It’s been quite a while, but the mighty Japandroids are back. 5 years after their last show at Union Transfer and the release of the glorious Celebration Rock in 2012, the band returned for a two night run in the same room, the first of which was sold out. According to vocalist/guitarist Brian King, their first UT show was the first night of the whole tour to sell out after it was announced. Our brotherly love towards the band showed, and in return they brought their all to show appreciation.Continue reading →
It’s been more than four years since we last heard from Japandroids, and a lot can happen in that span of time. I was in high school when Celebration Rock came out, and like me, Brian King and David Prowse have done some growing up in the interim. Where their sophomore record was all brute-force hooks and balls on walls, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life takes a more nuanced approach. It doesn’t stop it from being any less exhilarating, though, and you can stream it now over at NPR. Continue reading →
After making the world a better place with the announcement of third full length Near To The Wild Heart Of Life last week (due out in early 2017 via Anti Records), Canada’s noisy boys Japandroids announced an extensive world tour set to hit Union Transfer on February 24th, bringing along Brooklyn’s Craig Finn & The Uptown Controllers to keep them company.
Wow, we saw so many bands at day two of Firefly Music Festival! To keep this recap from getting too unwieldy (since there’s a whole other day of the festival to get to), we’ll keep our thoughts to one or two sentences per artist.
Japandroids: two-piece garage punk is dicey in a festival setting, and the sound was muffled and muddy, but “The House that Heaven Built” ruled. Hi fives to all crowd surfers as they exited the pit.
Seattle’s string-laden Hey Marseilles was lush, pretty, but kind of boring. The handclap / crowd-participatory “Rio” saved their set.
Jim James‘ Regions of Light was transcendent in the close quarters of Johnny Brenda’s and Union Transfer; it lost a bit of its cosmic potency in open air. But James is still a tremendous performer, showman, dancer and must have been roasting in that suit with the afternoon heat.
Next: a double shot of dynamic front women. Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs has always rocked the stage with an unbelievable energy, whether it was the Church basement for 300 people or this festival for 10,000 people; “Zero” was unreal, the inflatable eyeball bouncing around the crowd was a nice touch. And New York rapper Azealia Banks, backed by a DJ and two dancers, gave a spitfire performance of songs from her 1991 EP, her Fantasy mixtape and the (eventually) forthcoming Broke With Expensive Taste.
Finally, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers headlined the day with an uneven but well-received performance. The singalong hits and moments where the Heartbreakers stayed focused a la “Love is a Long Road” were outstanding, but when the band lapsed into drivelly jams, not so much. Still, there’s no feeling like singing “Free Fallin'” at the top of your lungs with a field of people. Photos after the jump. Continue reading →
The Brooklyn garage/punk outfits, The Babies and Swearin’, will be playing at Fishtown’s Kung Fu Necktie tomorrow. The Babies, the side project of Vivian Girls and Woods, have been steadily gaining popularity since their 2011 self-titled album. The band also recently released their second album Our House on the Hill in mid-November. That album can be purchased through Woodsist Records here. Swearin’, who recently wrapped up a tour with Japandroids, released a new, self-titled LP over this past summer that can be found here. For more information on the event click here. Below is the video for the Babies’ new track “Baby.”
Vancouver, BC duo Japandroids shook the walls at their midsummer Johnny Brenda’s show and tonight they’ll shake the walls of Union Transfer. Japandroids are touring in support of an album many consider to be one of the year’s best (here, here and here). The punk rockers released Celebration Rockearlier this year and were subsequently named Band of the Year by Spin, with their song “The House That Heaven Built” being named Song of the Summer by Paste. Tickets and information for tonight’s show with DIIV can be found here. Below, watch the video for “The House That Heaven Built.”
Even though the summer will soon come to an end, don’t feel down – R5 Productions just announced five brand new shows for this upcoming fall season. And let me tell you, folks, they’re going to be chock full of cozy musical performances.
First up will be OFF! on October 19th at First Unitarian Church. The super troupe of punk rockers is made up of members of Black Flag, Burning Brides and Hot Snakes. Opening bands include The Spits and Double Negative. Gear up your vocal chords and get stoked for one raging performance.
“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.
Tonight, two legendary acts come together for one performance; Iron Maiden is playing with Alice Cooper at the Susquehanna Bank Center. Expect lots of head banging and moshing at this performance. You can purchase tickets here.
Japandroids are releasing a new album called Celebration Rock on Polyvinyl Records on June 5th. The Vancouver BC duo of Brian King and David Prowse plays Johnny Brenda’s on Friday, June 29th. Below, listen to “The House That Heaven Built” from their forthcoming album, and a cover of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ “Jack The Ripper,” the B-side to the 7-inch single of “The House That Heaven Built.”