I had zero intention of going out but listened to a couple of songs streaming on the band’s site and literally got my ass off the couch to hit this show (after stopping by and shooting Deer Tick earlier in the night). Unfortunately, I missed a few songs from the beginning of the set but man is this band so good. It’s actually just Darren Jesse (Ben Fold Five’s former drummer) and any studio session dudes he gets to play with him on the albums and perform live with. This is easily one of my new favorite bands as the two most recent albums I picked up at the show are fantastic folk rock that I cannot eject from my player. Hopefully there will be lots more from Darren on this blog in the future. I just love discovering new great bands.

I was really excited to see this band. They released one of my favorite albums of last year and the set they put on didn’t disappoint. I have been fortunate to have seen a string of great sets within the last couple of weeks and this ranks near the top. Super cool guys to boo which always goes a long way for me in my overall appreciate of a band and their music.

Bummed that I missed the first band Unicycle Loves You but arrived just as MMOSS was starting. Hanging with Manny as the band played, there’s probably no one more fun to hang with talking and describing a band’s music with in this city than him.

I ended up really liking this band. They are from Pittsburgh. Go check them out.

Arriving straight from The Hold Steady/Titus Andronicus gig in Braddock, I was only able to catch a minute or two of the band before they ended.

Moon Furies are an ‘electronic pop-rock’ group formed by childhood friends Andy Kiel and Jim Wittmann. Their live sound has been described as “starry-eyed synths with celestial harmonies” akin to “Muppets on crack”. Nice. They are touring to support their debut album Mercury and stop in Pittsburgh tomorrow to play Garfield Artworks. Andy and Jim were cool enough to participate in this edition of First/Last.

Batman and bars. I could get into that description of Pittsburgh…better than steel and ‘fries on sandwiches’, which many still think of. Hope you guys have time to check out our awesome town.

Amazingly, this was my first show at GA this year. I was actually there in the Spring but bailed when Fergus & Geronimo were running late and weren’t playing till 11 p.m. on a school night. Bummer. I think this set to celebrate the release of ‘City Paper cover boyssuper fun CD more than made up for it as these guys came out of the gate ON FIRE and never let up. This band is exciting as hell live and the joy they exude is unbelievable. My man Ohad was there taking some super awesome shots of his own, which you check out here.

I happened to mention this band in my January artists of the month post. If you miss this this show next Thursday…your loss. This will beyond…as they say, EPIC. I give you the weirdness that is First/Last Friday.

Thanks guys (I think). I am really digging your music and can’t wait for your show Thursday.

Dean is a local musician who also happens to be an artist. I cannot stress enough how much I admire his DIY ways of producing his art. I caught up with him at a cool event at AIR on the Northside. He just happened to be there printing his own merch. The occasion was a silkscreen demo by one of the city’s most unique visual artists, Budai. He specializes in graphic arts and produces some of the most incredible concert posters I have ever seen. His unconditional willingness to share his knowledge has always amazed me. This city is full of unique treasures in the forms of our artists and I for one would like to explore the scene more in the future.

When this show was announced months ago, it was touted as being his last show ever under the CFTPA moniker. He would eventually announce more dates in Europe and a few across the country. Then this show was officially the last show of his last formal tour under the CFTPA moniker. Got it? Regardless, he isn’t retiring from music just the band name.

I have been a serious fan of these guys since the very first time I heard them. I have been lucky enough to have been able to see them each time they have passed through Pittsburgh and consider myself even more lucky in being able to get to know them personally.

They are working on producing their third record and need a little assistance in doing so. There are only five days left in the campaign with a little over a thousand dollars to raise. I am confident you will love the music you are getting. They played some new tunes last month and it is just as killer as their previous stuff. Help the band via Kickstarter here.

Greta Morgan used to be in a band called The Hush Sound. Her new band is playing GA with Family of the Year and locals Emily Rodgers Band, and summer-winter. She was kind enough to participate in this latest edition of First/Last.

This group was a total revelation. I heard a little of their stuff going in and was highly impressed with this trio. This album is definitely climbing up my top ten of the year. The songs are easily accessible despite the fact that they are mainly literal recollections on Canadian locales. As a bonus, the band members couldn’t have been more friendly. I hope they stay that way as more exposure and larger audiences are sure to be in their near future.

The Lovely Feathers
Tuesday October 8, 2009
Garfield Artworks

Opening for RAA, I never really heard of this band until my man at The PGH Music Report pimped them hard. The band seemed off, or was it the crowd? I was the closest to the ‘stage’ and was still a dozen feet away. Weird. No one wants to be too close but I think the distance might have thrown the band off a bit. My only regret was not taking the band up on their offer of selling all their records for $10.

First up on a triple bill, Matt came on and ran through a bunch of tunes with a sparseness of instrumentation that I felt was incredibly refreshing. The tunes sounded like he wrote them on the spot but his DIY demeanor and the Johnstown scene he comes from impresses the hell out of me. It’s like if he can do it, why not me? I love a performer who has the balls to go in front of an audience solo and play their own songs.

As coincidence would have it, both Kirkpatrick Thomas and Dave Koenig were in Brian Jonestown Massacre at one point who I just had seen the night before. Dave told me they met up with the band at a rest stop earlier in the day for a little reunion. You could expect these guys to be broody and mysterious based on the music they make but nothing could be farther from the truth. They were a very pleasant bunch.

As endearing as Garfield Artworks is for us photogs with it’s aesthetically awful cobwebs and grime stains on the walls, the biggest challenge is the lighting. Too lousy 100 watt bulbs to create ‘art’ is a task, man. So it’s even more fun when a band shows projections and turns off said lights …great, I’m screwed. Yeah, it’s a pain but the results IMO turn out extremely cool and worth the effort. Seriously, it’s a gamble and I end up shooting ten times more shots to get the good ones. Worth it? Sure. More tomorrow.

These guys were on the eclectic (and somewhat bloated) bill which was headlined by Say Hi or Telekinesis depending on your definition of a headliner. Spindrift didn’t seem all that thrilled that there were four bands playing the night and the fact that they were loaded and gone seemingly minutes after their set only accentuated my observation. Still, they were quite bad ass! More tomorrow..

I heard this album streaming on the Merge website and liked it a lot (actually still do-can you say top ten?). The band is basically a guy named Michael Benjamin Lerner from Seattle and he has a touring band but the record is all him. They were really good and even though I was utterly exhausted, I wanted them to play longer than they did. More tomorrow.

Local guys who write original tunes? What’s not to love. Seeing them twice in as many days was a treat. They mixed up the tunes a bit as well busting out more new songs at GA.