We’ve got a lot of good ways to be festive here in Philly, during the holiday season. Some people prefer Christmas Village or ice-skating at Penn’s Landing, but I humbug those in favor of something a little different. This year and last, I’ve been participating in a new tradition: grabbing a few dear friends and heading over to Johnny Brenda’s, to see local legends mewithoutYou play an annual, intimate holiday show. Continue reading →
“I guess we didn’t really think it through, does that kinda make us like dinosaurs?” Aaron Weiss—just as charmingly awkward as ever—asked the audience late on Saturday night. Earlier in the evening, he and his longtime friends who make up mewithoutYou had taken the stage of the Trocadero to the swelling orchestral theme from Jurrasic Park, to celebrate their breakout album Catch for Us the Foxes turning 10 years old. Whether you see Catch as a fossil from mewithoutYou’s early days or the cornerstone of their career-writ-large, Saturday’s sold-out, hometown show was undeniably one for the history books. Continue reading →
Upper Darby-based rock group mewithoutYou brings its Catch For Us the Foxes 10-year anniversary tour to The Trocadero tonight. Their second full-length album came out in October of 2004 and cathartically explored the tension between heartache, faith and the complex emotions of youth. The record contained fan faves like “In a Sweater Poorly Knit” and “January 1979″, the latter of which won mtvU’s “Left Field Award for Most Original Artist,” and the album peaked at number 20 on Billboard’s “Top Heatseekers.” Joining mwY tonight are Lawrence, Kansas post-rock group The Appleseed Cast and Philadelphia art-punk favorites Hop Along. Tickets and information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
This past Saturday night, Union Transfer hosted the Noisey co-headlining tour with local folk punk heroes mewithoutYou and LA-based hardcore punks Touche Amore. Both bands have a discography of respectable and well-crafted albums that received great acclaim, but the reason they go so well on tour together is their ability to simply go crazy and absolutely lose themselves in their music onstage. Met with a crowd that has the same agenda made for one of the best shows I have seen at Union Transfer.
Caravels opened up the night playing to an already full venue. The band’s sound is heavy, with raspy vocals and a unique mix of aggressive and laid-back instrumental parts. Vocalist Michael Roeslein shouted his lyrics with a noticeable sense of purpose and anger as he danced and moved around the stage, totally enveloped in the performance.
The band’s latest release is Lacuna, a full length album released on Topshelf Records that is worth a listen especially for fans of bands like La Dispute. Stream it on Bandcamp.
Seahaven threw themselves into their set as much as Caravels, but their tunes were much more chill and oriented around layered guitars. The lights were low and the mood was set for this band’s soft, ambient touch that was punctuated by an outpouring of emotion. Seahaven is releasing a full length album called Reverie Lagoon: Music For Escapism Only on March 25th via Run For Cover Records, order it here and stream a song off it here.
Touche Amore crammed 22 songs into their 40-minute set, and their live show is ample evidence that they are one of the best punk bands around. They came out strong as hell, with an intro of “Praise / Love” into “Anyone / Anything,” a standout track off their most recent release Is Survived By.
After invigorating the crowd with this first song, Touche Amore delved into their 2011 album Parting The Sea Between Brightness and Me, and from that point they bounced from album to album without skipping a beat between most songs. Their short, swift, songs blended together, and at most points the crowd was a mess of shouting, running, and crowdsurfing young adults.
Vocalist Jeremy Bolm took advantage of the audience’s energy, grabbing crowd surfers and handing them the mic, punching the air fanatically, and even doing a stage dive of his own. In addition to his on-stage antics, Bolm’s vocal performance was top-notch and is definitely something worth seeing live. Some of the best songs from their set were “Art Official,” “The Great Repetition,” and an especially powerful performance of “Non Fiction”.
Local headliners mewithoutYou put on a well-rounded performance that covered music from all realms of their (more than) ten year career. From their debut LP A→B Life to their most recent release Ten Stories, mewithoutYou pleased the crowd with an amazing mix of folk, punk, and even hardcore tracks. At times the crowd was going as nuts as they were for Touche Amore, yelling and shouting at the top of their lungs while a few people even bawled their eyes out at select songs. With the frenzied states that these local artists brought were soft lullabies which entranced the crowd before throwing them right back into a mess of yelling and noise. Vocalist Aaron Weiss entangled himself in the microphone cord as he spun and jumped around on stage, when he wasn’t rocking out on the accordion or acoustic guitar.
mewithoutYou’s set was lengthy, and an added encore left the crowd more than satisfied with their peculiar hometown idols. Some of the best songs from their set were “Nice and Blue Pt. 2,” “Bullet to Binary,” and “Wolf Am I!”. Weiss ended the evening by acoustically performing “In A Sweater Poorly Knit,” a poetic number off Brother, Sister where he softly muffled the lines: “Brownish spider / brownish leaf / confirms my deepest held belief / no more spider / no more leaf / no more me / no more belief” before quietly waving and walking off stage.
Upper Darby art-punk outfit mewithoutYou appears at Union Transfer tonight with post-hardcore group Touche Amore. mewithoutYou released their latest album, Ten Stories, in May of 2012. The 11-song album combines lead singer Aaron Weiss’ famously creative puns and plays on lyricism to construct a story plot as complicated as the guitar riffs and other instrumentation that make up the tunes. The songs tells the survival tales of a fox, elephant, bear and onion boy (hint: bonus track) – or more specifically, the circus animals and acts involved in a fictional train crash in 1878. Hear the band tell the creative story tonight. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $19 at the door.
mewithoutYou’s musical and lyrical skill is something special, with intense imagery and meaning hidden underneath their unconventional sounding style. Their most recent release Ten Stories tells a story of a circus train and the dramatic crash it encounters. Listen to the first song off that album, “February, 1878,” below. You can also check out two B-sides from that album for a name-your-price download here.
Touche Amore is also worth talking about, with their recent breakthrough release of Is Survived By on Deathwsh Inc.they continue to rise in skill and in worldwide popularity. Their true emo lyrics are similar to that of mewithoutYou’s, but instead of narrative stories, they focus on personal issues and resolution. After touring the US with AFI and headlining a trip to Europe, Touche Amore should continue to grow on this eclectic American tour.
Local rock outfit mewithoutYou will do their part to celebrate the changing years with a show at Johnny Brenda’s on December 29th. The five-piece experimental band released its fifth full-length Ten Stories in 2012, followed by a companion EP called Other Stories this past summer. Working across a wide variety genres, mewithoutYou compose songs in the style of stories with narrative lyrics that occaisonally reference and expand on each other over the course of the band’s discography. Other Stories is available as a name-your-own-price download here. Tickets and information for the 21+ show with The Lighthouse and The Whaler can be found here. Listen to “Julian the Onion” below.
80s British power pop sensation (and former Squeeze frontman) Glenn Tilbrook is playing at World Cafe Live tonight. Tilbrook has been touring the UK and U.S. in support of his upcoming solo release, expected to be out later this year. Find more information and tickets for tonight’s all ages event here. Watch as Tilbrook and his crew arrive to the states in his 2013 tour video below, and prepare for the show by listening to Tilbrook’s 2001 acoustic version of “Tempted” below.
It was the last night of tour, so surprises naturally came out of the woodwork when mewithoutYou headlined The Depot in York on Saturday – everything from unexpected collaborations to a singer rocking out in a horse’s mask. But we’ll get to that.
Opening the show was Philly art-rock four piece Auctioneer, who recently starred in an episode of the Shaking Through series and has been along for the ride since tour kicked off in June. The last time we caught them (at Nikki Volpicelli’s Tuesday Tune-Out this spring), the set was heavy on the visuals – a black and white 70s experimental film, a live mix of psychedelic footage shot in present day Philly – so the notion of Auctioneer unadorned was a little uncertain. Thankfully they more than delivered, showing how songwriter Craig Hendrix’s avant pop compositions don’t need to rely on trippy visuals to grip your attention. Their producer Todd Scheid was only a car-ride away, so he joined the band on gon bops caxixi, a bell-shaped percussion instrument of woven wicker, during “Our Future Faces” (the title track to Auctioneer’s new LP). As the set wrapped to a close, mewithoutYou’s Greg Jehenian and Brandon Beaver also rushed the stage to play tambourines and sing backing vocals.
Seattle songwriter Rocky Votolato followed, delivering a hushed set of acoustic folk in the vein of Elliott Smith and Red House Painters – forlorn, but undeniably poppy, and downright singalongable at moments, particularly the fan-requested “Om Ma” from a split 7″ Votolato released with Matt Pond in 2011.
On the second leg of a tour in support of their 2012 record Ten Stories, mewithoutYou were tight and hard-hitting. They took the stage shortly after 10, kicking off their set with the roaring scene-setter “February 1878.” Continue reading →