Shilpa Ray at Everybody Hits Philadelphia
A female friend of mine says that she loves Shilpa Ray's music because "She sings like I do when I'm drunk". "I" being my friend of course, not yours truly. Also, I would add "but better" to that (sorry anonymous friend!)
Anyway, I think my friend is on to something. When you're drunk you sing as hard as you can, pushing the limits of your voice until it cracks. Even though many of Shilpa Ray's songs are on the mellow side she still sings like she is pushing right up against her limits. Is this is her artistic style or she is stressed by the intensity of emotion she is expressing? That I do not know, but I know that it really clicks with some people.
This is a short photoset because Everybody Hits is a lit up by Christmas lights, some burned out, which by itself is standard DIY venue stuff. Everybody Hits is also fairly large for a DIY venue and has a big (not raised) stage area. Between them the result is that there isn't all that much light in the venue. Unfortunately capturing light is how cameras work (and my old flash doesn't work with my new camera) so most of the photos I got were blurry or out of focus, and the ones I did get were noisy. Oh well, you do what you can.
Walter Lure and The Waldos at Connie's Ric Rac
There is no doubt that The Waldos follow in the footsteps of Walter Lure's earlier band The Heartbreakers. Anybody who likes one band will probably like the other. In fact, why not both? The Waldos always mix a few 70s Heartbreaker classics into their set so you can have both. Like apolitical punk rock with a dash of pop catchiness? Well then you'll probably go for both the old and the new songs.
Buck Gooter at Johnny Brenda's
It's hard not to call a band "Industrial" when the band members are wearing half a car between them. Buck Gooter combine searing vocals, electronic effects (trust me, that acoustic guitar does not sound acoustic), and unique percussion techniques into a musical style which varies from straight-up fierce to thoughtfully intense. Also, politics. Both band members sing, both have plenty to say about the state of the world, and both will try their hardest to drill it into your head. Though Billy (percussion/electronics) is more aggressive than Terry (guitar) in all fairness.
Adia Victoria at Johnny Brenda's
The one thing which stands out to me about Adia Victoria's music is that much of the time she sounds like she's whispering. Not quietly of course (there are six other musicians on stage) but her singing still sounds unusually intimate. Now, I assume it is hard to sing the Blues about abstract concepts. Of course Adia Victoria sings about her own life and she has, apparently, been through quite a lot. What is so impressive is the way that her singing style really emphasizes that she is sharing something personal with the audience. Not that I mind when she rocks out a little, though.
Once in a while I end up taking too many pictures of the lead singer and ignoring everyone else. That appears to be the case once again however... I've seen Adia Victoria perform with four or five different line-ups. This may be her first all-male backing band, actually. Anyway, this is very much the Adia Victoria show so most of the photos are of her.
Warbly Jets at Kung Fu Necktie
My 90's sense is tingling. If I didn't know better I would have sworn Warbly Jets were, well, British for one thing. From song to song they flow from jangly rock-n-rollers to floaty, vaguely psychedelic hymns to their more recent cool electro-meditations on modern society. Through it all their sound is always a little bit suave, a little bit classy. Intensity is implied through style and attitude, not just volume. Seems British to me. Or more accurately it reminds me of alternative radio from the era of the Second British Invasion, my college days, back in the 90s. Like the rock bands tho, not the "Britpop" bands, the real rock-n-rollers.