impressive that the band has managed to stay together, much less write and record a new album. The North Carolina-based folk trio’s core members, Philip Moore and Beth Tacular, ended their romantic relationship—and, soon after, Tacular broke her ribs and landed in the hospital for severe illness. But the experience eventually reunited the two, and inspired their new album, The Clearing, which was released earlier this month via Dead Oceans. The Clearing starts off on a somber note with “Tuck the Darkness In”, a song about the inevitability of death. But, as it goes on, things get more hopeful, ending with “Now We Carry On”, which focuses on accepting life as it comes and appreciating the little details. No one wants their favorite bands to suffer, but when it results in an album like The Clearing, it’s a relief to know something good came out of the pain. Bowerbirds performs with Dry The River at 8 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $12. —Nicole Soll