Mike Gordon of Phish to play Union Transfer in April; listen to a new song, “Ether”

Photo by Autumn De Wilde

Phish bassist Mike Gordon announced the release date for his fourth solo album, Overstep, and a spring tour that includes a stop at Union Transfer. With it came the album’s first single, “Ether,” a loose and cerebral piece that starts sort of dark, with icy guitar picking, but builds. As the rest of the band comes in, the slow-stepping tune murmurs around thumping bass before getting a little brighter at the chorus. It continues through many movements, stopping and starting throughout the six minute song that explores a range of dynamics.

“Ether” shows a slightly more serious side of Gordon, but still manages to keep his tongue-in-cheek charm around the 5:20 mark when he squeals, “Little boy won’t you come back home,” in the voice of what’s supposed to be his mother. According to Gordon’s website, Overstep is the first time he’s given someone else full producer role to work on the album with him, rather than Gordon producing the album himself. And it shows on “Ether” that producer, Paul Q. Kolderie (Radiohead, Pixies), has had some influence on Overstep. This song’s much more structured and thought-out than some of Gordon’s prior work  – such as what’s found on 2008’s The Green Sparrow. It’ll be the first solo album he’s released since 2010’s Moss. For more Mike Gordon humor, check out his 2014 tour announcement video below.


Despite the thin turnout, an energized Atoms for Peace kicked off a U.S. tour at Liacouras Center

atoms17Thom Yorke, Flea, Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker, and Mauro Refosco waltzed into Temple University’s Liacouras Center last night to begin the North American Atoms for Peace tour. It was no ordinary night for rock: you had members of the three “R’s” – Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and R.E.M. – joining forces. It was also not ordinary since Philadelphia failed to show these music luminaries the respect they deserved.

The venue was far from capacity – and only half of the University’s basketball arena was used in the first place – with the general admission floor not sold out and the top sections being a semi-barren wasteland. And the clientele who did come did not seem to understand an encore break – scores left after the first encore when it should have been quite obvious Yorke and company were about to return and lay down some more serious alternative beats. Despite the negatives, Atoms for Peace played a solid and impressive set, drawing on their album, Yorke’s solo album The Eraser, and a few other choice cuts, like Radiohead’s “Paperbag Writer” and UNKLE’s “Rabbit in Your Headlights.”

Yorke and Flea bounced about the stage with their childlike abandon aided by the one-two percussive punch of Waronker and Refosco and the keys and strings of Godrich. And with it being a Yorke-led band, the lighting was bound to amaze with its rich reds, blues, and greens bathing the electronica and rock amalgam with a touch of otherworldliness. And as the show came to a close with a stunning combo of “Atoms for Peace” and “Black Swan,” during which Flea brandished a Temple basketball jersey to cover his skirt/kilt apparel from earlier, the power of the message implied in the band’s title comes into clear focus: amongst the turmoil and din of the everyday, one will find a unifying beat of peace. The future cities to be visited will hopefully be more open and understanding for this experience than our own Philadelphia.

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Atoms For Peace playing Liacouras Center on September 24th

Atoms For Peace gave announced a show at the Liacouras Center Temple University on Tuesday, September 24th. Atoms for Peace includes Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar, and piano), Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich (keyboards, synths), Joey Waronker of Beck & R.E.M. (drums) and Brazilian instrumentalist Mauro Refosco (percussion). They recently released their debut album, Amok. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, March 23rd at Noon. Go here for more information on tickets.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: WXPN Welcomes John Mayall to World Cafe Live at the Queen and Willy Mason to World Cafe Live in Philadelphia

The man with the harmonica who has graced us with his jazzy voice and bluesy beats for over five decades is playing tonight at World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington. John Mayall began his career in England in the mid 1950’s as John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers; a group that welcomed some of rock ‘n roll’s biggest names including: Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Jack Bruce, and Mick Fleetwood, among others. Doors open at 6:30 and the show begins at 8 sharp. You can grab your tickets to this all ages show here.

The son of two folk singers, it is no surprise that Willy Mason followed in his parent’s footsteps. The country/folk singer was discovered by Conor Oberst in 2004, and since has played extensively with bands such as Death Cab for Cutie, Radiohead, and will be on tour with Mumford & Sons this fall. He is currently working on his third studio album, you can go here to his website and download a single from the album entitled “Restless Fugitive.” Willy Mason plays tonight at World Cafe Live Upstairs at 8 PM. Tickets to the all ages show are $12.