Britt Thomas and the Breaker Boys at Johnny Brenda's
After hearing Britt Thomas and the Breaker Boys, and having heard the lead singer's previous band Cherokee Red, I have to say that I do see the connection there. Both of them are (or were) storytelling bands. Tales of life, mostly the troubling and unpleasant parts, set to music. The new band is both a little more Country and a little more Rock-n-Roll and has played shows with both types of bands, so hopefully they end up being a little less niche as well.
This is a short set of photos because I'm trying to learn how to use my new camera (a Sony a7 III). Unfortunately I'm running into problems like the well-known banding issue (like in this photo) and at least one Canon lens (used with an adapter) which doesn't want to focus sometimes. I'll get the hang of it eventually but I sure hate losing good photos to that sort of weirdness.
The Fleshtones at Kung Fu Necktie
Not sure I have anything new to say about The Fleshtones. I definitely was not expecting all of that literal jumping around from a band which formed in the 70s. This was just a damn fine rock-n-roll show to a packed house, as it should be.
Taiwan Housing Project at Johnny Brenda's
There is a certain type of very aggressive, feedback-heavy artsy band which really confuses me. I find that I like the intensity of their music but don't like the actual music so much. Something about making songs without any sort of hooks or anything which holds my attention for more than a bit just doesn't work for me. Perhaps all the songs just sound the same?
Taiwan Housing Project are a good example of what those bands ought to be (according to me, anyway). Imagine a noise band writing songs which are actually kind of catchy. Maybe not every song, but mix in something like this or this with all that aggression and suddenly I'm paying attention. Plus the fact that different songs actually sound different makes me think that the band has more than one idea and that it might be worth engaging with the music intellectually (imagine that!)
Control Top at Kung Fu Necktie
I suppose now that I live in Philadelphia I should photograph a Philly band or two, so here we go. I wanted to photograph Control Top because they are the best punk band I've found in this town so far.
Perhaps that's a controversial statement. For one thing I'm calling them punk even though they call themselves "post-punk" on their Bandcamp. That's a matter of opinion, fine, but I for one think that any band loud and aggressive enough to keep up with the metal bands on this bill should be called actual punk. Let me put it this way: their recent single "Type A" is much closer to their current sound than the songs from their older demo tape, but even that is noticably mellower than their live show.
As much as I love the vibe at Kung Fu Necktie it's a bit on the small side and has small-venue lighting, unfortunately. I think only the lead singer was actually lit up by the spotlights during the set. Oh well, I'm probably the only one who cared. Still a good show.
Death Valley Girls at Kung Fu Necktie
There are so many great rock bands from L.A. these days, including the one slightly misleadingly named Death Valley Girls. They certainly display the love of kitsch which marks them as Burger Records band (their first few releases came out on Burger) but add a hefty dose of LOUD. Their hit-you-with-everything-at-once sound is clearly influenced by early punk rock and even 70s stadium rock. Listen to the last 30 seconds of Disaster (Is What We're After), or even better the whole thing, and you'll understand. That plus enough mysticism and eyeliner to occasionally get them labeled as "goth" make for a very flavorful concoction. I like it a lot.